Have you ever known a beautiful, amazing woman who just can’t see how great she is? It’s frustrating – incredibly frustrating – you just want to make her see what you see. Sure she might not be perfect but, why does that matter when everyone loves her all the same?
Have you ever considered this woman may be you in someone else’s eyes?
The standards that many women hold themselves to can be pretty ridiculous. While body image is the usual culprit, these unattainable standards also surround expectations of being a “good mom,” the perfect employee, the “marrying type,” a lady, flawless, calm, perfect, funny, fun, but not too fun – a list that goes on and on.
Even the strongest women live with these cracks. I have listened and spoken with many confident ladies in my life and despite their achievements and successes – so many of them live with the weight of their expectations.
“That color is beautiful on you.” “I just like this shirt because it covers up my love handles.”
“You did awesome!” “Didn’t you hear how bad I messed up towards the end?”
“I am so proud of you.” “I got lucky.”
So often, I see women blinded by the standards they set. Instead of celebrating what they have done, they criticize what they could have done better. We speak in this language of defeat, and we pass it on to younger women. It is the unintentional language that we pass on to our daughters.
Recently, I have been hanging out with a group of mostly men from the rock climbing gym, and as I speak to them and listen to their words, I have begun to see the difference between how men talk about their achievements. When men finish a climbing route, many talk about the parts where they kicked ass. When women finish climbing the same route, most of them immediately start talking about the parts they screwed up on.
Women are defeating themselves through their own self-deprecation. When we nitpick every thing and every part of our lives that are imperfect, we take away our energy from becoming stronger and better. I want to encourage women to see the good in themselves and what they do and, I would like to know a world where women stop being so hard on themselves.
The words that we use about ourselves and others have power, and it is far past the time that we teach our daughters to be proud of who they are and to speak in words that do not undermine their success.
I hope for a world where one day men and women can truly be considered equal, and the only way that will ever happen is if we as women truly start to like and believe in the people we have become. After all, if we don’t believe in ourselves, who else will?