I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered mean girls in my personal and professional life.

If you follow my blog you know this because I write about it quite often.

You you also know that I have been quite shocked to find out people who were my friends betrayed me. And people with whom I worked were actually plotting against me. Now did I deserve any of this? Absolutely not. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Am I an expert in mean girls? Well sort of. I didn’t set out to be one. And I certainly wish I could erase all the terrible things that have happened to me over the years by them.

I have been backstabbed, gaslit, the subject of malicious gossip, and even had one woman stop at nothing to destroy my friendships and my relationship while pretending to be my friend. I’ve been pushed out of a job by a woman who was jealous of me. And every single time I have built my life back and learned so much about how to deal with mean girls who are pathetic and poisonous.

It took me a long time to realize that not all women are supportive, that I don’t have to stand for it but that I can be a force for good.

There are many women who are mean girls because something about you triggers something that makes them feel inadequate, insecure or jealous about them. Regardless a woman who has a vendetta against you is incredibly dangerous.

I certainly never expected the women close to me would use things I said against me or embellish things or make up things. Disheartening doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. But haters are going to hate. The trash takes itself out as they say. I can’t control how other people act and feel toward me but I can put more good out into the world.

And I don’t have to be a victim or a participant in mean girls behavior. The meanest things that were done to me were done by women in their 40s and not that long ago. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends, but it took me a long time to realize who was and who wasn’t.

Now this is where harnessing the power of your intuition comes into play. Look out for red flags when it comes to women in your life who seem jealous of you or do not seem to have your best interest at heart. And the way in which they treat other people, meaning if they gossip about other people, it likely means they will do the same to you.

My shirt says “empowered women empower women” – let’s find ways to do this together. We are stronger when we are supporting each other. We need to celebrate women long after women’s history month is over.

When you own your brand, use your voice, silence your naysayers, stop playing small, harness your courage, be willing to take action even if you’re scared – while also helping other women – you truly step into your power.

If you want to feel more confident, be recognized for your work and stand out, focus on and embody a growth mindset and learn how to achieve the results you want (from other amazing women), then join the Women Who Wow community.

Why did I start it? Check out this video. Because I’ve been the victim of mean girls too many times in my life, oftentimes it blindsided me – and I want to put more good out in the world and support other women. Because I believe in allyship.

Every time mean girls try to break me down, I will always come back no matter what. They helped to uncover a part of me that I didn’t even knew existed. They enabled me to find my real purpose. They helped to put me on a greater path to success and for that, I thank them.

We need more women in the room and at the table. We need more women who truly support other women. We need more women building their own tables. You’re always invited to mine. Even some of these mean girls who need it more than anyone.