My son and I were traveling by plane recently.

We were sitting in coach.

He is a big guy and I’m not such a big woman (in size).

We sat quietly and peacefully next to each other for 2 hours until I asked him this question:

Me:  “Can I ask you a question?”

He:  “Of course.”

Me: (with a voice a few octaves higher than I would have liked) “I’m not upset…I’m just curious.”

The truth was that I was historically, deeply and generationally upset.

But also, truly curious.

After all, I know my son to be a thoughtful, considerate and modern young man who has a default for serving the women in his life.

Why then, this Neanderthal posture?  Is it genetic or learned?

It turns out that it’s neither.

His response to my question was as simple as it was elegant. And so truthful that it immediately landed for me.

Wow!!! So simple, so profound, and yes, so true.

I have an on-going group coaching community of truly extraordinary women, called The Wisdom Circle.

I keep it small and open the doors twice a year (if there’s a vacancy) for one or two additional women to join our on-going and powerful community.

At this moment, guess what we’re working on?

We are exploring all the ways we, as women, were taught to take less space. Even the most successful amongst us is often shocked when she realizes how small she makes her emotions, body, and language in order to not be too much of one thing or too little of another!

Some of us have made the precious ground below us so narrow that we live in continuous fear of falling off the cliff’s edge of our own life.

And yet…

It wasn’t until my son held an innocent, yet powerful mirror to my own face that I saw yet another way we make ourselves small and then blame others, particularly men, for this contraction.

So here’s my question for you today:

In what corner of your life are you making yourself small?

How is that working for you?

Reach out here with your answer.

P.S. If this article resonated with you, please consider forwarding it to anyone who might benefit from it. Join the community here to receive weekly insights in your inbox.