|Is it “true” or is it gender conditioning?
|Here’s how to stop gaslighting ourselves into staying small.
Take self-doubt, for example. Sometimes we believe that we don’t have the answer or that we can’t trust ourselves with the answer we’ve come up with.Play along with me for a bit and remember a time when you came up with a new idea.
You felt excited about it.
You felt sure-ish about it.
You spent hours on it.
You mapped it out.
You lost track of time.
You thought about the idea for days.
You felt creative.
You felt ready to share your idea with others.Know that feeling? It might have an idea for work or an assignment. Maybe you came up with an idea for a hobby or as a suggestion for your family. It could have been an idea that felt high stakes or just for fun. Recall one of those times.
You felt inspired right before you decided to share the idea. What happened when you took action to tell someone else about the idea? What happened after talking to or emailing someone?
This is the precise moment to ask ourselves if what we’re thinking about is the truth or if it is the remnants of our individual gender conditioning.
The inner critic can chime in with thoughts like these:
I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’m not qualified.
This is a bad idea.
It won’t work.
They might think that I’m unprofessional.
I wasted so much time on this.
I’ve never done anything like this.
Ask yourself if these thoughts are true and look for the evidence.
Do you know what you’re doing? How long have you been in this position? What else have you tried previously? What are some of your past successes? What other ideas have you developed that worked well? What did you learn from the ideas that weren’t not successful immediately? How do you define (un)professional? Considering you are not a mindreader, how can you gauge what others think? How much time do you want to spend imagining what others think? What did you learn about the concept while you were developing this idea? How else might it be useful? What did you learn about yourself in the process? Since everything starts as a new idea, what could be perfect about you be the one to start the conversation this time? What if it’s ok to feel scared? What if feeling scared doesn’t prevent you from taking action?
Often the inner critic is built on past gender conditioning that we did not create, but that we carry in our bodies and brains. When we feel resistance and fear that outsizes the situation, it’s a sign that we are disrupting limiting beliefs that have been with us for a long time.This is the practice that we can use to become our bold, true selves while also disrupting the hold that the patriarchy still has on us.That can feel scary because we’re rewiring our neural pathways and rejecting the messaging that convinced us to cede our authority of our lives to someone else. It feels scary because we are learning to trust ourselves.
It feels scary because we are creating a necessary revolution in our lives and our communities. Nothing has gone wrong, I offer that this fear is a confirmation that you are on the path of liberation.Welcome to your feminist revolution!