I’ve recently been doing a lot of work on myself to become more feminine. It’s something I struggle with. We’re told femininity is about being submissive and stepping back to let men and masculine energy lead. How can I have a writing business if I don’t lead?
I realised that women still lead, just differently. We lead by example, showing people what’s possible when you’re authentic and own your “stuff”. It gives others permission to be real and authentic too.
The word submissive was a trigger for me, and something I strongly resisted. I saw submission as being weak, allowing people to take advantage of you. That’s not the case at all. It takes a strong woman to be submissive.
Being a submissive female means allowing others to decide for themselves. Your role is to share how you’re feeling, then let them choose what they want to do with that. If they want help, they’ll ask. If they don’t ask, don’t help.
I know that can be tough. If you’re like me, you probably love helping people. But you can’t help someone who’s not open to it, nor should you; it creates resistance and resentment. Doing things for someone, even out of love, deprives them of making mistakes so they can learn and grow.
Even if they ask for help, resist giving them the answer. They won’t own it or value the information otherwise. Instead, listen to what they say and ask them a question to guide to them to their own answer. Your solution doesn’t mean it’s their solution.
You may already do this unconsciously. If not, here are some questions you could ask:
- What does that look like for you?
- If you did know, what would you do?
- What would _______ (a person they admire) do?
- What would you like to achieve?
- How/where could you find out?
- What could you do instead?
- What do you mean by ______?
- How did that make you feel?
- What did you do last time?
Let me give you an example. A friend sent me a Facebook message that was unavailable, which has happened before. My automatic response was to ask her to send me a screenshot; then I remembered to ask not tell. So I asked her, “Is there another way you could share it?” She ended up sending me a screenshot and now knows how to overcome this issue in the future.
People may not like this, especially if they’ve been relying on you to always help them, but it will benefit both of you in the long run. This is how the most effective coaches achieve success. They show you how to access the answers already inside you.
But don’t take my word for it. Put it to the test. Think of a friend who you’re always giving the same advice to. Chances are you’re giving them the answer and they’re not implementing it because they haven’t owned it. Next time you have the same conversation, try asking questions rather than giving answers, to allow them to discover their own solution. Let me know how you go.
What does this have to do with writing?
Every book, post, or piece of content you write has you in it – your experiences, knowledge, perspective, and imagination. That’s why critical reviews and negative feedback feel so personal; your book is an extension of you, and it hurts when people don’t like it. I’ve been there.
One bad review for my first book, which reached number nine in the Kindle store in the spirituality category, stopped me writing for about two years. Ridiculous, I know, but I took it personally.
If you’re writing a non-fiction book, you’re sharing your story and asking questions to guide your reader to find their own answers. If it’s fiction, you’re sharing your imagination and giving them a fresh perspective on something.
To be feminine, your only job is to be you, nothing else. This negates any competition and comparisonitis because there’s only one you, and by default, no one to compete with or compare to. See reviews, good and bad, for what they are; someone else’s opinion. Your opinion of yourself and your work is all that matters.
Being feminine is also about being vulnerable, something else I wrestle with. However, this is at the heart of femininity. I’ve learned that while I may get hurt; I grow from every experience, which ultimately makes me a stronger, better person.
I’ve discovered being vulnerable is simpler that I thought. For me, vulnerability is about is about living my life and sharing the journey with those who want to listen. This also aligns with my life’s purpose.
There’re no expectations on what they do with that information, or even if they’ll like it. That made writing this post hard because it felt very raw and real and personal; and that’s why I needed to write it. This information is for you.
Being vulnerable means giving up control, which is really difficult to do. It’s scary trusting someone or something else. The way I’ve learned to do this is to let go of the outcome and trust the universe has your back. It always does.
Use your feelings and intuition as a guide. That’s why we have them. If something feels right, then do it. If it doesn’t, then don’t, although you might need to dig deeper to find out why.
I’m still figuring out how this will look, but these are some changes I’m endeavouring to implement in my life and writing. I understand this will repel some people and attract others. I hope you’ll join me on this journey, but if not, thanks for showing up so far. Feel free to share your comments below.
Cheers to your writing success!