Enough really is enough.
When you finally see something clearly enough, you can’t put the film back over your eyes. And I have seen that there is no more time for niceties; it’s time for radical self-confidence and self-expression.
So here I go.
There is not one woman I have worked with as a Business Communication Coach who has come to me free of an unecessary self-doubt.
- “Am I too strong?”
- “I sound stupid, don’t I…”
- “Am I being too pushy?”
- “Will my strength/my drive make me unattractive to others?”
- “I am afraid of being seen and heard! I feel so much shame! How do I get over that?”
We have twisted ourselves into pretzel shapes to find our success, our happiness, our fulfillment, and our purpose in a world with rules that deliberately don’t include us.
Women writers have dutifully prostrated themselves when calling men to account, in many examples saying inaccurately that women are “just as bad”, and showing themselves willing to “take blame” for bad behaviors, the nature of which come primarily from men. Women in relationship have dutifully adjusted their self-image to be “attractive enough” to “catch” a man, never finding the peace and self-love of just being. Women in the workplace have dutifully acquired bald spots on their heads from using adaptive behaviors in hitting those so-called glass ceilings. Women who have been sexually assaulted are painfully aware that the rape is only the start of the abuse. And so on and so on and so on.
And enough really is enough. At some point, if you’re looking for the truth, enough of the layers peel off and you just…see. it.
For me it was an article. I was stopped in my tracks when I saw it online.
Duke University published an article with this title: “48% of Female Undergrads at Duke Say They Were Sexually Assaulted While Enrolled, Up Sharply From 2016”.
That number is insane. Forty. Eight. Percent.
Okay, I thought to myself hopefully, maybe they mean that they are including being inappropriately touched on the arm while speaking… But no. They specified that “The survey defined sexual assault as ‘any unwanted, nonconsensual sexual contact including sexual battery and rape. It did not include sexual harassment or coerced sexual contact.'”
Do you know when you feel that appropriate kind of anger that makes you move forward regardless of self-protection or fear?
Yeah, that kind. I felt it, and I started using it to get my voice to those who need the kind of power that moves them forward!
Women should simply feel strong and empowered enough to exist with self-respect and self-expression, right out loud, without question; and generally we don’t. That’s the reason I started offering Communication Coaching. I believe to my core that the qualities of the feminine are needed to save this planet and the quality of the lives of the women that live on it. Then I switched to helping women leaders, because the leaders are going to set the tone and I want that tone to come from our strength rather than our fears.
Like any entrepreneur, I didn’t quite know how to launch my most impactful and effective marketing “voice”. But very quickly I realized that the only voice that is acceptable for any woman now, and definitely for me, is one’s own authentic, unapologetic voice.
How hard is that?
[Read more: How – and Why – Women Apologize Too Much; and How to Stop]
Far, far more than our “issues”, the social sea in which we swim has affected and drained our psyches and our bodies more than most of us are truly aware. And most of us simply clam up.
I don’t, but I’m lucky. I’m lucky that I chose a life full of pursuing free self-expression. Yet, even with all of my practice and my gifts, I have still found it difficult to push through the “marketing mind” and its polite norms of tone and wording. I have done it, but it is still difficult to maintain.
And, even with my success in helping others change their self-image and their lives through empowered communication, those social boundaries of “be nice” and “be liked” have reached into the core of expressing my most passionately learned truths and stopped me from being as real-to-the-core as I try to be, which is simply unacceptable; these are the very truths I need to share with the greatest vulnerability if they are to be heard by those who need to hear them!
These truths are what I, as a patriot of a burgeoning new earth needing the balance of what have been long-eschewed feminine qualities, hold to be self-evident and needing of our immediate and actionable attention.
- We have had enough of being held back by you who are greedy, blind, powerful, and uncaring.
- We have had enough of being maimed and damaged and left to fend for ourselves.
- We have had enough of attacking our own selves on your behalf – judging ourselves by toxically masculine standards of beauty, emotional acceptability, worthiness, and ability rather than judging ourselves by the powerful feminine standards of concern, compassion, service, love, passion, authenticity, vulnerability, emotion.
- We have had enough of fighting to be recognized for being human.
- We have had enough of being seen as second citizens when as 51% of the population we actually outnumber you. And we have had enough of seeing ourselves as second class citizens.
- We have had enough of not recognizing our own strengths, our own magnificence, our own unique abilities.
- We have had enough of standing aside for you, and enough of rewarding you when you behave at one time or another as you should behave every single day: with respect, care, collegial cooperation, and curiosity about who we are beyond our sex appeal.
- We have had enough of having abuse, debasement and the sexualization of our full humanness portrayed in advertisements as fashion, as “funny ads”, with a “just kidding” nod.
I could not have written those words before I saw that article! It was my breaking-the-camel’s-back moment. Those are the sacred moments when something hits you so dead-on, it makes you drop whatever garbage you were holding onto even if you were holding onto it for decades. I intend to maintain this position of transparency and focus for myself and for you.
The tides are changing. There are more women in politics in this country than ever before and more women of color and various nationalities. The women of Hollywood chose to stand up and say No; no more! The #MeToo movement exploded literally overnight. Young women are standing up and working to take back the power of the feminine; it’s inspiring! There is so much work to do, and so much already happening.
[Read more: Women, Leadership, and the Power of Acting Authentically]
We know that this kind of transformation is threatening to those in power who, like the only children of a wealthy family, have never had to share before.
But don’t worry about the pushback. The screams and complaints and judgments are the death throes of an old guard whose rules and regulations can only kill us if we carry them forward. So we will not carry them forward.
You will not.
I will not.
We will find and use our true voices, undisguised by self-deprecation, false modesty and fear of visibility. And we will do this together, because we know that no one really does anything successful by themselves. And because we know how to support one another.
The challenge for us, in the end, is three-fold:
(1) To embrace who we are right out loud, in all of who we are and all that we possess: our emotional flexibility, our strength and awareness, our compassion, our understanding of the complexities of human existence, our care for one another, our hearts and our immense power.
(2) To stop believing and agreeing with the powerful men that our strengths – emotional, perspective-based, awarenesses and needs – are weaknesses.
(3) To walk with a new stride of self-expression and self-awareness demonstrated in voice, body, intention, self-respect and undeniable presence in our world. To practice these new ways of being.
I will not carry the old rules and regulations forward.
I will share my unapologetic voice, trusting that if you need to hear it – if it helps you to stand in your magnificence at any level whatsoever – you will hear it. And as a coach and sister to you in your journey I will help you find your voice as a part of this magnificent, feminine choir because, as you so well know: Enough is enough.