Remember the Enjoli commercial “I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan”? It was for an eight-hour perfume and featured a modern-day woman doing “all the things.”
In the end, she’s in an evening gown singing that she’s never going to let you forget “who I am” — a kick-ass-and-take-names feminist, the superwoman of the 1970s.
Talk about a great idea gone bad!
Growing up, my BFF and I played “house” in an imaginary office setting. We typed on the desks my grandfather had built into my room, smoked Bic pens, and tended to urgent work matters. But on our breaks, we planned our weddings because, underneath all that bravado, we knew our worth was ultimately tied to what men thought of us.
The problem with conditioning is that it becomes unconscious. We practice what we’ve been taught, memorize it, and ultimately self-perpetuate it through the voices in our heads and the subsequent daily choices we make.
When women were granted the freedom to enter the professional world, they took their silent beliefs that they were inferior. In this sense, women’s liberation was not liberating.
If you unconsciously believe that you’re unworthy, you’ll bring that conditioning anywhere you go, no matter how good you look. You’ll believe you’re unworthy, behave like you’re unworthy, and feel unworthy. When you believe, behave and feel in any manner, you create your life experience regardless of outside factors.
Enter an epidemic of burnt-out women who over-work, over-function, overcommit, and even over-indulge, all to combat feeling under-appreciated, under-seen, under-validated, and invisible. We are killing ourselves (quite literally) to prove our worth to the outside world – a world filled with opinions over which we have zero control.
I’m guessing you’ve mastered bringing home the bacon, frying it in a pan, and managing to smell like perfume instead of bacon grease, thereby satisfying everyone around you.
Also, if you have done this, I’m wagering you feel like a hot mess.
Women’s liberation is an inside job. That’s the title of my TEDx. I’ve spent three years getting this idea to the stage, and it’s almost out! May I ask that you share it widely? May I ask that you take it to heart, that you adopt its principles, and be part of a movement to understand what true liberation feels like?
When you see yourself doing something you don’t want to do because you feel guilty, speaking derogatory words about yourself, or thinking you’re needs are selfish, ask what someone who was worthy would think, say, or do about said situation.
When you recondition yourself to become THAT person, the one who seeks to own her worth rather than prove it, no one else has the power to give you freedom, and no one other than you has the power to take it away.