Welcome back, FreeThinkers!
I hope today’s podcast episode finds you in a comfortable spot where you can notice your surroundings and experience this moment just as it is, tapping into your personal freedom of living in the here and now.
This week’s episode invites you to tap into the power of receiving. So often, Dominant Dogma pushes us to give, give, give, until there is nothing left. This concept often resonates a lot for folks who were raised as women and girls, who are constantly fed the message that their worth is in their service of others.
Yeah, this one is for the people pleasers out there!
I am eager to share my personal experiences with this Dogma, and I’m even more excited to share some insights about finding freedom on the other side.
In this episode, I’ll explore:
- The nuance that, yes, of course, it’s important to give and support others, but when we send that into overdrive, it becomes toxic.
- How folks (especially women) in service-based establishments see this Dogma playing out constantly: “It is better to give than receive.”
- A story about how this people-pleasing mentality impacted my creative business even (and especially) at age 17
- Another story about how setting my boundaries and communicating my expectations worked in my favor and made me feel safe and empowered
- How true freedom lay in the beauty of belonging to ourselves, together.
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts.
Hello hello, creative humans, today I am writing to you from my meditation pillow on the floor of my office. Over the weekend I rearranged my office so my desk is closer to the window and my meditation space has a better view outside as well so this room feels brand new in a way and full of fresh energy. As I sit here my dog is tearing up a toy on the cushion next to me, I have my water bottle and a glass of kombucha on the floor in front of me, and my bolster is propped up behind me for back support. The candle I purchased to remind me of my travels to Ojai in March is burning its last, my fiddle leaf fig tree is off to the right in front of me, and the gentle sounds of the cars on the street out front are filling my ears.
As I take a moment to pause and notice my surroundings, I encourage you to do the same. Notice the textures of what is holding you and what is around you. Notice the light, the shadows, and the colors of whatever you find in your space…and simply allow it. Not judging what you see and are experiencing, simply noticing it. Allowing it. This environment scan is a practice of freedom that you can utalize at any time. A practice to attune to your space, and come home to your power.
Today, I am going to talk about the Dominant Dogma that encourages a disposition of giving. A turn of phrase that is commonly used to enforce this Dominant Dogma is, “It is better to give than to receive.” Utilizing this virtue and others like it, folks in many subcultures, especially humans socialised as girls, become so focused on giving, serving, and pleasing others that they forget the importance of taking care of themselves. It’s important to note that this virtue is not harmful in of itself, however the way it is often forced overdrive is where it becomes toxic.
When in overdrive, it can become so important to take care of others and make sure they are happy, that you find yourself making how others feel, mean something about you. I.e. if someone is unhappy or not feeling great, and you can’t bring up the mood, you find yourself believing it’s your fault, that you’re not enough, not living out the virtue enough, and not being a “good enough” person.
Within the small business world, especially for women who own service-based establishments, I see this playing out frequently, including in my own life.
One of the first times I experienced this disparity was in high school. At roughly the age of 17 I was running a portrait and wedding photography business and often found my friends asking me to photograph their weddings. Please keep in mind that at this time I was part of a high control religion and worked at a bible camp. Many of my friends were in their earlier twenties and it was not uncommon for couples to get married early. While I was working hard at my craft, producing professional quality photographs at the level of peers who charged upwards of 3x my own pricing, I was regularly asked for discounts. When clarifying my pricing and sharing that unfortunately I do not offer family and friend discounts, I was often dismissed, given the cold shoulder, and yes, I lost friendships. There was this assumption and expectation that due to my friendship (even from friends I had not heard from in a while), I would give my professional skill set, my equipment, and my time largely for free. When I did not meet this requirement, I was no longer an asset to their experience and essentially shown the door. Unfortunately, this situation happened many times. As a young business owner saving money for my education, largely funding my own living expenses at the time, I was regularly asked for discounts and free labor, something I had not and still do not see occurring for my male peers.
Due to this Dominant Dogma, women often feel this pressure to overgive and undercharge for their services. They downplay the skills they have spent years honing and learning about in an effort to help, serve, and please. The result: client relationships built on extraction, businesses which are unsustainable, and often the wellbeing and even mental health of the women brave enough to step out and try to support their families through business. This mentality is rooted so deeply in Supremacy, Patriarchy, and Extraction culture, and it is apparent on both sides of the coin, where many of us are additionally programmed to expect more for less from women-owned businesses resulting in fueling the gender gap in business success.
Whether you find yourself pleasing others in business or in relationship, the truth is the same: True freedom, success, and thriving is not pleasing others at the expense of your own wellbeing.
Instead, it’s setting healthy boundaries, metting your own needs and living in the beautiful space that Kate Rayworth calls, “the safe and just space for humanity.” Not living in shortfall, not living in extraction of self or others, but in the sweet middle ground where you can truly live free.
Following my first two years of deep inner healing, I readjusted how I approached business and winning freelance work. Only accepting jobs that met the monetary needs I have, the health needs I have, and an environment I can thrive in. While still working in the design field, I was approached for a position that required being in an office full-time, 5 days a week for 40 hours, and they wanted to pay me significantly less than my desired salary. While in the past I would have taken the position feeling like I had no other choice, I went in knowing my boundaries and needs, and I clearly articulated them. I needed two days a week remote due to my health, and I needed a higher hourly rate. And I got it! Not only that, but I was met with understanding and told that someone else also struggled with migraines resulting in deeper rapport with my boss. While this does not happen every time I enter into a freelance project or client engagement, it does happen enough. And that’s all I truly need to thrive.
The Freedom On The Other Side
The freedom here: is allowing yourself to be human, and inviting others to be human as well. It is not your job to please others, it’s not your job to meet their needs, it’s not your job to squish yourself into the tiny box you perceive is needed so you can be, “good.” You are already good, and when you embody your wholeness, you invite others to do the same.
True freedom, health, and thriving is belonging to ourselves, together.
It’s meeting our needs, and inviting others to do the same.
Let’s stop robbing one another of this.
Live your freedom now.
As we close today’s episode, I’m so excited to let you know I am now accepting Summer Coaching bookings!
Whether you are struggling with anxiety, navigating a life change, or expanding your leadership role, I’m here to support you, to facilitate breakthroughs and coach you step-by-step so you can live your freedom now.
Here’s a glimpse into how I can help:
👉 Reclaim balance after (or during!) a major transition
👉 Breakthrough the Dominant Dogma, those external and internal narratives, keeping you from thriving
👉 Find your footing after upheaval
👉 Strategize brand vision and essence
👉 Navigate climate anxiety and continue your regeneration work
👉 Bolster your leadership skills as you guide your team through testing times
👉 Take back personal power and live your freedom now
You can learn more about my 1:1 coaching and apply now at megscolleen.com!
All right, I’ll see you next week!
Freedom is yours,
“Utilizing this virtue and others like it, folks in many subcultures, especially humans socialised as girls, become so focused on giving, serving, and pleasing others that they forget the importance of taking care of themselves.”
“Whether you find yourself pleasing others in business or in relationship, the truth is the same: True freedom, success, and thriving is not pleasing others at the expense of your own wellbeing.”
“It is not your job to please others, it’s not your job to meet their needs, it’s not your job to squish yourself into the tiny box you perceive is needed so you can be ‘good.’”
“When you embody your wholeness, you invite others to do the same.”