Last night at soccer the organiser who I’ve known for a few years came over to where I was on the bench subbing off.
“So is your instagram like a blog or something?” he asked.
Instead of just agreeing, I launched off on a spiel about how I don’t actually use Instagram that much, my social media manager manages it, my main business is on Facebook, etc etc.
I was embarrassed that he thought I had a cute/weird little personal blog with 1700 followers on IG.
I wanted him to know I have a successful business with a team of 11.
So I said exactly that – completely uncalled for – “I have a team of 11 people working for me”.
I’m pretty sure he just thought I was being weird by that point.
The same morning on a free chat session with a prospective Bloody Good Life 1-1 client, she told me about how incredibly busy her life is with a child and a thriving business, and that she had a pilates class after our session. Then later on in the call I mentioned something about being able to listen to podcasts on the way to work – “oh but you don’t go to work” I corrected myself, “I guess you could listen to podcasts on your way to pilates?”
What I meant was that she works from home, so she doesn’t travel to work. Even though we’d been talking about how busy and successful she is for 15 minutes by this point,
she immediately jumped to her own defence, just as I did at soccer,
having assumed that I meant that she had a breezy, cushy life full of pilates and not much work.
I reflected it to her, and we had a laugh at how shit minds can be sometimes at taking things the wrong way based on our own insecurities.
As females we’ve been marginalised in the past as these meek little beings who just stay at home and take care of the family.
It wasn’t that long ago that there were very few women in the workforce, and certainly not many entrepreneurial women managing successful businesses and teams of staff.
As a result we often feel like we have to prove something
– our intelligence – our business savvy – our success – our busyness – our non-blondness/ non-femaleness/ non-weakness.
If I get the impression someone thinks I’m just a cute hobby life coach, I’m right off and out the gate, gabbling through all the reasons why they should respect me.
But all my defensiveness does is make me seem like a braggy, arrogant tosser.
(Or at best, confused and off-topic).
As females we seem to have a whole extra layer of mind activity and reactive emotions dedicated solely to defending our worth as women.
Though I’m sure men have a similar layer of mind activity dedicated to defending-their-manliness as a male.
I hear a lot of anger towards the men of now and past times for making our lives harder with all this sexism, judgment, etc – and loads of it is warranted –
But what if they’re not our biggest problem?
What if we are?
That voice in our heads – that’s the biggest bastard of them all.
Always making us feel that we need to prove ourselves, telling us we’re not worthy as females unless we have all the boxes of life ticked. And when they’re ticked, it’s still not enough for the mind.
Our minds are conditioned by the society and language we grew up with so we don’t necessarily have a choice about the self-critical, judgemental and frankly sexist thoughts that might pop up into our minds.
The best thing we can do is to start to watch this conditioning play out as stories in our mind and splashes of anger, hurt and reactivity in our bodies.
When we distance ourselves from the stories and emotions enough to observe them, we’re no longer controlled by them.
With awareness, we can slowly start to unwind ourselves from the bollocks rather than getting ensnared in it.
Sure, I still reacted like a tool chatting to the dude at soccer, but I became aware of what I was doing as soon as I did it, and it felt shit. That shitness (and the fact I was at least aware enough to notice it) is what will help me work on changing my reactions like this so that I stop randomly trying to prove myself unnecessarily.
Getting angry at men for inequality, though sometimes justified, is still not really an effective solution, it can keep us stuck in powerful tides of angry rumination that make us go in circles.
Blame, as always, takes our power and chucks it out a two story window.
We’ve got to start within – looking for the areas where being consumed by our judgemental thoughts about ourselves.
What if the best thing we could do to create more equality in the world was to stop being an asshole to ourselves?
It’s my greatest wish that everyone in the world will eventually have learnt how to tame their mind enough to not take it too seriously.
Because when all the insults from your mind don’t stick so easily, you become clearer on who you really are – and free to use your new-found sense of self to direct your life in a way that makes yours and the lives of others a hell of a lot more bloody good.