In today’s world of reality show housewives and competing bachelorettes, it often feels like unfriendly female competition is just status quo. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to be honest about our feelings and to start acting like a team. Because if we don’t have each other’s backs, who will?

I made a resolution this year to be more of a girl’s girl – to be the woman who lifts up another woman instead of putting her down. I’ll put my judgmental side in check and learn to be more accepting.

Luckily, these women got the memo long before I did. So for all my girls who want to join in the movement, here are five inspiring real-life stories and tips to get you started.

Sabina Vajrača, New York, writer/director
“My friends and I started a weekly group for women who work in unconventional careers to help each other deal with ‘no clear path/ladder to success’ obstacles. We meet once a week to set goals and report on our progress to each other, as well as help each other with personal stuff, if it affects our work. It’s helped all of us get better, stronger and more resilient in the face of the very difficult career paths we’ve chosen.”

Amanda Wozadlo, Kentucky, matchmaker
“I believe the most important aspect in being ‘a girl’s girl’ is to be vulnerable and open. We often don’t realize that most women are very similar. We experience the same struggles and life events. Once we know that someone is ‘like’ us we gain a friend. If we are open to each other, instead of catty, we could change the world! Women tend to get jealous or judgmental over other women, but if we opened our minds, we’d see that we are all very similar.”

Eva Gantz, California, marketing associate
“Whenever I meet an intelligent, interesting, talented or pretty woman, I try to turn my initial twinge of jealousy into admiration. After all, jealousy is just seeing in another what you wish for yourself. Instead of comparing myself to other awesome women, I try to reframe it as appreciating them for the cool ladies that they are and turn them into new friends!”

Vickie Oldham, Georgia, educator
“After a workout at a YMCA gym, I spotted a young lady folding towels and noticed her beautiful eyelashes. I wanted to know the mascara she used and asked. What began as a chance encounter over makeup became a long term mentoring relationship. Turns out, she was a homeless teenager who was an excellent student academically, specifically in math. I tooled her around the community for scholarship interviews. She received 18 scholarships and attended the University of Florida to major in math for free. We are ‘girl’s girls’ to each other now, and forever will be. She now teaches high-risk students at a Tampa high school.”

Elle Kaplan, New York, financial expert
“I moved to New York City a little over a decade ago with $200 and no job. Now, I am the CEO of my own asset management firm. As a female CEO, I am a very loud and visible supporter of redefining Wall Street and making it a place that includes women, their needs, and their questions and their goals, and that caters to all of the above. I want to inspire more women and girls to consider finance as a career. Women need to know that Wall Street is our street, too.”

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Katarina is a freelance writer specializing in travel, spa, and beauty and wellness. She’s the author of The Food Lovers’ Guide To Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about interesting destinations and fashionable travel. Her work has appeared in publications like American Spa, The New York Post, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Travel + Leisure online and more.