“Now is the time for women to break the barriers of self- limitation."
"You can be far more than you ever dreamed possible.”
From Empowering Women by Louise L. Hay
Happy International Women’s Day! 8 March is the day when we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This years’ theme is “Be Bold for Change”.
Hang about! Why would we need to be bold? And what would it look like? Isn’t that a bit out there???
The truth is, change usually feels freaky. It quite often requires courage – particularly when it comes to the roles that society gives us.
Enter self-belief. You know… that state where you have confidence in yourself. Where you acknowledge your wisdom. Where you sense your capability. Where, importantly, you respect yourself and expect respect from others. And where you know you’re OK like you are.
Everyone – women and men – learns from their parents and society how to think and how to think about themselves. If what you learned was to diminish yourself or others, inequality is one of the effects. Inequality is one form of the learned message that “I am less than you” and “I am not good enough”.
Which begs the question: how much of our inequality is self-imposed???
It often takes courage to start believing differently. Try whispering to yourself “I AM good enough”. Did your heart flutter and your breath catch? Did it feel bold?
I recently met a woman who was established in a successful, senior, corporate role. Yet she was overwhelmed with anxiety pretty much all day, every day. Her anxiety was “I’m not good enough” on steroids. When did it start? When she was 5 years old, she came home from school one day to find her dearly loved pet cat was missing. Her father, embittered in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from her mother told her coldly that the cat had died and he had thrown its body out in the rubbish. She was devastated. Right there was a great big “not good enough” message. “You’re not good enough for me to care about you and your feelings – I’ve got more important things to worry about” was the message she received – and carried with her from then on. And over the years, the ‘‘not good enough’’ morphed and grew, always there despite her professional success. For her to say to herself “I am good enough” was a huge, bold thing. The sad thing is of course, that she has always been good enough. She just didn’t know it.
So this Women’s Day be bold with yourself and those beliefs of yours that whisper that you are less than. That sneer you’re not (and never will be) good enough. Just quietly saying to yourself “I AM enough” is an incredible start.
It may look unskilled. It may sound like a fib. But it’s not. It’s true. Be bold enough to believe it.