The Programmed Woman, if she dares to stand for anything, doesn’t put it – or herself – out there for fear of upsetting others, and being judged, rejected or shamed.
She chooses the path of what seems to spell least resistance. The one that sees her being nice and good, not claiming her space, and not staking her claim.
We resist being Programmed Women. We will unlearn and undo and deprogram and find our voice and speak up and keep doing that until our lives are an expression of our truth, and we feel peaceful and free and no less. We will do what it takes. We won’t stop.
A deprogrammed (read: real and free) woman owns her authority and she speaks up. She puts herself forward and she puts herself out there, willing and ready to show up and be seen and heard.
She’s led by purpose and vision and she claims her voice and her right to use it. She makes no apology. She knows deep down, without question or doubt, that what she has to say matters and she can and will make a difference.
It goes like this.
I’m running a workshop for a room full of women who’ve been told and sold they need to get better at promoting themselves and having a more powerful presence if they want to climb that corporate ladder and have more “success”.
I get to the part about promoting themselves and the women say this:
I feel so uncomfortable promoting myself / I don’t want to appear up myself / I can’t stand the way I see the men in my office do it / What will people think of me going on about how great I am? / Who am I to stand up and say such things? / Can we just skip this part?
These comments are coming from the mouths of Programmed Women. They are not coming from these women’s true voices. It’s like a case of very bad lip-synching on a cheap music video.
These women are smart, with loads of experience and expertise. Like so many of us, somewhere along the way, they were told to shut up and be nice and good. It stuck.
Now, inside their heads, aged in their 40s and 50s, they’re still hearing those voices and they’re listening to them AND letting them be in charge. And that sucks – for them and the world – because we’re all missing out on being touched by their greatness and power and genuine ability to make a much more positive difference. We really need what they have to offer.
I want to declare, and I want you to know this and feel it in your waters: You don’t have to promote yourself.
I’ll say it again: You don’t have to promote yourself.
You don’t have to do what you’ve seen so many other people do in ways that made you want to vomit (I know you know exactly what I’m saying). You don’t have to shout, “Look at me, I’m so awesome!”
The only thing you need to do is understand and own your purpose and vision, and use your voice to promote that.
You have a mission. Talk about that. It doesn’t really have anything to do with you (missions matter to you personally, yes, but they’re bigger than you) so take the focus away from yourself. You are just the conduit.
How do you want to make a positive difference in the world? Talk about that.
What do you know, from all your experience and intelligence and wisdom, that we don’t and could benefit from knowing? Talk about that.
Use your powerful voice to promote what matters to you. Forget about promoting yourself.
That makes is so much easier and way more effective (you’re so welcome).
When I started my business, and I was terrified that no-one would actually want to work with me let alone pay for it, the concept of promoting myself felt super icky. I had a whole lot of “Who do you think you are?” smacking me inside my head.
I also knew that what I had to offer would make a difference and it mattered and I cared deeply about my mission of having more women’s powerful voices speaking in and for the world.
Caring is what made me brave. It’ll make you brave too.