Being a woman is hard. There’s an enormous amount of pressure from society to “be enough.” Even in our modern, “highly evolved” age, to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, girlfriend, lover, homemaker, caretaker, cook, maid – and to pull it all off with just the right amount of sexy, while still maintaining a conservative image. Yikes.
Research has shown that women are primarily judged by their appearance over any other quality – how thin we are, how nice we are, if we look and act the right way.
Men are supposed to be strong, bold, violent even, showing not even an inkling of weakness, yet women are often telling men to open up, be sweet and sensitive at the same time.
These expectations are completely unrealistic, unattainable and yet, most of us still feel the pressure and strive so hard to achieve this mirage of perfection. It’s no wonder we often feel overwhelmed, stressed out, not good enough, and that we come up short.
All the while, research shows in order to live a satisfying life with a strong sense of self and meaningful relationships, we’re supposed to be brave and vulnerable, sharing parts of our deeper, often hidden, selves with the ones we care about and who care about us.
Brene’ Brown discusses in her book, Daring Greatly, that being “wholehearted” comes only when people have been able to show the real, deeper part of themselves with the emotionally safe people in our lives. This means the good, the bad and the ugly.
Sharing this part of ourselves is definitely scary. We may not think we’re good enough, we may not think the person on the other side will understand, like what they see, or even stay if they see what’s underneath the face we put on, the cover.
What I’m urging you to do is to think about taking the risk, putting yourself out there and letting yourself be seen, with someone safe, someone who cares about you, and see what happens and how you feel.
It’s when we accept and love ourselves and let ourselves be seen that I think we can more fully accept and experience the love that others have for us. Is it a risk? Yes. Could it go badly? Perhaps, but not likely.
Is it worth doing so that we can begin to be real with ourselves, love ourselves, accept and feel love, have deeper relationships and possibly encourage others to be real and do the same? Absolutely. Forget what society says for a minute, forget the pressure for just a moment. You are ENOUGH.
As a therapist, sometimes I sit in the chair across from clients and have the same thoughts you do – am I really enough? Am I good enough? What if they knew everything about me, would they still trust me, like me?
It’s so common and normal to have these thoughts but in a healthy mind we realize we are enough, although imperfect, and open up, pursue our dreams and goals anyway, not letting that negative self-talk and doubt get in our way.
However, when the fears, doubts, and negative self-talk does get in our way much of the time, it can keep us from having the most satisfying and rewarding relationships, endeavors and experiences of our lives.
Although we do not choose the messages that come at us from our past, other people, society – we do have a choice in what we do about this fear and doubt.
If you need help with your journey to be open, be vulnerable, show and share the deeper part of yourself with others or accept it yourself, you’re not alone.
Often clients will share that they want to take the risk but don’t even know what that looks like in their life and relationships.
We are here to help! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 480-788-2106 to schedule an appointment and we can do this journey together.
This Post Written By:
Athen Fisher, LMFT – Therapy With Heart
8737 E. Via De Commercio, Suite 200
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258
Phone: (480) 888-5380
Fax: (480) 203-2881