why women fear being seen thais sky

Many of my clients come to me wanting to feel more authentic and embodied in their lives. They want to be seen for their message, step into leadership, speak their truth in their careers/businesses and put themselves out there in a bigger way.

Being seen, taking up space, sharing our opinions confidently when we are a minority… these are all necessary skills women need to have if we are to continue to increase our affluence in the world.

This quote from the documentary The Ascent of Women shakes me every time, “There seems no end to the determination to keep women invisible and powerless, and to justify it as the will of God, of nature, of common sense.”

There is no better time than now for women to collectively rise up. In fact, rising up is key to women’s liberation. No one is going to save us.

But fears inevitably come up like, “what will people think?” and, “who am I to say anything?” and, “what if I do it wrong and get called out?”

Beneath all of these fears, I’ve found, lie one common thread, a deep heartbreaking confession of, “what if I am not lovable?”

It’s like we are are terrified that the truth of who we are is not lovable or acceptable and that if people were to really see us… they would see this truth. And that terrifies us.

Where does this fear come from?

While there are obviously a myriad of reasons for this fear, I want to dive into one particular facet of our healing that I have consistently seen to be the answer for this lovability question.

Many of us carry a deep wound derived from our unmet need of unconditional love from our caregivers. I have spoken at great lengths about this on my post on emotional healing, which you can read HERE.

What is interesting is that one of the greatest wounds daughters carry is the mother wound.

Bethany Webster, a mother wound “expert”, shares the definition of mother wound as: …the pain of being a woman passed down through generations of women in patriarchal cultures. And it includes the dysfunctional coping mechanisms that are used to process that pain.

Our mothers, or the predominant female figure that helped raise us, carried her own inadequacies and images {a set of deeply unconscious beliefs, conclusions and stories that are formed in childhood in response to uncomfortable experiences and feelings} that then gets perpetuated in our being.

Her unlovability affects ours.

As you can imagine, these wounds are difficult to bear for a child… rationalizing that our mother cannot love us unconditionally because of her limitations is a concept that far exceeds the child’s capacity of understanding.

So, in our limited knowledge of handling these things, we internalize the image that we are unlovable. That there is something deeply wrong with us. That we are broken.

As we age, we become afraid that the truth of who we are will not be acceptable. So we numb ourselves by developing defensive mechanisms and disconnecting ourselves from our body.

If we want to begin to heal our image about lovability, stop the pattern of mother wounds in our lineage and start feeling confident in our voices, we must address this wound head on.

One method that I have seen to be highly effective to begin the journey of healing is to ground ourselves into our physical body.

Our physical body is not only deeply connected to our emotions and our unconscious mind {where these images and wounds are stored}, but it also holds all the trauma and experiences we have faced. If we want to begin to untangle our lives, this is the best way to begin.

It can feel uncomfortable and awkward to start feeling into our bodies once more. But when we do, we will find that the body holds a tremendous amount of wisdom and forgiveness.

During the height of my binge eating, I realized the physical expansion that was unfolding as a result of my uncontrollable food consumption was my body’s way of rebelling against my narrow existence.

When I tried out yoga for the first time… I was amazed at how yoga gave me the freedom to separate, even for just a millisecond, the never ceasing thoughts in my head and connect to the rhythmic sensations of my physical body. It changed everything.

What I understood in that moment and what I have seen in my clients again and again is that when we can create a sense of safety within ourselves, when we can befriend our body and everything that comes with it, we begin to cultivate the resilience necessary to bounce back from feedback and imperfection.

This capacity radically shifts our fears. Why would we be afraid of what other people think if we fully accepted ourselves? Why would it matter if we did it wrong if mistakes were not an indication that there was something wrong with us?

Tools you can use to begin exploring the physical body includes things like yoga, tai chi, capoeira, body sensation meditations… anything that involves activity of the body and mindfulness.

As we learn to hold space for ourselves, you will be amazed at how much more confident, authentic and capable you will feel... and how much more impact you can make.

If women are going to effectively and powerfully rise... we've got to rise rooted. Embodied leadership is key.

Grounding in our bodies, healing the mother wound, holding space for our emotions... it's all a part of the revolution. Let us begin.

To your worth,