Dreaming or Deflecting?

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Why, oh why, do I put my ideas in writing?

Well, I know why.

Because, among other things, going ‘on record' pushes me to ‘walk my talk'.

It is ironic, though, that not less than twenty-four hours after writing Asking for What We Want, I read Matt Langdon's post in which he outlined his Hero Workshop accomplishments for 2007 and goals for 2008 (you can either squint or click on the graphic).


My immediate thought was “Good for you Matt”. You've set concrete, achievable goals for yourself, goals that will make the world a better place. You've achieved them, and now you are setting more goals.

I considered following Matt's lead and putting my goals for ‘dare to dream' on this blog, but immediately quailed. The mere thought of doing what Matt had done made me feel uncomfortable, awkward, embarrassed — did I say uncomfortable?

Which led me to wonder — what is GOING on?

Why am I having a such a visceral reaction?

Here's what I've come up with thus far, though more questions, than answers:

1) When we list our accomplishments publicly, aren't we making the decision to acknowledge ourselves, to accept, rather than shun praise?

2) When we state our goals, are we not implicitly, if not explicitly, asking for support?

3) When men ‘list and state', how do they feel? How do we respond?

4) What about women? How do we feel? And do we respond as I did to Matt, thinking “Atta boy or girl”? Or do we instead think — ‘she's a bit full of herself, now isn't she?'

I'll confess that even amongst my closest friends it's painful to say ‘Look what I did,” and so I don't very often. In fact, if you want to see just how masterful most women have become at deflecting (a signal at just how painful the praise is), the next time you are talking with a group of your girlfriends — ask them to talk about something they (not their husband or children) have done well this past year.

That's right – we probably won't; we will quickly and deftly re-direct the conversation far, far away from us.

The ideal of a feminine woman seems pretty hard-wired.

Does it feel this way to you also?

If this is true, then aren't we in a bit of a double bind?

Related posts:

Asking for What We Want
Second Thoughts on Psyche's 2nd Task
Leah Leaves the Building
Et tu, Whitney?
Now the News: Couric Still Isn't One of the Boys

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