How women “just do it”

In the debate over nature versus nurture, I feel strongly both ways.  I firmly believe that the differences between women and men are more than just a matter of plumbing, that we’re actually hard-wired for different emotional responses.  Having said that, I also firmly believe that our environment and socialization have a tremendous impact on our behaviors, attitudes, and success.

Without playing the blame game, I will say that the way we were raised – regardless of which generation we’re part of – has resulted in far too many women entrepreneurs who are experts at self-sabotage.  They tell themselves old stories that hold them back from acknowledging and using their talents and enjoying the success they want–and deserve.

If this sounds uncomfortably on target, you owe it to yourself to read the following.  It’s actually a Nike ad from many years ago.  It struck me so powerfully that I ripped it out of the magazine and saved it.  The unknown but brilliant female advertiser obviously wrote it just for me, but I’ll share it with you.

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Why are we so hard on ourselves and so much easier on others?  Did somebody say something once that stuck in our brains and won’t go away?  Did we mispronounce something in French, did we trip in front of some guy, did we make some huge mistake that we’ve never gotten over?

What haunts our fine bodies and our fine hearts and makes our heads spin with an image of ourselves we can’t accept?  We tell our friends not to be so hard on themselves and we tell our loved ones not to be so hard on themselves and we tell ourselves we’re just not being hard enough.

We are such funny women sometimes.  We blame ourselves when blame does not apply (terrible word, that blame).  We feel guilty about what we should have done better (terrible word, that should).  We are so hard on ourselves, harder than we would be on anybody else, anybody.  Complete strangers!  Big dogs!  People we don’t even like!

And the things we expect are so darn weird, things our mothers once said we should be able to do or our fathers wanted us to achieve or our Great-Aunt Charlotte wanted us to try and they didn’t know that their words would stick like glue to our hearts with a list of expectations wrapped around them.

Look: all these requests and all these demands and all these great expectations get old, real old, and only you know when to yell uncle.

Uncle.  Uncle.  Uncle.

Because for one moment of your life you feel like feeling…..perfect.

You feel like dashing into those hills or those open roads or right into the air itself and that’s just what you might do, so Ha.

You feel that rusty old image you carry is slipping away, right over the edge of a mirror and out of view. You feel like moving, and if you trip, you trip, if you fall, you will get up.  And the air feels like it will carry you and push you and it’s like nothing you feared it would be.  And of course everything you expected it would.

Just do it.

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So…Are you willing to let go of those old images?  Are you ready to move onto a bigger playing field where you’re powerful and successful and feel great about yourself?  Are you open to learning to use new tools to help you step into your new Big?  Now is the time.

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