The little girl who holds us back

I want to tell you about a little girl.

I hear her in my story coaching conversations with women from an array of industries. These are women who otherwise come across as confident, who are killing it in their industries. I hear it when I talk to 20-somethings and 70-somethings. People who work in technology, social justice, journalism, the arts. Solopreneurs, artists, business owners, designers, coaches, writers, managers, executives, CEOs and PhDs.

Across these conversations, almost all of them, I hear a little girl, who says, quietly:

“I’m sorry to bother you. I’m probably not worth it.”

Shes cunning, this girl, and has a lot of different ways of voicing this limiting belief. Sometimes she’ll say, “I don’t have any time to update LinkedIn.” Or “I have so many ideas, but no one would want to read articles about them.” Sometimes, it’s more like, “Now isn’t the right time to look for a new job” — and then years go by, and “it’s still not the right time.” Sometimes she voices a nearly manic attachment to goals, so many goals, as if only by excelling at external targets will she finally, exhaustingly, be worth it.

Oh, mighty women. Deep down, inside of us, we know this girl is the result of social, patriarchal conditioning. We know we are, indeed, enough. We do, indeed, deserve to take up space. For some of us, access to that truth is still blocked by layers of nonsense. And so, that is the work you must do: You must remove the nonsense. I’m not being glib. It’s not easy. But it is essential.

(Find out how my Jumpstart Your Vision program can help you get out of your own way and create the life you want — and find the words that will power you forward.)

I invite you to be the fullest expression of yourself. To share yourself unabashedly with the world, and to tell your story, so that you can find the people who are trying to find you, and open the door to the juiciest opportunities you can imagine. The opportunities you deserve.

The world needs the wisdom of women, not the fear of bullied little girls.

Lean into your wisdom. Lean into who you truly are.

You are a mighty force.

I’m on a mission to fill the world with women’s stories. I do this in two ways: As a writer, and as a story consultant and coach to women and women’s organizations. Learn more.

Writer and mother. On a mission to fill the world with stories that tell the truth about women—and with women who tell their stories.

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