Dare to be powerful: embracing your "muchness"

A few years ago, a friend sent me an article titled “I Am A ‘Too Much’ Woman”. I felt that the article described me to a T. I’m proud of my “too muchness” but recently, I’ve noticed that I and the other women in my life often shy away from our “muchness.” We make ourselves small in order to take up less space.

We do so physically, through our posture and stance, and verbally, by cutting ourselves off or making ourselves less “threatening” by seeming and thereby becoming less sure of ourselves. When answering questions, we start off with “I’m not sure if this is right, but…”. When expressing our opinions or wants, we’re quick to cut ourselves off with “never mind” at the first sight of misunderstanding or opposition.

We undermine our own authority in order to cater to others, for fear of portraying ourselves as the powerful women we are--because powerful women are time and time again ridiculed and made to feel lesser.

Photos by  Becca Xu

Photos by Becca Xu

We live in a patriarchal society that values men and masculinity over woman and femininity. Powerful women are feared by others, and thus, they’re punished. So today, I dare you to stand up to this bullshit by loving yourself and all that you are.

I dare you to love yourself and all that you are.

Jot down a few things you love about yourself. Aim for at least five. Maybe one is physical, but another is your spirit, another is your intelligence, another is your ability to love others unconditionally. They’re your muchness. (Let me know what you wrote in the comments!)

Whenever you feel unsure of yourself, go back to this list. Tell yourself how incredible you are and dare to believe in your own power. Start to notice when you cut yourself off or apologize for insignificant things, and eventually, you’ll catch yourself before it happens and stop doing it altogether. That in itself will help you believe in your own power and convince others of it.

Photos by  Becca Xu

Photos by Becca Xu

Here’s part two of my dare: Break one power reducing habit of yours. Look at the questions below and see if any of these resonate with you. Otherwise, come up with a habit yourself.

  1. How many times have I apologized today? This week? What did I apologize for?

  2. How many times did I offer a thought but begin it with, “I’m not sure if this is right, but…”

  3. How many times did I cut myself off and say “Never mind, it’s fine.” when I really didn’t mean that?

  4. How many times did I make myself smaller for someone else’s convenience?

Photos by  Becca Xu

Photos by Becca Xu

Drop me a comment and let me know what habit of yours you intend to break! Spend some time, perhaps a week, simply noticing and taking note of when you fall into that habit. What kind of situations and people trigger it? How do you feel afterward? After some time, you’ll be able to catch yourself before you actually do it. Eventually, you can eliminate that habit altogether and be on your way to embracing your “muchness” and power.