Women Are Already Good Enough #2: You Are Valuable

Thursday, November 19, 2015

On Tuesday November, 3, 2015, I had the privilege of attending, You're Already Good Enough, a free conference put on by the Utah Women and Leadership Project. They've had a few of these over the past year, and this is the second one I've attended. The first was about more confident speaking which I wrote about here. This one was all about how Utah and the United States have an unhealthy fascination with perfection that leads to unhappiness, mental health issues, eating disorders, and a myriad of other problems. The conference was a panel of 5 women, Drs. Susan Madsen, Julie de Azevedo-Hanks, Kris Doty, Julie Clark, and Ruth Gerritsen-McKane, and they discussed a variety of women's issues regarding perfectionism in our culture. 

A lot of what they say applies directly to the Utah culture fueled by Mormonism, but I'm sure other highly religious areas will have similar issues. A link to the full panel discussion video is at the bottom of this post. Grab some snacks, and your sisters, mom, grandmas, aunts, daughters and girlfriends and get together to watch it. There were men in the audience, so feel free to invite them, too! I left that night feeling empowered, and appreciative of all the women in my life. I'll be sharing my favorite topics from the conference in a series of posts. 

Women Are Already Good Enough #2: You Are Valuable / THE JOY BLOG - The second installment in my series on Women Are Already Good Enough. This post touches on our value as people, and how it isn't defined by flawless living.

#2 OUR VALUE IS INFINITE.

The second topic I want to discuss from the conference, is the topic of our intrinsic value.

It is normal to want to be liked, want to be successful, want to be cool, or want to be popular.  It's common to feel stupid, inadequate, less than, or dumb. Often we assume other people feel this way about us, and we might be right, but more often, we're wrong. One thing that we all need to be careful of doing is mind reading, because we really don't know what the other person is thinking. Often, what we're really doing is projecting our own insecurities onto the other person. The best method to handling these situations is, "If in doubt check it out." If you want to know if they're thinking something negative, just ask. If you don't want to go that far, then it should be let go. It's not your business what other people think of you. Those are their thoughts, not yours. Shrug it off, it's likely they're not thinking about it at all. 

There's a common issue that arises in our highly religious culture here in Utah. Pride is taught to us as a "sin", and there are teachings in the LDS church (as well as other religions, I'm sure) that specify to "be ye therefore humble." So often  this makes people leery of being proud of their accomplishments, and of who they are. Being humble doesn't mean putting yourself down. Humility is owning your strengths and talents and not making it mean you're better than others but acknowledging your greatness and achievements.

Our highly religious culture tends to breed competition with each other. Often it seems that people around here are regularly trying to show that they can do it all, they can live the busy career life, raise the perfect kids, have the perfect marriage, and be the ever faithful and devout religious person. It's enough to make anybody want to crawl into their bed and never leave the blankets. How can you keep up with that life? You can't. It seems sometimes that if you can't make all of this happen, you're less worthy of a person. The whole idea is completely false.

Women Are Already Good Enough #2: You Are Valuable / THE JOY BLOG - The second installment in my series on Women Are Already Good Enough. This post touches on our value as people, and how it isn't defined by flawless living.

Self worth does not equal performance. You are valuable because you exist, not because your performance is flawless.


On body image:

My favorite example in the entire panel, was the example story given at 34 minutes into the video about the Argentinians introducing her as fat. She looked deep down and said, "Yeah, I am fat, but it isn't an insult. It's a fact. It's part of me and I can accept that it doesn't have to be a negative thing." Her approach to this is mind-boggling. I loved everything she said, and it made so much sense, but even as I sit here and write my thoughts, it makes me uncomfortable to declare that she is fat. Our culture has conditioned us to determine that as an insult, and to avoid that term. Yet, in other cultures, it's not an insult, it's just the truth. "The truth of life doesn't have to be an insult. Things are what they are and SO WHAT?"

Isn't that excellent advice? Things are what they are, and SO WHAT? I love that. It is a motto I intend to adopt for a lot of other circumstances in my life.

So, guys remember, things are what they are, and that's ok. Also, remember you are valuable because you exist, not because of your performance in this life. You have value even when you think you don't, or even when others think you don't. 

More information:

For more information on the Utah Women and Leadership Project, and to get information on upcoming events: CLICK HERE.

If you have any comments or ideas on this topic, please share below. I'd love to discuss this with any of you. Again, I was so uplifted by this conference, I wish all of you had come with me! 

Women Are Already Good Enough #2: You Are Valuable / THE JOY BLOG - The second installment in my series on Women Are Already Good Enough. This post touches on our value as people, and how it isn't defined by flawless living.

Photo Credits: 1 / 2 / 3



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