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Women and Self-Confidence

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2008-10-31-Trishflyingpigeon.jpgSelf-confidence, whether you are a woman or a man, affects all aspects of our lives, including our career, relationships, and our ability to bring in financial abundance. As a woman, I have been privy to many personal conversations with other women and I have found one thing in common over and over. Whether I am talking to a CEO, an accomplished writer, a financial smartypants, a stay-at-home mom, a healer or a woman juggling a variety of different roles, many women report a lack of their own self-worth and therefore low self-confidence.

So I wonder where does this lack of self-confidence come from and is there a chance we can change this?

I heard Debra Winger once say in an interview on NPR, "As women we often go invisible for awhile until we transition to the next thing." I can definitely relate to this as I have spent a lot of time "under the radar" as I tried to figure out what comes next.

As women, and for that matter, as humans, we are constantly evolving -- both as individuals and as a collective community. It is only natural that there are times that we have no idea what our next step may be. But does this mean that because we don't know which foot to put forward first that we cannot claim our space?

Throughout time women have held positions of power as queens, goddesses, rulers and spiritual leaders. Today, women navigate positions of power in government, business, the arts, athletics, the entertainment industry and the home -- but somewhere along the way for many women a sense of self-worth got left behind.

Where does self-worth come from? For many people -- spirituality and religion play a major role in their lives and their sense of self and their place in the world. In our Western culture, God, considered the Almighty, has been portrayed as a white male. God's reference as a "he" has dominated our consciousness. If God is the one who is considered the ultimate judge and the one we are to please and emulate, can women deep down inside ever feel truly worthy?

Before the time of the Christian God, there was the Mother Goddess. For 30,000 years (historians report) she ruled the land and looked after humanity, exemplifying ideals such as compassion, receptivity, and love. Eventually matriarchal society evolved to a patriarchal society and that is the paradigm within which we have been living for the past 2000 years.

Could it be that the absence of goddesses and female spiritual leaders has left an empty space for some women?

For me, it has. It has only been in the last couple of years that I started learning about goddesses beyond what we all learned in our Greek Mythology class. I have looked into goddesses from a variety of traditions -- Indian, Tibetan, African, Chinese, Celtic and so forth. As I learn about these goddesses and their qualities of wisdom, compassion, warrior strength, creativity and more, I notice my sense of self, self-worth and self-confidence beginning to take root. It is as if I am connecting to something very ancient that was erased from my consciousness, but now am finding once again.

I believe that as women, as we open to more of our inner feminine -- which includes a whole lot of power, compassion and wisdom -- we will begin to find our self-worth as individuals.

Where do you think self-worth and self-confidence come from? Is it different for men than it is for women? Does it come from an inner source, an outer source, a higher source or some combination?

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