We women often live for others, and it starts from a very early age. It starts right from when you are a little girl and first learn that certain behaviours bring the praise "good girl" and other behaviours lead to silence, or "bad girl" or in some cases much, much worse. Lessons are learned about how to be valued and our role in family and society. We realize that when we make someone else feel good or at least meet their needs when we "fill them up", we are doing our job, and when we don't, we have "failed".
Failure to make our loved ones love us brings negative and primal emotions like fear and shame. These two emotions are driving forces in nature. All of us have fear, and all of us hold shame: both men and women, but research shows that women have a higher proportion of shame than men. This is a fascinating article that you might want to explore, Women, Shame, and Mental Health: A Systematic Review of Approaches in Psychotherapy by Vienna Miller-Prieve. It supports this unfortunate fact: shame is our issue.
Women hold shame as if it is our own unique secret. That is the thing with shame- it makes you feel dirty – wrong – broken and inadequate.
There is a distinction between guilt and shame: guilt is about WHAT you have done, and shame is about WHO you are. Women internalize shame. It literally becomes part of us. We feel shameful.
So many women feel it and think that they are the only ones who do. It is so powerful because it is such a dark, secret emotion. Instead of sharing the burden, we hide it, bury it, let no one know how broken we are. We become isolated and disconnected from each other and even more disconnected from ourselves. To avoid the pain and the shame of it, we look only to the external world for our answers: "Am I ok?", "Am I doing this right?", "Am I pretty?", "Am I smart?", "Am I enough?" "Who am I?" "Do I belong?"
Eventually, at some point along our journey, if we are lucky, we wake up. A marriage breaks up, the death of a parent, or the loss of a job might be the catalyst that snaps us out of our slumber. We realize that we have been numb and silent for most of our life.
We have avoided the pain of shame, maybe (probably not) but we have also avoided our own inner voice, inner wisdom and knowing, purpose and our own life. We have been living through others and for others. This can be a traumatic awakening.
YOU FEEL LOST
Now what? Now that you are awake. You will most likely want to do things differently. Many women try to do this on their own and then end up frustrated and confused. They realize that there is more to life and deserve to live their own dreams, but they don't know what that means. There's a big difference between having a vague sense of "something more" and having a purpose with a step by step plan to get you there. That is what working with a life coach brings. Working together you get a crystal clear vision of what you want and why you want it.
THEY ARE NOT ON YOUR SIDE
As women, we have hoops circling in the air all around us at any given time: friends, parents, children, partners, employers, co-workers, church groups, community groups all depending on us to keep doing the things that we have always done. We serve.
We give. We make others the priority. When we are ready to change that it is scary for us, and you can believe, it is scary for them. Even ones who love us deeply will become our biggest obstacles.
They are not on our side when we are trying to stop doing things the same. The "same" has been working for them; why would they want it to change.
It is totally understandable. There is not necessarily any malice in the people around you wanting you to stay exactly as you are, but it serves their needs. It is human nature. One client had an eye-opener when she was trying to enlist a family member to reach one of her independence goals. Buying a car, she'd decided on a make and model that suited her perfectly but was getting a lot of push back from her brother. The family member continued to urge her to think about all of the benefits of an SUV. It dawned on her that he saw her as the "designated driver" for their ageing mother. He wanted to ensure that she would be able to easily get in and out of a vehicle. He had bought a sporty little car for himself because he saw my client as "responsible" for their mother's care.
A life coach does not depend on you to stay the same to feel safe. In fact, just the opposite. As a life coach, I am rooting for you to change if that is your goal! A life coach is not manipulating you to achieve a goal to meet their need! Your goal is THE goal.
FIND YOUR OWN ANSWERS
As a matter of fact, I won't give you the answer at all. Most women have been told what to do – a lot.
Every time you say you have a problem, someone is ready to swoop in with an answer or advice on how to fix it, or how to fix YOU. You are not broken! You have stuff in the way, sure. There are negative and limiting beliefs that have gotten in the way and created fears and doubts that keep you stuck in unhealthy, unhappy, and unsatisfying patterns in your life. Let's clear those up!
As a life coach, I help guide you within to where you have the answers. You know where it started, and you know what is needed. I will help you release the negative energy to see and hear your own vision and voice clearly. You can tap into the truth and purpose that the divine has placed in your heart and soul. The Universe has given you everything that you require. It is all within you right now. You are a manifestation of spirit and filled with unconditional love and light. I will guide you to rediscover the goddess that resides in you and in every woman.
Through meditation and visualization, you learn to quiet your mind, concentrate, see, hear, and say what you uniquely need. This is your journey. As your life coach, I am honoured to join you on it.
I KNOW YOUR STRUGGLE
I walk this path myself.
I had my own awakening many years ago, and at first, I tried to do the transformative work on my own. It's just not possible. I read and watched so many things, and yet without someone to hold me accountable, call me on my bullshit and lead me deeper into myself, I could not gain the necessary perspective. I needed a life coach to take me into the places I had been avoiding and help me past the fear. The journey changed me and opened me to all the beautiful possibilities in a life lived with a clear vision, purpose, confidence, love and light.
Having a life coach that still does their work is so important. My clients deserve that. When I am grounded, centred, and make myself a priority, I can ask powerful questions, see the most intuitively, give the most openly. By practising my own daily meditation, staying true to my vision, focusing on my goals and an open heart, I remain aligned with my purpose.
I help women become extraordinary women because I am an extraordinary woman.
LIVE IN COMPASSION
The final reason to work with a life coach is to heal your heart with compassion. Find a life coach with who you resonate on a soul level. Compassion and self-compassion are the keys to releasing shame. We can be so hard on ourselves as women. Others see our beauty, strength, and intelligence long before we do. Start paying attention to the harsh, critical words you say to yourself and begin the process to re-program to a more loving, kinder way of speaking to yourself.
When I work with women, this is one of the first things I address. It is so rampant, this way of talking badly to ourselves that we sometimes don't even realize it. I point out the pattern in our conversation and ask that you begin to keep track in a journal of any patterns you notice. Then we will work together to create your own unique affirmations. You deserve to start to see yourself as I see you: beautiful, divinely designed, amazing and capable of achieving every goal you desire. None of us is perfect, and yet you are perfection and worthy of love exactly as you are.
If you are ready to work with a women's life coach now, I'd love to connect. Let's talk in a free 30-minute session and see if we are a good fit.
Fiona Bennett, Women's Life Coach, Educator & Energy Healer
Life Learning Strategies