Most of the women that I coach are driven in some way by the need to feel significant. This isn't very surprising since it is a basic human need that we all have. Every single person is born with the craving to feel special, unique, needed and important in some way. How we meet this need, however, is entirely up to us. It often surprises my clients when I point out the self-sabotaging or unhealthy ways in which they are meeting this need.
As women, we are taught to be humble so that we are well liked. We are often told that being too proud or shining too bright is not lady like, or may even be considered obnoxious. It is implied that acquiring too much success, or gaining too much visibility will annoy others or make them uncomfortable. Therefore, our desire to fit in and feel accepted often stunts our growth and alters the way we allow ourselves to feel and be significant.
So how do we end up meeting our need of significance instead? We may choose to maintain and hang on to significant problems! Sustaining our problems or creating false beliefs and stories, can help us feel connected to other people. Women desire to feel supported, loved and understood. When we experience anything that is met with compassion and love, even if it does not positively impact our life, we may grip onto it tightly. Often women choose to attach to things that aren't serving them, in exchange for an accepting community. This can become an addictive pattern if we do not recognize it right away. Women tend to resist evolving into the brilliance of who we really are because we feel it could invite in criticism, embarrassing attention, or even cause isolation.
Ask yourself if you are holding on to any significant problems that are truly not useful to you anymore. What are you gaining by holding on to this issue? Are there people that care for you deeply, focus their attention on you, or bend over backwards to assist you when you experience overwhelment, sadness, or anxiety? Do you belong to the "I have a black cloud over my head and can never catch a break" club? Do all of your members bond over their similar stories that make you feel safe and seen? Do you subscribe to thoughts like "I'll never loose weight, life is hard, or I will never be debt free"? Maybe for you it's "love is just not in the cards for me, I never have enough time, or I have to work so hard". Does it make you feel comforted and understood when others adopt these false statements as their truth too? How does keeping score of who is doing more help you feel that you are important and contributing to your family/community/social circles/work? Do you often claim that you are the only one that can "change the diapers correctly, cook the way everyone likes, fold the laundry in the proper way, do the finances right, support clients in a unique way (Insert your significant problem here)" to keep you feeling valued and needed? Does remaining in the pain of the loss of a loved one, your health, a relationship, or a job make you feel defeated, depressed, or different? Even though you may desperately wish that you had never experienced these things, how have they become part of your identity and therefore how you find significance in the world?
This exercise may be emotional and difficult for you at first, but the awareness can bring a huge shift that frees you from the illusions of your problems. You no longer need them to feel understood or special. It is time to free yourself from that fear deep inside of you. No one has ever explained this better than Marianne Williamson when she famously wrote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is with in us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Visionaries, take a deep breath in, and say this with me, "It is safe to be significant." Yes, it is safe to be who you were born to be - shine bright!
With Visions of LOVE,
PS~ If you need help letting go of a significant problem, I am here to help. Contact me today: Michelle@visionarymentoringgroup.com
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!