Give Yourself Some Credit

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Often, as women, we want other people to give us credit for our work because we’re too scared to give it to ourselves.

I remember a good friend of mine telling me how she helped out her partner for years with his music career, even providing for him the space where he wrote, composed and recorded demos of all of his songs for an album that would be released two years later.  My friend did not get a credit or even a thank you on his album, even though her cat and neighbours were both thanked on the album back cover! Another friend of mine told me that her mom had helped her dad with the writing of his first book, way back in the early 70s. She edited the entire manuscript and was instrumental in the realisation of his vision, but she did not get a mention in the acknowledgements section at all. As you can imagine, that relationship dissolved shortly thereafter.

Women are nurturers and supporters at our core, often we are so used to nurturing other people’s dreams that we forget about our own.  When things fall apart, more often than not, we walk away without taking with us what is our fair share.  We can spend years nurturing a family, but when it falls apart, can go from a very healthy middle class lifestyle into poverty.  It still amazes me that there are no old-age benefits for women who spend their youth raising children and outside of the work force. We are often left vulnerable when or working partners remain quite protected financially.  We shouldn’t have to depend on a relationship for our financial well being and security, but our society is still set up this way.

We are still operating in an old paradigm of relationships that absolutely must change if we want to move into a society based on real equality. But the onus is primarily on women to protect what is rightfully ours and to evolve to a place of real confidence where we are able to take credit for our accomplishments without feeling ashamed or abashed.

A friend last night told me that she is afraid of getting into taxis. She feels like she could “just disappear”, while being driven by a stranger. This is such an interesting phobia, and one I can relate to.  If you have this kind of fear, look very closely and see if there is a part of you that has already disappeared.  We disappear every single time we don’t speak up when we have something to say, or don’t take credit when our credit is due, or don’t tell our story when it begs to be told, or spend time around or give our energies to people who don’t acknowledge our contributions, but who rather, ignore them, minimize them or deny them altogether.  What you fear the most is usually a poignant indication of what may already be happening to you!

Through my Byron Katie exercises, I have noticed a deep longing to be given credit for my contributions and talents and vision.  How can I expect other people to give me credit when I will not even give it to myself?

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