Recently, one of my followers on Twitter requested an article on “What women need to stop telling themselves.”
Happy to oblige as always, I present a short list from a man’s perspective:
- “I’m not good enough.” You and everybody else is telling themselves this same lie. After coaching over 1,000 individuals since 2007, I can tell you this is probably the #1 fear that drives people’s root behavior. Here’s the truth: you, and everyone else, IS good enough. We’re all equal in the eyes of the eternal Universe, so there’s no reason for you not to stake your claim to exactly what you want in this world, whether that be men, money, or mommyhood.
- “Nobody will pay me to do that.” Sure they will. If you do anything 10x better than anyone else in the world, you will be supported. I’ve seen too many dreams gutted on the altar of practicality. Stop worrying about what other people may “permit” you to do and start taking action without permission. Find the pain in the world that only you can uniquely heal. You’ll get paid.
- “I’m too fat.” No you’re not. (Okay, unless your Doctor has “the talk” with you and says you’re pre-diabetic, in which case you probably are too fat.) If you’re instead just gauging your level of fatness versus fitness models in magazines, you’re not too fat: you just can’t compete with the airbrush (nobody can). Start loving your body and your wonderful self. Go on a meditation retreat to break the bonds of emotional eating and food obsession / addiction. See through the illusion. Food isn’t love, it’s just food. Love is love. Get more of the real thing.
- “I’m not pretty enough.” Yes you are. For every person who doesn’t fancy you, there’s someone who does. Roughly speaking, for every 100 people in a given room, 30 will love you, 30 will hate you, and 30 will be indifferent. If someone doesn’t love your looks right away, they’re in that 2/3rds, so don’t worry about their opinion. Keep meeting people until somebody falls in love with your cute face. (It’s cute, trust me. I’ve seen it. While you were sleeping.)
- “I am supposed to be able to easily manage both a family and a career.” Really? Is that because Marissa Meyer said so? Or is it because you REALLY want to have a family and also have a six-figure career? You’re “supposed” to be able to do whatever you “suppose” you want to do. So what do you suppose you want to do? Drop the importance of proving anything to anyone. Does your heart yearn for babies, or for the boardroom? Or something completely different? The world becomes more peaceful and beautiful to the degree that more people follow the yearning of their truest heart.
- “Once I get a boyfriend, everything will be OK.” Substitute lover / husband / baby if you want. Stop waiting for a man to fix you, or make you complete. Yes, relationships are wonderful, but it’s your job to be 100% wonderful on your own, and the only way to do that is to learn authentic self-love first. Two halves will never make a whole, and all that. This goes doubly for motherhood. If you’re not happy, and you expect becoming a mother to make you happy, that’s probably not a very good reason to bring children into the world.
- “My biological clock is ticking.” I think the concept of ‘biological clock’ was made up by balding, middle-aged male scientists to put women in a frenzied, sex-craved state right around 38. Okay, I don’t know that for a fact. Hormones are hormones, but you’re not going to inspire anyone to feats of commitment by making a biological argument about your ability to bear children. What about this attitude of acceptance? If it’s meant to happen, it will happen. It’s amazing what happens when you let go, surrender, and allow. Micromanagement and control are the twin demons of insecurity. (Plus, adoption. There’s currently a matching problem on this planet between kids who need adult love, and adults who want to love kids. Be a solution to that problem.)
- “It’s my job to make sure my man stays on task.” The ‘nagging woman’ relationship dynamic is no fun for anybody. Nagging is not sexy. Lazy men scratching their balls on the couch while the garbage overflows are not sexy either. But the two behavior patterns are interlocking parts of one system. Want your man to take out the trash? Put on your high heels and push-up bra and leave the house for a few days. Chase the shiny thing. If he wants to keep you, he needs to continually romance you, and keep your shared living space as clean as that first date, right before you had sex the first time, when the bathroom was spotless. Having kills wanting.
- “I’m too busy.” Only because you choose to be. I’m going to give you the biggest gift I can give you in this whole article. I’m going to tell you the truth about your life: you control time and space. You decide what you spend time on, and how much time. You decide how much time you TAKE, and therefore how much time you HAVE. You decide what your space looks like, what goes in it, and what leaves it (that includes friends, lovers, jobs, family members.) You design your own life. So design it. You probably have good taste. (Actually, I know you do. I’ve seen your Pinterest.)
- “He hasn’t texted me back, he hates me.” The same goes for phone calls, emails, etc. Don’t personalize lack of contact. People are busy and tired, and most people are terrible at follow-up..especially me (sorry, Annika.) See it as an opportunity to practice being assertive. Reach out to your contact on other channels (try all channels) and follow up continuously until you get your answer. One of the big differences between how men and women are trained to behave in our society is that men are given full permission to follow up assertively – forever. Give yourself this permission as a woman. Flush the thought that this will make you “pushy.” Yes, it’s a masculine tool – but if you want the masculine edge, you use masculine tools. When you want the feminine edge, use feminine tools.
- BONUS NUMBER ELEVEN: “At least I’m prettier / skinnier than she is.” All judgment is self-judgment, even judgments that puts you on top. They also lead inevitably to girl-hate, which is toxic to the fabric of Sisterhood. Remember your Mean Girls: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.” Of course, this behavior is wound deep in your psyche and nearly impossible to root out unless we have a massive cultural shift in which we spend the majority of our days genuinely complimenting each other, followed by hugging. But we can start that right now. Give a hug to another girl today (and not just to try to figure out if her boobs are real.)
The astute reader will notice that many of these points are just as applicable to men. We’re so alike. So let’s spend more time loving each other, rather than trying to tear one another down.
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