Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda on Sex in the City, recalled her experiences as a female growing up with a mother who constantly told her not to speak up in a recent issue of “O Magazine.” As many of us can relate, Nixon says she has paid a high price for not speaking her truth.
Nixon says she has finally learned to speak up and to let go of the outcome—she believes the key is to honor your voice. It’s not about getting your way or proving another wrong—it’s about being powerful!
In my early 30s, I had a coach who worked and worked with me on my communication skills. She consistently asked, What do you want? I wanted it all – to be a great mom to my children, a marriage that worked, and a prosperous career where I was happy and fulfilled. I wanted the American Dream! I had a vision for my life, but deep down, I secretly didn’t believe I could have it all.
My coach helped me exit relationships that were draining and reinforcing my low self image, and she encouraged me to go for what I wanted and to advance my life. She supported me in speaking my truth. She was the first person I trusted and revealed the intricacies of how my brain processed things.
I remember how great it felt! She never tried to fix how I thought; she accepted and validated my thinking. She helped me to see other perspectives, but didn’t make me wrong when I couldn’t see things another way. She just kept presenting more empowering ways of viewing things. She loved and accepted me when I couldn’t love and accept myself, and worked to show me how to listen and trust myself.
One of the big frustrations women experience is we are made wrong for being more complicated or “deeper” than men. I was talking to a woman whose 15-year-old son engaged her in a conversation about women and girls because he had been interested in a few girls romantically. Two things were clear to him: First, women are a lot smarter than men—they are more insightful and mature. Second, women are more complicated than men—that’s why they have more drama than men.
Well put! We need to understand and honor these differences. Women do think deeply and see “the invisible” when it comes to life, emotions, and meaning. When women are honored for this instead of made wrong, we learn how to manage this part of being female and live more powerfully. Being powerful can be tricky – it can mean being independent, in control, and selfsufficient, and yet women are often criticized for being this way when others feel threatened by it. Some people think “being powerful” means you can’t have a vulnerable side, causing women to feel like they have to hide their vulnerabilities or risk losing credibility.
If we’re vulnerable, we’re weak, and if we’re confident, we’re witches—or worse. One minute we feel incredible, passionate and powerful, the next, we’re doubting ourselves and feeling guilty for other’s inability to deal with our power, like when we choose to honor ourselves first—risking resentment or other criticism from the people that we love.
Meet Jane. Jane is our soul’s guardian. She knows what to say, believes in us, is supportive of our endeavors and our pursuit of our dreams. When we feel backed into a corner or wracked by guilt and self-doubt, we can call on our alter ego, Jane, to reconnect us to the empowered woman we are underneath the guilt and feelings of unworthiness. Jane supports us and reminds us to trust our inner “knowingness” to guide our lives. Jane gives us full permission to be our brilliant, powerful best!
What would Jane say? is a powerful question we can ask to simplify our complexities and find a more empowered place from which to make decisions, honor our emotions, and find balance so they don’t “do the driving.”
When you are experiencing self doubt, lacking courage to speak up, or feeling guilty by what others say, think and feel, ask yourself, What would Jane say? Then, let the answer come to you from your inner Jane. Jane says:
1. Speak up! Speak your truth with dignity. She gives us permission to honor ourselves and our voice.
2. Girl, go for it!!! She reminds us of our abilities and encourages us to pursue our passions and our dreams
3. Let it go, it’s not worth your time and attention. Move on, and keep up the good work! She reminds us not to take things personally or to allow our feelings to be bruised by someone’s words or actions.
4. Be proud of yourself and all you have accomplished! She changes our focus from the insecurities that diminish us to our accomplishments and all that we have overcome.
5. Girl, you’re bigger than that, let it go and move on to what will make a difference! She reminds us to ignore distractions and to keep moving toward our dreams.
You are powerful and brilliant, and you deserve your dreams. GO FOR IT!