Time to celebrate yourself! (and why you may be afraid of doing it)
Posted Apr 22 2010 5:06am
Do you remember the movie Dangerous Liaisons? There's a character in that film I will never forget. Glenn Close spends the whole length of the movie trying to get what she wants, and being aggressive about it. She avenges herself after the man she loves uses her and leaves her, she manipulates people and situations around what she personally needs, and she thinks only about herself. In other words, she behaves just like a man would. But in the movie, the consequences and the message are clear: if women ruthlessly go for what they want, they get what they deserve when it all ends in disaster. Ungrateful bitches.
Ah, what's with all the male bashing? Well, I don't think it particularly is male bashing. It is, however, a passionate comment on a 2,000-year-old inequity that cannot be denied. When men act as if it's their right to do whatever they want to do in order to achieve their goals, they are praised for their fearlessness, for their ability to focus on their objectives and not be swayed. When a woman does the same, however, she's bashed for not being ladylike, for bringing shame upon herself, for not being grateful enough.
Do I think that women should just fight back and act selfishly all the time? Of course not. In fact, why not put a stop to the whole silly game altogether? It's reckless, and it's unnecessary. If we stop and take a look at the situation, we could see that it's actually a lot easier to take a more healthy and less jealous approach toward achieving what we want, and promoting ourselves so that we can get those things.
Manipulation and deceit is hardly the way forward. We all know that the universe has plenty for everyone, and that it's not as cut-throat as we make it out to be. In fact, the more, the merrier! The more we promote ourselves in the right way and start accepting the self promotion of others, the sooner we can reach a stage where self promotion won't be a shameful act, and doesn't have to end in disaster.
Here are a few tips on how you can promote yourself without fearing how others will perceive it, or worrying that you will offend the very people you need in order to succeed.
1. Remember that no matter what you do, there are going to be some people who like you, and some who don't. That sounds depressing on the surface, but really it gives you the freedom to self promote without fear. Once you have accepted that some people will dislike you even if you just sit there quietly, then you can get over the fear of not being liked, and get out there and do something for yourself! Remember, the reactions people have toward you are not personal - people take their own happiness or fear or security or insecurity, and they project those feelings onto you.
2. On the subject of projection, remember that it applies to you, too. If you think that women promoting themselves is a shameful thing, ask where that belief comes from? What if you told yourself a different story, that celebrating yourself is an act of love, that self-promotion helps heal your insecurities? The stories you tell yourself become the truth for you, so what you believe about yourself is very important.
3. Experimentation is important. If you think you can't bring yourself to self-promote, just try it! Baby steps at first. It may feel uncomfortable or downright wrong, but just stick with it. I think you'll find the world will continue to turn, and you'll still be on it. You are the source of these insecurities, but if you turn around and face them, you can start to heal them, and then you will be the source of your confidence, instead. So shine a light on that shadow, and watch the shadows fade away!
To go further with Maryanne's brand of self-inquiry, check out her 4-DVD series, Thrive, on sale now for $25.99!