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At the beginning of each year, I choose a word that encapsulates my biggest intention.
For 2019, my word is visibility.
I’m referring to the definition of visibility that refers to “the state of being seen.”
Like most women, I find it scary to put myself out there for everyone to see. And yet, how will I be able to make a positive impact on the world if I’m hiding?
Why is it that women with tremendous talent and innovative ideas often hide it from the world?
The influence of the inequality of women, the denial of women’s basic rights, has had a generational effect on women, shaping how we view ourselves and what is possible for us. This effect has contributed to the way we hold ourselves back for fear of rocking the boat or displeasing others.
It is ingrained in our genetic memory to be helpful and supportive. To be “good.”
We have become so virtuous as women at doing everything that society associates with being good that we don’t feel like we even know who we are anymore.
When we live our lives from the social construct of being “good”—fitting in and doing what we think we should do—we have put our true selves, the selves we were born to be, in a box, hidden away in the garage and collecting dust.
The fear of displeasing others or of ruffling feathers means that we:
>> Avoid conflict. This results in our needs not being met. This pattern leads to the acceptance that our needs are not as important.
>> People-please. Women accept the pressure of all the demands on them—to do everything they’re doing and do it all well, balancing the happiness of everyone else. Often at the cost of their own.
>> Hold ourselves back. From putting ourselves out there in order to safeguard that we won’t be criticized or rejected.
>> Hide our authentic selves. We put on the masks of different identities (good wife, supermom, community volunteer superstar, woman who has it all) to be all the things we think others want us to be. Because we hope this will make us more acceptable.
For years, I taught a professional training in herbalism. Each year when the certification was complete, it was women who were hesitant to offer their services because they thought they needed something more—further training, the right office, a website—before they would be ready to help clients.
When we aren’t being true to ourselves, we are snuffing out our life force. We aren’t giving ourselves to the world the way we were meant to. Bringing our vulnerable selves out in all our pain, honesty, and messiness is what will change our world. We need to do this for ourselves.
Taking courageous action, though it requires vulnerability, develops the roots which nourish a strong and confident sense of self.
What is the thing you are wanting to do? Write a book? Teach a workshop? Suggest a new strategy at work? Start a new career? Travel?
The essential strategy to getting out of hiding and holding yourself back is this: take one small, simple step. One action step that is so small and so easy that you can do it immediately. This will create the energy and confidence to take the next small step. And the momentum will have begun.
It’s time for women to reconnect with their true nature and to relentlessly and wholeheartedly create, regardless of believed imperfections and potential social perceptions. Or failures.
Our work is to liberate ourselves from the societal myths that are blocking us from living in our authenticity.
You don’t need to be better or work harder. You are already enough, exactly as you are. Learning to belong to ourselves develops the strong roots that will nourish our outward growth.
The pathway to joy and fulfillment is becoming more of who you already are.
I would love to hear from you. What is one small action step toward your heart’s desire that you can commit to this week? Please share your comments below.