I received an invitation to a new email app so I took a look at it. When I got to the bottom to the founders, they were three young men and I thought, "Why is it always men? Why, when I get information about some big new product is it always men?"
Even given what has to be the truth - that my email box is simply not receiving the information about the women-owned businesses - there is no doubt in my mind that we women are still standing on the sidelines.
There is also no doubt in my mind that this is not our fault, but is our call to action. Big time!
There are reasons we don't know how strong we are - reasons we have not made the strides we are destined to make, and those reasons are cultural, and social, and conditioning, and they are deliberate. We have learned to live within them and navigate our way around and through them in order to get what we can, do what we can. But in so doing we have limited ourselves.
It is women who think in win-win modalities.
It is women who usher life onto this planet.
It is women who multi-task our lives to attempt to hold family and work in win-win positions.
It is women who have natural access to empathy and communication in a well-rounded life.
It is women who have not been socialized out of intuition and instinct, but who have been shamed for them.
It is women who have natural access to emotional awareness, but who have been shamed for having it - even now when emotional intelligence is deemed important in that male bastion of superiority: business.
We have to be aware of some things if we are to break out of this self-minimalizing prison.
Imagine that: you are unique and unrepeatable. What are your gifts, both tangible and intangible? Yes, you are an amazing science geek, or creativity geek, or some other kind of marvelous brainiac about what you know or do. That's the tangible. The intangible is that "youness" - your smile, your way of speaking, your perspectives. Those can never ever be duplicated nor replaced.
The messages that tell us our "place" are simply messages. They are not Truth, but they are powerful. "I should be pretty" "I should be young" "I should be thinner/fatter/shorter/taller". The brainwashing keeps us from this simple, potent knowing: That you are absolutely effing amazing just as you are! You can have all of the other thoughts that you want, but if this one realization - "I am amazing" - is missing, so are self-confidence and self-love. And without those, how do you proceed into a life of tremendous creativity and investigation?
We don't think about ads - they just scroll past us, right? Apparently we have been duped about that, and as a result we are making ourselves miserable, when what we deserve to - and can - be is really happy to just be ourselves!
Don't believe everything you see, but do understand what is being given to your beautiful mind.
According to former Editor In Chief, Rance Crain, of Advertising Age, "Only 8% of an ad's message is received by the conscious mind. The rest is worked and reworked deep within the recesses of the brain." Jean Kilbourne created an absolutely brilliant movie that woke me up big-time about 11 years ago: Killing Us Softly 4.
Are you unhappy with yourself? What if I told you that most of that - the overwhelming percentage of that unhappiness - is due to what you have been conditioned to be unhappy about, about yourself? Start questioning, and start to free yourself.
The bottom line for us women is this: We are more than we are giving ourselves credit for - far more. And the more we adhere to the society as-it-is, the less happiness we allow ourselves.
There are answers to this problem, and they lie in the dual power of what we can do individually, and together. Watch the movie...and share it with young women you love.
Women's Leadership Coach and Speaker Lori is the author of Call Center Crazy and The Human Solution: Human Solutions to Every "Unsolvable" Business Problem,
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