“My dad always told me I was a bull in a china shop.”
She was looking down at her lap when she said that to me as if trying to shirk a shadow that had followed her for more than twenty-five years. I paused before I answered.
“Do you think it might be time for a new metaphor?”
When she looked up at me, I realized I was the first person to suggest that she could.
I have had the great pleasure of knowing many women who have been told, over and over again, that they are “too much.” Take it down a few notches, they are told, over and over and over again, in fourteen million different ways.
Men don’t like you because they feel like you’re stronger than them.
Women are intimidated by you.
You’re too opinionated, too loud, too direct, too sexy, too bossy, too bitchy, too emotional, too moody, too funny. Too much like a guy.
This is for all the amazing women who have been labeled “too much” their entire life by the small men and women who didn’t, or couldn’t, see you.
It’s time to burn that metaphor like a 70’s polyester bra.
You’re not too much. You probably haven’t shown the world nearly enough. We need you to be your strong, imperfect, direct, funny, brash, hilarious, sometimes intimidating self. We need you to surround yourself with people who don’t need to diminish you in order to feel more secure. We need your ideas, your vision, your leadership, your presence… all of it, 120 proof. If we need a chaser after being around you, that’s up to us to figure that out.
It might be time to stop taking care of people who can’t handle you. It might be time to stop applying for jobs and start your own company. It might be time to write the next book without the editor’s voice in the back of your mind telling you to soften your message.
Be a stay at home mom. Be the President of Harvard, or the United States, or your book club.
Stop saying sorry all the time.
You’ll need a tribe of people cheering you on as you do this because haters gonna hate. This tribe will cheer your every victory without the petty jealousy that has stifled your ambition. This tribe will get in your face when you actually are too much (and you’ll love them for it).
For many of you, the nonstop stories of sexual harassment, assault, and rape this last month have brought up memories that you’ve struggled to overcome for much of your life. You’ll need a tribe of people that you can rage with and heal with so that your true self can emerge and stand up straight.
Don’t know anyone like that?’
Let these words be the start of a conversation with a new tribe.
Purchase my new book, Whole: Restoring What’s Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World here!
I host a weekly podcast. I write books. I have a website. I am the pastor of a great little church. I am sometimes available to travel to hang with your tribe to help you all become more you. And yes, I do Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oh, and if you’d like to stay up to date with my writing and events and such, you can subscribe to my email list. There. We’re all caught up.