I recently had the pleasure of attending an event in my university where I got to meet other young women like me who were interested in (what you might call a cliche) "making a difference in the world". Now these were all beautiful, very talented, very capable women who were incredibly driven and career-minded. I was very excited to meet all of of them and had an opportunity to do a quick "speed date" with each one. The speed-date was supposed to leave everyone more comfortable and knowledgeable of each other.
Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect on me: I found myself feeling more uncomfortable as time wore on, and by the end of it, still felt like I didn't know SQUAT about these ladies.
It wasn't because they were 'awkward' or intentionally making things 'uncomfortable'; in fact, they were all brilliant! The only problem was that they FED me their brilliance, but left me wondering if they believed it themselves.
I knew something was wrong when the first person I met immediately launched into a long list of her past achievements, co-op experiences etc. which had me truly impressed, but left me wondering: "That's nice ... But what's your name?" She'd been so preoccupied with proving herself to me that she forgot to tell me the most important thing about her!
Unfortunately, this pattern went on with most of the women I met. I was honestly overwhelmed; what started out as an invigorating night wound up incredibly suffocating. I felt like I was talking to a bunch of WALKING RESUMES rather than HUMAN BEINGS. I learned a lot about their achievements, but not a thing about who they actually were.
I craved for more. I wanted to know what they valued, what inspired them, what made them so passionate and driven! But instead I got a list of qualifications.
Behind all this self-promotion, I sensed something deeper going on, a revelation that is true for ALL of us women, including myself. In everything we do, there seems to be a desperate voice screaming: "DO YOU SEE MY VALUE YET?" It's like we're all striving to PROVE ourselves--without realizing that we don't HAVE anything to prove!
The problem is that we act as if our entire self-worth is dependent on the opinion of others, instead of realizing that our self-worth is innate, unchangeable, non-negotiable. Instead of true peace, we are restless, constantly striving for significance rather than just basking in what's already ours! On the surface we proclaim all the things that make us worthwhile human beings, but in our eyes are question marks.
And what's up with all the question marks??? It's like we can't feel great about ourselves until we reach perfection. Whatever happened to authenticity? What makes us think we have to have everything together before finally feeling worthy? We get so caught up with maintaining an illusion of perfection, refusing to reveal anything that makes us vulnerable and REAL -- eliminating any chance for us to truly connect with one another on a human basis. How can we, when we're all pretending to be WALKING RESUMES?
I understand that there are times and places where we really must promote ourselves, like in job interviews etc. But we don't have to be this way 24/7.
So my challenge for us is to step back, breathe, and just BE. Achievements tell a great deal about what we've done, but they don't necessarily tell the whole story of who we are. I suggest giving other aspects of ourselves--like our values, our beliefs, our dreams, our inspirations--some voice too!
Before trying to convince others of our significance, why not convince ourselves first? Maybe if we give ourselves a chance to realize that we are valuable people AS WE ARE, even when we lack perfection, we can finally be fully HUMAN and fully BEAUTIFUL.
So -- no more "Walking Resumes", yeah?
WHERE 'YOU' COME IN ...
Now don't let me do all the talking. If you've got insights to add or any experiences to share, PLEASE COMMENT BELOW (click on the 'comments' link)! This blog is a conversation, not a monologue. Let's start some #REALTALK