Alice Elizabeth Wolfe. Born October 2nd 1919. My legacy.

Alice Elizabeth Wolfe. Born October 2nd 1919. My legacy.

At the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009 the Dalai Lama, speaking to a panel of female peace prize laureates, said, “the world will be saved by western women.”

Western Women?

I’m a master certified life coach with a very full practice in my 7th year of business — I talk to “western women” every day– talented and gifted, purpose driven western women who know in their bones they were put here to do something with their “one wild and precious life” – who tell me different variations of the same thing:

“I don’t know if I have what it takes.”

“I’m not sure I can pull it off.”

“I feel like a big fake.”

“I don’t have enough experience to help people.”

“I feel like a fraud.”

And even though there are guys who “get” it, who worry about this stuff too, research shows that chronic self-doubt falls solidly within the realm of women …

Quoting a Harvard Business Review Post:

“From an early age, men often overvalue their strengths, while women too frequently underrate theirs. In reality, we all struggle to feel a stable sense of value and self-worth. Men often defend against their doubts by moving to grandiosity and inflation, while women more frequently move to insecurity and deferral.”

And from another study…

“Men consistently overestimate their abilities and subsequent performance, and women routinely underestimate their abilities and performance. Even though the actual performances did not differ in quality.”

The question is why? Why do women consistently underestimate themselves compared to men?

I was the first kid in my family to go to college. My parents didn’t know much about the college application process, but they were able to help me get into a small university located in my town. I went there for a year before transferring to another school.

It’s where I met my husband over 20 years ago.

I’ll never forget the day my parents met his parents. I was standing next to my mom when she said to them without blinking an eye, “we’re just so glad Amy was able to go to college. We knew if she did, she’d meet a nice man who could take care of her.”

In all fairness, I get it. I have 3 kids. I want them to be happy. I want them to someday meet someone great and have a happy life together.

BUT…

A Way of Thinking We Take For Granted As True

This is a kind of thinking that remains a part of our culture… The idea that men are the guardians of women. It’s part of a cultural belief system that Christel Nani, author of Sacred Choices, calls a “tribal belief” — a way of thinking that is taken for granted to be true and then passed down from generation to generation.

Married by my uncle 21 years ago –a traditional Baptist minister — I was asked to vow to “obey” my husband.

“I, Amy, take thee, Ron, as my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part…”

(I insisted he vow to obey me right back, but you get the point. Traditionally there is no mention of a groom needing to obey his bride.)

It has only been 94 years, one woman’s lifetime, since women were granted the constitutional right to vote. Before that, the common wisdom of our culture was…

If women could vote, chivalry would die out.

If women could vote they would get involved in politics, stop marrying and having children and the human race would die out.

That women were too emotional and incapable of making sound political decisions.

And my favorite…

Because women’s interests were perfectly safe in the hands of men.

Maybe it’s a similar line of thinking that led Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, to advise a group of women in computing this month to NOT ask for a raise.

“It’s not really about asking for the raise,” he advised, “but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.”

Really?

Given that the median income for full-time, year round male workers was $8100 higher than the median income for full time, year round female workers in 2010, I’d argue that we women have some self-advocating to do.

In high school, I was student body Vice President when the Student Body President was removed from office (some kind of scandal having to do with pot smoking. He said he didn’t inhale.) So I was officially the new Student Body President.

When the next student body assembly rolled around I expected to be leading it. But the leadership advisor at the time asked Bill Lee, the Sophomore Student Body President, to do it. Even though I knew I could do it. Even though I wanted to do it. My heart sank but I didn’t question it. I didn’t fight it.

And this is why self-doubt is a chick thing.

We have inherited and internalized a way of thinking that has us unconsciously second guessing ourselves over and over and over.

The idea that women are weak, inferior and less capable than the guys is a tribal belief that we all have inherited and internalized, conscious or not. [Tweet that!]

And the only way to heal this legacy is the truth.

My grandmother was 1 year old in 1920, the year that women were given the right to vote. She grew up to be the best marksmen in a squad of 10 men, she ran a bowling alley and she was a welder during WW2. She could throw a softball, knit a blanket, pull in a basket of crabs on the bay and give the longest, warmest hugs imaginable plus she made the best peach pie on the planet.

This is my legacy. The legacy I consciously choose for myself. And the legacy I will consciously recount to my daughters and to my son.

Ladies it’s time.

Guys its time.

Time to create a new legacy.

What do you choose to believe?

How will you lead from this place?

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Feeling like a fraud? Chronic Self Doubt Got You Playing Small? If this is you, join me for my latest 4-week program, Being You Uncensored: How to Release the Need to Please, Be Happy and Succeed YOUR Way. Because the opposite of being a fraud is being YOU, no apologies, uncensored.

Check it out here!

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“If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs secrecy, silence and judgement to grow exponentially.” Brene Brown said that.

But that’s what we do, right? We hide away the things we’re ashamed of. We don’t want anyone else to know…

Well my dear friend Amy Jones is changing that. She is the Founding Human of SanctuWhereWe, an online sanctuary where humans of the world can safely and anonymously share their truthiest truth.

My mission in life is to help people understand that it’s SAFE to be YOU, no apologies, no hiding. Amy Jones has created a place where you can dip your toe in the water by sharing your truth completely anonymously.

Learn more about her path and the amazing work she’s doing in the interview below…

Now I want to urge you to head on over to SanctuWhereWe.com to anonymously share your truthiest truth. You’ll also find links there to follow SanctuWhereWe on your favorite social feeds. You can find out what other humans aren’t taking about and hopefully be reminded that whatever you’re experiencing, you are not alone.

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I didn’t get to see her…

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I was six months pregnant with twins when I drafted a report about the home mortgage interest rate deduction for the Oregon Legislature. I was working as a research assistant for a progressive think tank at the time. I couldn’t remember much about the report when I opened it for the first time in seven […]

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I Pretended to be Smart for 37 Years

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I volunteered today in Alice and Anthony’s classroom. Math. I listened carefully as Mrs. D. talked about ladybugs. “If there are five ladybugs but you can only see three, how many are hiding?” As the students pondered this riddle, she showed an illustration of three ladybugs, revealing 2 more hiding underneath a flap of paper […]

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Brands that fascinate do this…..[Interview]

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I’ll be honest. I used to think that branding was another way of putting up a facade — an image for other people of someone you’re not to get them to see you and your business in a flattering light. Perfectionism and approval seeking on a large scale. And expensive! And I had a very […]

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True Confessions of a Beauty Queen Gone Bad

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I was crowned Homecoming Queen in high school. It was one of the happiest day of… … my mother’s life. I knew she wanted me to be homecoming queen. I’m not sure how but I did. I made it my plan to become homecoming queen for her. And thus marks the beginning of my style […]

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Why Sensitive Women Can be Bitchy

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Guest Post by Mely Brown Hokey Wolf was a White German Shepherd x Siberian Husky. My mate, my soul friend, my nemesis and shadow self, all rolled into one. When he was a tiny pup, he was in a van looking down at a fully-grown German Shepherd, growling and barking. I lifted him onto the […]

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[Interview] with Abigail Steidley

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I’ve always been interested in the mind-body connection. In the heyday of my approval addiction, I struggled with “undiagnosed infertility.” Took me six years, with the help of modern technology. Then I became a coach and embarked on a healing journey that allowed me to stop needing approval and fearing rejection. I don’t think it’s an accident that baby […]

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You are five.

August 6, 2014

Who were you when you were five? When I was five… I loved flowers — I vividly remember the plants from my childhood – the sunflowers in my backyard, the rose bushes by the patio, the filbert orchards and the Oregon grapes with berries you couldn’t really eat. I loved to swim – that feeling […]

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Eliminate This Word from Your Vocabulary

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Write the word “ready” down on a piece of paper. Do it now. I’ll wait. Now take your pen and draw a line through it. READY You need to know that the word “ready” is not your friend. Eliminate this word from your vocabulary. Because real life is not like school. In school you study […]

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