Stop Shrinking To Fit People. Have you ever made yourself smaller, so a man could feel more comfortable or masculine around you? What would happen if you didn’t shrink, but stood comfortably confident with your size, your “bigness:”, your success? Would he disapprove of you,try to topple you, or do something to make you feel smaller, so he could feel like a man? This happens to me all the time, but now I refuse to shrink. Instead I let them feel uncomfortable. It is a sign of who they are, it has nothing to do with me. Their discomfort is valuable information about who they are on the inside.
Aside from women shrinking to accommodate men, we also shrink to accommodate other people. We shrink in the workplace, so everyone feels comfortable around us. We are afraid to appear bossy, so we shrink to the level of people we are trying to manage, so they don’t feel threatened by us. We shrink to appear less threatening to other women, because we want to be liked, we want to fit in, and we brush our accomplishments under the carpet, so no one thinks we are greedy, overly ambitious, the haves in a world of have nots. We shrink to our parents, we shrink to toxic people who demand we respect their position, we even shrink to situations and relationships, hoping that they won’t change. Have you ever shrunk to prevent from losing someone or a group of people? You outgrow your friends, but you feel loyal to them So you are afraid to move on and spread your wings, because it feels warm and fuzzy in this crowded nest.
Life is about growth, We all have to spread our wings and fly at some point. But, most of us wait until we are kicked out f the nest, until circumstances no longer allow us to remain the same, until change becomes so inevitable, that the universe (or whatever power you believe in), comes in to sweep all that we know away, and force us into letting go, and moving on. We are all shrinking in some aspects of our lives, and it is probably those areas that will bring the most painful lessons.
You are not meant to be small, you are meant to grow, expand, take up more space, speak up, grow your confidence, so that you can inspire others. How could you be of service to others if you hide all the lessons you learned? How could you empower others, if you shy away from letting them see your power? What is there to learn from you? A lot of women automatically downplay their successes. But, I won’t judge you for being a super woman, I want to learn from you. If you can succeed, so can I. If you have a skill or a power that I am lacking, please teach me. Why are we afraid to be big? Why are we afraid to take up space? Why is that so offensive to some?
I keep mental score of who my friends are, and I see that all my girlfriends are highly, highly educated, experts in their fields, while others are super-motivated, entrepreneurial, for them money just pours into their lives. But, when I ask to talk about their successes, and some are silent moguls, nobody wants to talk, or proudly state I AM. Among the men in my friends circle, they too are smart, but they take up a lot of space, much more than they earned. In fact, they take up the space that women leave empty. In my office, men embellish what they do, continuously expand their roles, even when nobody changes their title. They are always talking more than they are actually doing. And you know what, people believe them. They eventually take those roles they have been talking about, simply because no one else went for it.
Are women really meant to be smaller? I don’t think so. This is our program, our social and cultural conditioning. But, I firmly believe that those who know themselves are Goddesses. Knowing yourself means being in total awareness of all your power, being proud of who you are, and taking up your well-deserved space. I see the discomfort a lot of women feel when a man is displeased with how much room she has taken. How dare she? There are names for women who think too highly of themselves. But, years ago I realized how much of my own power I gave away, shrinking to be less threatening to men. I seem to not threaten women at all, but I piss off men easily. Why? I refuse to shrink, I refuse to bow down, I refuse to accommodate their demands that I move, I never stroke their ego, I refuse to submit, I don’t budge. I have been practicing taking up space in two situations, around men who approach me in terms of dating, and around men in my office for about 7 years now. Here is what I found.
- There are two kinds of men, the ones who are threatened, and the ones who are not. The threatened ones will judge me, call me names, try to make me feel uncomfortable, whine, wage war, try to destroy my career or reputation, sabotage my work., and are absolutely belligerent. I let them be that. By allowing them to be, everybody gets to see them. The non-threatened men, are highly attracted to me. They follow me around for years, they stick to me like magnets, they won’t leave me alone. I am not doing this to attract them, but I see that I get all of their respect. Some of these men have followed me to other countries, just to get a chance with me. I am comfortable being bigger than a lot of men. I never apologize for that.
- If you get comfortable being bigger, and truly start to appreciate who you are, freely talk about your accomplishments, from an authentic and genuine place (not to gloat, but to share), you will free yourself from the fear of being judged and disapproved. That is a very powerful feeling. No one could make you feel smaller, when you proudly take up all the space that you have earned. They will test you, especially the men, but you won’t apologize for your space, nor will you give them an ego stroke, when they are demanding to be validated.
- We all admire people who seem to be bigger than us. But a lot of big women aren’t comfortable being admired. They shrink to avoid the positive attention, as much to avoid the negative. You have to stop arguing for your smallness. Yes, in the workplace a lot of women refuse the spotlight even when they have earned it better than anyone else. I recently watched one of the brainiest consultants I know, refuse to get up on stage and be acknowledged for a $50 mil contract she secured, so a man took the mike, got up on stage, said three words to thank her, than took up the space that she refused to take. I felt cheated for her. I was looking forward to finally see one of the hardest working people I know finally get recognition, and she chose to keep sitting down. I even told her that I wish she proudly took up the space because I wanted to see her in it. I don’t mean to judge women, I know how hard it is to stand up and stand behind our own work, but I wish that more of us would stop being afraid of being the super women that we are. Instead we let the man lead the parade.
- There are severe consequences to all of us for handing over our well-earned glory to people, or men who have not earned it. It is submission to something smaller than us. This is a form of self-disregard, lack or respect for the self, and we have to stop doing it to ourselves. Now one will give us power for being good little girls, we earn power and then we keep it. I don’t know where we learned that we earn power than give it away to other people so they could feel good about themselves.
How many years of my life did I waste building up the manhood of men who had none, so that they could feel like a man around me? I wrote a lot about that, so I won’t go into it here. But we are shoveling our power away, giving space to people trying to accommodate them, shrinking rather than being who we have grown into.
If you have anyone in your life who is disrespecting you, taking up more space than they earned, threatening, using you, or taking advantage in any way, it is because you have allowed them to believe they can. It doesn’t matter if this is a lover, a boss, or a parent. You are here to be powerful. There is no shame in being a powerful woman. There is shame in shoveling your Goddess power away. Take your space that you have earned. In fact, this is one of your purposes in life. You must know who you are, become comfortable with that, stop apologizing for it, and giving your power away. I know it is daunting to push people aside so you can take up all the space that you have earned. But you will never feel like a Goddess, unless you are comfortable and proud of all that you are.This is not something you do over night, but practice, practice, practice. What areas of your life do you feel powerless in? That is exactly where you begin.