When you live in a country for 20+years, it's likely that alongside all the great things you've learnt, you've also adopted the limiting beliefs of your culture. You get conditioned by the cultural limitations, the society's assumptions of what's possible and the upper limit of possibilities of the people around you!
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with our country India specifically. But I decided to write a post for us Indian women specifically, so it would give us a chance to deeply understand how these limitations affect us on a daily basis. So we could consciously choose how we want to move forward.
As you know I am a big believer of reaching inside and touching the pain within. Of understanding it fully so the release can be deep and lasting. Which is why instead of talking about empowerment for Indian women first, I'd rather understand what's going on inside us.
There are tons of fears we face as a fraternity of women across the world. We are familiar with some, unfamiliar with many and in the process of discovering many of them. BUT, when it comes to the woman in our country there are some specific ones that we are all familiar with! And it's time we examined them well, understood them fully and slowly untied the knots that are keeping us stuck in the cycle of fear led assumptions.
Whether you're a working woman or a home maker, you are really conscious about being approved by your mother-in-law and the husband's family in general.
You are plagued by the unconscious fear of being too big for your shoes.
You feel the need to justify your ambition to the people around you.
You are secretly worried about overstepping on someone's (very delicate and sensitive!) toes.
You want to travel but you haven't seen anyone around you doing it and you don't have the courage or the exposure to know where to start
You want to create a life that looks very different from what yours is right now, but you have no clue where or how to get started!
You love the idea of pursuing nature sports, wildlife, adventure trips but it seems too far fetched.
You are judged by at least some women around you for being too 'pushy' 'ambitious' 'career oriented' 'dominating' 'uncaring' 'demanding' 'assertive' and the list goes on.
While there are tons of women out there breaking barriers, moving forward without previous precedent to worry them there are still tons out there who are still held back by these and many other fears.
Another fear that I find is way too common is the fear of being disliked. Fear of not being able to please your partner, in-laws, children, colleagues, friends and relatives.
Because we are brought up very strongly on the notion of being a 'good girl' it seeps into our bones that we are responsible for the happiness of the people around us. When we don't pause to take care of that, we feel guilty about it!
What fears do you secretly harbour as a girl born and brought up in this country?
Here's a poem about one Indian girl that sums up the limitations in her mind and the fears that she is brought up around:
You let her wear the fitted jeans And dance about to the latest beat
You adorned her every chance you got And encouraged her to be the best throughout
But when she allowed a dream to take seed You told yourself she shouldn't fly
What if she didn't fit in After all What if she shined too bright?
She wouldn't be loved She wouldn't be heard
Instead of all the pain she'd then have to feel it's certainly better For you to right away begin to clip her wings
After all you're raising her to go be part of another one's house The aim is to make her adapt
To train her mind to be inconsequential To be the fabric that shines And adds beauty to the house
Doesn't move too much Doesn't create a ruckus Doesn't make things unpleasant within or without
You just wish for her to gel in Be part of the crowd Be pleasing And most importantly stay within limits
She wants to study, fine Do it within the city Just Stay closeby You want a job That's alright
But don't come telling me your heart prods you to now keep growing without limits
You don't want anyone to be able to point fingers at her Say mean things that aren't really true Even though you know her with all your heart
You're afraid of what this world will make of her
Afraid You are And afraid You will be
Whether it means You need to be a hurdle to her dream Protect her thus You will
Not stimulate her brain too much Not give her a level playing ground Not open up the world for her to create Her dreams with
Here's the dotted line C'mon now let's follow through If she stumbles and fall Because it's alien to her You will pick her up and remind her to go follow through
Smile now I am clicking your picture All I want is for you to be happy
As you walk on this line charted for you
For this line is the path To your happiness And To My pride And hard earned respect
Do me proud, stay on the path C'mon now please don't let me down! All I want is for you to be happy after all!
P.S: In the 30 Day Passion + Purpose program we examine these and other fears that we are all in the midst of and understand how to stop operating unconsciously from these blind spots. When you take up this program, you will no longer be held back by these unconscious fears and have to suffer from a limited mindset that affects your success! The next round begins 21st of April, have you registered yet? Click here for details and registration!