Glenn Close’s character in Dangerous Liaisons represents something that is a recurrent theme in our culture. If you recall, this was a riches-to-rags disaster of epic proportions, and why? Because she latched onto her power, valued her selfishness above all else, sought revenge against the man who so carelessly threw her away, and did whatever she had to do to manipulate situations around what would benefit her personally. In other words, she behaved like a man.
Now hang on, before you go accusing me of male-bashing, have a look at the facts. For more than two millennia nothing has changed – when a man creates his own empire, it’s perfectly acceptable for him to go out and bend things to suit him, and in fact he’s praised for it. “He never let anything stop him from his goals” is considered a compliment. But when a woman does the same thing, she’s called willful, a coldhearted bitch, or even worse.
Developing A Healthy Attitude Towards Achieving Your Dreams
Now, I’m not saying that women should go out there and act selfishly to prove a point. Of course not. But I do think that we could all use a healthier attitude toward achieving our dreams, and celebrating others when they embrace their abilities and make the most of what they can do.
If all of us, both men and women, could embrace the philosophy that there is enough in the universe to give everyone what they need, then we could let go of this archaic notion that women have to choose between being good little subservient wives and mothers, or having the word “feminist” thrown at them as an insult. As if there were no in betweens.
I’d like to offer a few suggestions about how you can promote yourself without fear of being perceived as a selfish bitch, without feeling like you’re doing something wrong by offering your talents to the world, and without worrying that you might offend all the wrong people and end up worse off than when you started.
One: Remember that everything you see and experience externally is actually you projecting the stories you tell yourself onto others. It’s frustrating, but it’s also the key to turning your perceptions around. If you start healing your own beliefs and start telling yourself a new story, it’s surprising how soon the new story becomes true for you. No longer do you have to believe that men have opportunities that women don’t, or that self promotion is something only shameless attention whores do.
Two: Remember that you are the source. If you ask yourself who you think the source is of money, energy, or whatever else in yourself, and you believe the answer is outside yourself, then you definitely have some work to do on refocusing.
Three: Try testing out the new stories you’re creating for yourself. Promote yourself out loud and see what happens. Do people accuse you of shameless self promotion? And if they do, does the world stop spinning? Some people will love what you do, and some people will hate it, but remember that they’re all projecting their own internal stories, too. What they think about you generally has very little to do with you, so don’t take it personally. Sometimes there’s a process of “getting over it” that can sting a bit at first. It means you have to face your fears, in this case promoting yourself, and stare at it until it isn’t such a big deal anymore. It may seem uncomfortable in the beginning, but as with any other anxiety, the longer you immerse yourself in it, the less anxious you become. You’ll heal your own insecurities, and soon self promotion will be no big deal anymore!