Most of the women I coach work and would describe themselves as independent.
When they are not in a relationship, they desire one.
But because they manage a lot on their own, they are not desperate to meet someone and feel free from any limiting conditioning as women.
But still, there’s a syndrome I identify as being often in the way of them going for their dreams. It’s the result of millennia of conditioning. It’s ingrained, and it’s still entertained by our modern society.
It’s been passed on via diverse sources: the women or the men in our family lineage, through spoken or unspoken messages, the church or another religious influence, our teachers, the media, the advertising, the movies.
Let’s call it the “waiting to be picked” syndrome.
Even though women don’t really live in a castle waiting like a passive princess for prince charming to choose or rescue them, here and then they do.
It’s not an attitude that necessarily shows up in their love life per se, but it permeates through other situations where they could act but instead wait for something to happen, someone to notice them, or for what they do. One day an external force will change their destiny—their work conditions, their home, their confidence, their love life.
It can be insidious and totally unconscious. And what it does is keep them stuck. They don’t take action. One example I can give is the woman addicted to self-development work.
Investing in coaching or in a retreat is taking action. Wanting to learn, regulate your nervous system, and access a more powerful mindset is everything. But running around many coaches, teachers, healers, courses, and workshops to just gather information is self-development consumerism, and it leads nowhere.
You can spend your life and your money working on yourself, but if you operate from “this teaching/coaching will make me special, and I will be picked by [fill in the blank], and my life will change,” you will do the work for an eventual other (lover, client, recruiter)—someone to pick you because you have this special awareness, tool, presence.
This is not the kind of motivation that will give the best results.
Your presence already has value today. The work is that you access it. Easily. Without someone picking you. That is confidence. That is power.
Here are a few examples where the “waiting to be picked syndrome” is hiding in the background. I bring them to your awareness because they are common, and they mostly set you up to be stuck or disappointed.
Using spiritual bubbles as a way to bypass
Frequent quotes you hear in some yogic and self-development bubbles: “it happens for a reason” or “the universe will open the door for you/me.”
It would be comforting to think we are taken care of, and maybe we are. I don’t have a specific religious background but I believe as well in the beauty of prayer and group mind and intention.
Whatever power greater than us we believe in, there’s something it/he/she doesn’t do for us: make decisions. Life is paved with decisions; hesitating and procrastinating can be one of the most energy-consuming things!
For centuries, most women were conditioned to not make decisions. It was all set for them, for the better and (more often) the worse. You were born female, and you were property. It’s still happening in some countries today. So they waited to be picked, hoping for the best.
That’s why women are better clients for healers and clairvoyants, who will tell them they are protected and taken care of.
They are better “clients” for a spiritual or religious community with a charismatic leader.
They can hide for a long time in any retreat center because relating to a greater power out there feels more available than dealing with life’s practicalities.
I heard one guru in India say, “Spirituality is how you deal with your reality.” It really resonated with me because among the many spiritual seekers I met, and they were 70 percent women, I could always feel that a fair share of them just looked for a safe refuge far away from life’s practicalities.
I am not judging it—I have been there too. I am sharing all this with you because I was so surprised to feel my biggest spiritual expansion happened when I actually gained agency in real life—not when I lived four years in a yogic commune in the jungle! It was a tantric community. Tantra is a path that worships the feminine, and 70 percent of the school members were women. But even there, the leadership positions were mostly held by men.
Why? Because of the following point…
Women don’t ask
Men get raises because they ask for it. Women don’t. They don’t ask because they wait to be noticed. And if they are not, they work harder, without and before the raise. What kind of logic is that?
Some women don’t ask for help either and don’t delegate easily. There is a pride in doing it on their own that finally depletes them.
A support system is essential for any individual to thrive. No one succeeds alone. Men support men more than women support women. Another consequence of the “waiting to be picked” leftovers is the conditioning on women that they must compete for attention—because attention was being chosen, and it was their survival at stake.
The quote “empowered women empower women” makes sense here. Each time you feel threatened by another woman, remember this comes from an old setup. We have to reverse that dynamic.
Trusting your uniqueness is a revolutionary act. I wouldn’t say it will lead you to the right career or the right partner for you—because again, no one is guiding you here. More likely, it will give you the courage to go and get it, or if you are more receptive, to create intentionally an inviting space so it comes to you. This is your way out of this limiting conditioning.
Women don’t or rarely initiate sex or anything that would show their desire
I still see this paradox in my practice. Women who feel they are sexual beings with a desire to explore more, but they are afraid to do so when they look for a long-term partnership. Deep down, the psyche still lives this dichotomy. Good wife or slut archetype. It’s one or the other.
Before, women couldn’t explore. They were looked after by chaperones and had to keep themselves “pure” to be marriage material. If they had sex before, they were “wasted.”
“I can be the good wife or the slut!” What if in 2021 you can be both?
Men’s sexual desire has been presented as a physiological need, and for centuries, the wives had to respond to that need. The truth is, physiologically, women have the same sexual needs, and some women have a stronger sex drive than their male partners. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Exploring your sexuality isn’t a hindrance to long-term relationships. You can have both.
Long lives to the sluts; may they enjoy themselves.
Being afraid to look at the money
You thought sexuality was the most taboo topic? There’s another one we struggle to talk about and to look in the eye: money.
Do you know what you have in the bank? Did you count how much you need to cover your monthly expenses? Can you do your tax declaration by yourself? Would you like to invest in real estate but wouldn’t dare on your own? Or do you wait for your partner or someone in your family to help you with all this?
It’s so common for women to not ask questions about their finances, turn a blind eye to find out exactly how much they need and how much they would dream of, and ask someone else to do their tax declaration for them.
This is disempowering. Money is energy. It’s something that gives you options in life. If unconsciously you have been leaving this area quite blurry, it’s time to lift the veil.
Whether it’s about your own money, an eventual inheritance, taxes—take charge. Go and take the appointments now with all the professionals who can give you some answers. And ask what you consider the dumbest questions.
I found out in my practice that there’s more secrecy for women around money than there is around sexuality. For centuries, men were taking on that role. Lifting the fog around money is an important step toward you feeling empowered in your life.
Become an entrepreneur
This is the little sister of the previous theme. I heard it again last week. “I want to switch to a coach career, but I can’t. Women who have a husband to pay for them can do that. I am on my own. It’s impossible.”
I am part of big networks of coaches and if some had financial support from their partners to get started, it’s not the majority. It turned out, as well, this client has the option at this point of her career to ask for a paid leave of absence to study something. But guess what? She didn’t start the process to ask for it, didn’t even read or print the form!
She doesn’t ask because she waits to be picked. So the option is there, but it’s almost like she can’t see it. In her mind, this story about women having the option because they are being supported by their partner is true. So her dream career really feels impossible—when it’s actually not.
That’s what our brain does. It transforms the messages we were fed and becomes “truth” in our awareness. “When I’ll be picked, everything will be sorted and great” has been around for a long time and hanging out in a lot of women’s belief systems.
These are the examples I see the most in my practice.
I hope they can help you find out where and how this “waiting to be picked” syndrome is affecting your life.