“How shall I ever learn who I am when there is so much of me that belongs to someone else?”-Madeline Claire Franklin
As a relationship and youth coach, I have pitiably watched many young ladies and women lose direction and their identity in a bid to gain a man’s attention. Don’t ever lose yourself in a bid to gain a man’s attention or acceptance and don’t wander away from yourself to get close to somebody else. The presence of a man in your life does not validate you as a lady. Seeking validation from others invalidates you. Living for the approval of others is a destructive road that you don’t want to go down. As a young lady or woman, you are not here on earth to gain the acceptance of a man, you are here to fulfill purpose.
Many young ladies live a larger part of their lives wanting to be someone else in other to win someone else’s attention and acceptance. For all the time you work hard to being someone else so that others can accept you, they are wasted years! When you are too attached to people’s attention, you will die of their rejection. I often tell some of the young girls and ladies that I mentor to shift their focus from getting male attention towards something more fulfilling, which is-“personal development”. Don’t lose yourself trying to get someone else’s attention. Someone once said, “It’s a man’s job to respect a woman, but it’s a woman’s job to give him something to respect”. As a young lady, when you take out ample of time investing in your own growth and personal development, men won’t be able to resist you. We are living in the age where the new form of sexy is intelligence! Leo Tolstoy said, “Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.”
In order to help the girl-child maintain a healthy self-image, we must teach them to seek only for inward acceptance. An internal security will always produce an outward stability. A lady who has no inner-life is a slave to her surroundings. Almost 80% of self-esteem and self-abuse issues among young ladies are as a result of looking out for acceptance and attention in the wrong places.
An ancient culture believes that the root of all suffering is attachment! The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself. Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”. If a woman wishes to be fulfilled, stable, wealthy and happy in life, she must never design her life around men’s attention. You don’t need a man’s acceptance to follow your dreams; you don’t need permission to pursue your passion, and you don’t need permission to follow unconventional paths. Hold tenaciously to your inner belief, and stop attaching your life to man’s acceptance.
Our attention matters in life and I have often noticed that whatever catches our attention will give us direction. It is good to have a male figure in a girl-child but a man must never be your compass in life. Many females fail in life because they design their whole life around a man. Kevin Ngo said, “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.”
Some young ladies design their lives around men. The man is their ‘bank’, salary, business, their money-spinning venture, their career, occupation and ATM machine! Such young ladies normally end up becoming miserable in life. Men can complement in many ways but no woman must make a man her source of wealth. Don’t ever build your life around a man, no matter how much you are involved in his life. Don’t lose yourself in a bid to find someone else. A lady that builds her life around a man has pitiably marked herself for a journey to oblivion.
Lady Gaga once said: “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your dream will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” By building a life and lifestyle around our values, goals, dreams, and vision, we create a life that is more sustainable, satisfying, meaningful and fulfilling. The best self-image is not the one that is attached to another man; it is the one that is internally motivated! Your self-worth and not the one derived from others is your net-worth.
I would also like to encourage parents to instill confidence into their girl-child because the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. We must help them to develop their self-esteem. Teach them never to walk in any man’s shadow because once they know their worth, nobody can make them feel worthless.
Theodor Adorno said, “In the age of the individual’s liquidation, the question of individuality must be raised anew.” So many young ladies have liquidated themselves to build their life around a man. We should stop buying into the myth that only a life built around a man means a better life. It is a blatant lie. Your self-worth, personal development, personal goals and relationship with God should be the object of your pursuit.
It is appalling to see how young ladies go into demeaning lengths to get their lives wounded around a man while they constantly neglect their own personal development. The search for self-worth is not a man-phenomenon; a healthy self-esteem begins by finding what is indestructible inside, and then letting it be. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one”.
Your uniqueness is meant to be celebrated, so don’t compromise who you are for people that refuse to accept your uniqueness. You are designed by God not to blend in, but to stand out. It’s not about being who everyone else wants you to be; it’s about being yourself and finding someone who loves every bit of it. By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before. Don’t build your life around any man; build your life around your growth and your goals. Instead of being a gold digger around a man, be a goal digger! You have a goldmine when you have a goal mind.
To all the fathers out there, pay attention to your daughters so they don’t seek attention in wrong places! Let all absent living fathers take their rightful positions in the lives of their daughters. Don’t just teach, give her fatherly attention and tell her she’s good enough. She’ll grow up to be a confident girl who won’t need a man’s approval. Fathers! You have a special role as the first male authority in your daughter’s life to ensure that she not only feels beautiful but that she also knows what true beauty is! If we show them the proper kind of love and attention, they will feel adored, protected and truly beautiful. A daughter who is not cared for by her father will either feel she is not worthy of a man’s love or will seek that attention and care in misguided, damaging ways. It has been psychologically ascertained that girls that seek male attention desperately are actually deficient in parental attention. You seek what you don’t have but most times we may seek it from the wrong places.
Finally, I want to reach out to every girl and lady out there, never settle for an insecure man! Any man that feels insecure about your achievement will ultimately hinder you from fulfilling destiny. The strength of a man is measured by how much he has empowered his woman. Steve Maraboli once said, “Only insecure boys will belittle a woman. The greatest way to man-up is to empower women”. Real men don’t compete with women, they collaborate with women.
“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option”- Maya Angelou
Originally published on LinkedIn
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