Today I am writing to you from bed. It has been a whirlwind of the past few weeks for me, I’ve been having difficulty getting my regular supplements delivered to our apartment, and the mix mash of all that is going on and my support tools shifting around is taking its toll. And so, self-tending. And… living into my freedom that it is safe to be myself, even in these realities.
Which brings me to the Dominant Dogma on this week’s Live Your Freedom Now podcast episode:
“It’s not safe to be myself.”
There’s no easy, catch-all method to having the capacity to become more of yourself – especially if, like me, you have been on the receiving end of tall poppy syndrome or if your reality still requires it to get your most basic survival needs met. So I hope you’ll tune in as I try to offer up some nuance, grace and practical suggestions for embodying your power around becoming more of yourself, in the spaces you DO have capacity for.
Let’s begin. In this episode, I discuss:
- The Dominant Dogma that says “It’s not safe to be myself”
- How you are taught it’s not safe to be yourself
- Holding the sovereignty that you determine when and where it’s safe to be yourself
- My own experience with this belief and my story of being on the receiving end of “Tall Poppy” Syndrome
- Living into the freedom around this dogma, that tells you, “It’s safe to be yourself.”
- Practical suggestions for what it looks like to be more yourself
- A note on the fear of power and becoming an oppressor as you take up more space
- How you can work with me closely through this process inside my one-on-one coaching space
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts.
Hello, hello, freethinker,
Today I am writing to you from bed. It has been a whirlwind of the past few weeks for me, I’ve been having difficulty getting my regular supplements delivered to our apartment, and the mix mash of all that is going on and my support tools shifting around is taking its toll. And so, self-tending. I am incredibly grateful that the weather has cooled down here in D.C. so I have ALL the windows open in the apartment, so the gentle sounds of the street are wafting through the space. The soft glow of the morning sun speckles a few key spaces in the apartment, with the majority of the space still filled with shadows. I have a Trader Joe’s pumpkin candle burning, a cozy blanket draped across my legs, and my pup is sleeping off to my right. Additionally, I have my routine Adrenal Cocktail on my nightstand, a giant cozy sweater on, and a few of my grad school books scattered across the bed as I plan to work on a reflection paper following the writing of this podcast episode. Life feels like a lot, and I’m glad I’ve learned how to navigate the muchness with a bit more ease. Saying yes to taking care so that I can say yes to the things I’m deeply passionate about.
As I take a moment to pause and notice my inner and outer worlds, I encourage you to do the same. Notice the colors within your world, the objects around you, where the light hits, and where shadows fall. Notice the textures of what is holding you and what is around you. Notice how your body feels in your chair, bed, car, or floor today. Notice how your heart feels and if there are any tender or tense spaces in your being. Not judging what you see and are experiencing, simply noticing it. Allowing it. Honor it with your attention and presence. This is a practice of freedom that you can utilize at any time. A practice to attune to your space and come home to your power.
Today, I am tackling the internalized Dominant Dogma that says, “It’s not safe to be myself.” This internalized Dominant Dogma often develops throughout life, typically beginning in childhood when at one time, you showed up fully, in all of your magical muchness, only to be met with rejection, a reprimand to fit into the social norm, bullying, or even being taken advantage of.
These experiences created a new neural connection in your brain, teaching you it’s not safe to be yourself. You have to play small, be different, and squeeze into this acceptable box of what is considered “normal” in order to stay safe.
Before I dive deeper, I want to remind you: While evaluating a Dominant Dogma that has kept you safe in the past, it is crucial to remember that even as you listen to this podcast and evaluate the harmful narratives in your life: you determine when and where it’s safe to be yourself.
Even now, as I unravel my new understanding of my neurodivergence and learn where I have been unknowingly masking, I am also working with my therapist and my coach to recognize where it feels safe to disclose my neurodivergence, where it does not feel safe, and where I may need to maintain a level of masking in order to stay safe. Is this the world I desire to live in? No! Not at all! However, as I always say on this podcast: I’m holding the both/and. Doing my best to live free in the present while holding the reality of how the modern world sometimes treats neurodivergent folks.
Perhaps for you, at this point in time, living out the internalized Dominant Dogma, “It’s not safe to be myself,” is providing a roof over your head, paying your salary, or allowing you to belong in your family unit. I have been there, I have spaces where I still navigate the nuance of this. You must realize what you need to stay safe. As you embark on this Freedom Journey, notice where you have the capacity to implement the invitations I offer and where you do not.
You won’t be able to change everything all at once—that’s ok. Take this journey one step at a time.
Ok, let’s dive into this Dominant Dogma in more depth and look at how we can hand it back to experience more freedom in the present.
Through all of the Dominant Dogma we’ve looked at in this podcast, it is increasingly clear: When you play small and live with a narrow lens of subjective reality, you prop up the Dominant Dogma of patriarchy, supremacy culture, and those at the top of the capitalist food chain.
Growing up, I was a prime example of this. I was a walking, talking example of Tall Poppy Syndrome. Even if you haven’t heard the term, you’re probably already familiar with Tall Poppy Syndrome. It’s the phenomenon that, when someone shares a win, when they take up space, when they share their perspective or needs, they’re seen as a Tall Poppy that needs to be chopped down in order to stay in line with everyone else around them. It’s especially prevalent among women, queer folks, BIPOC folks, and neurodivergent folks. Rather than sharing your gifts, quirks, strengths, and accomplishments, culture teaches you to stay in line, be humble, politely deflect praise and elegantly attribute your accomplishments to those around you (typically to someone who is considered “higher” on the cultural ladder).
When I was a teenager, I had a job where I received training in a few different areas of technology. Although the job was new to me, I picked things up quickly (hello, neurodivergent strengths!). It wasn’t long before I felt confident in what I was doing and even figured out ways to improve the systems that had been in place before. This pleased many people in the community, but not the person who had trained me. She must’ve felt threatened, and rather than acknowledging my aptitude or ability to pick things up quickly, she tried to take credit for the positive changes I made or dismiss my abilities.
It wouldn’t be the last time I’d feel that insidious “cutting down” from people around me. As a driven, hard-working human, I learned to feel shy acknowledging even the most hard-won of my accomplishments and that it was more socially acceptable to play them off as insignificant. Even more discouraging, I found that, more often than not, there were others who were more than willing to help me play small.
But this Dominant Dogma does not dictate my life anymore, and it does not need to dictate yours either. This episode is an invitation to break the patterns of harmful Dominant Dogma by playing full out and taking up space.
The freedom on the other side: It’s safe to be myself.
Soak that in for a moment and, if possible, say it out loud:
It’s safe to be myself.
It’s safe to be myself.
It’s safe to be myself.
While the world around you may need to shift and adjust for this new belief to be made manifest, the freedom here is to find ways to embody this NOW. Find the spaces where this feels so juicy and true for you that you become confident in it and confident in yourself and your worth. As you stretch these muscles, this belief will begin to spill over into the spaces where previously this did not feel true.
Your Tall Poppy magic will begin to return to you, and nothing will hold you back.
What does this look like practically? It means showing up as your full self, whatever that means for uniquely YOU, right here and now.
- This can look like speaking up about where or what you want for dinner.
- Tending to yourself and meeting your needs instead of consistently over-giving.
- Engaging in your favorite hobby, even if it’s not a “typical” hobby.
- Confidently training in your sport, musical skill, or other giftings and celebrating each and every milestone.
- Earning that degree and pivoting your career.
- Writing that book you always wanted to write.
- Starting a business and breaking glass ceilings every step of the way.
No one can tell you what embodying your wholeness, and your freedom means to you. The key is to simply show up. Trust your intuition and invite the Universe, the Unconscious, your Higher Power, to meet you in this.
A final note on claiming your freedom here:
When discussing playing full out, claiming your freedom, and taking up space, I often hear folks express fear of becoming the oppressor. A fear of essentially swapping places with the very folks who have made you feel small, rising too high in the capitalist food chain, and embodying the very Dominant Dogma you desire to break free of.
I want to debunk this: Because you are worried about this, it is not something you need to worry about.
Instead, because you are a helping, healing, and high-achieving human (meaning you are doing the best with whatever you have access to), the more you claim your wholeness, the more hope our world has. Your dreams not only help you, but they also help others and the planet. When you play full out, you participate in a collective rising. You can live as a force of nature, fully in your power, and hand back any unsupportive Dominant Dogma you discover along the way. Dream as big as your soul can and trust that where you feel FILLED UP is exactly where you’re meant to be.
Believe in your wholeness.
Believe in your worth.
You can take up space.
And that is what I want to leave you with today: It’s safe to be yourself!
If you want support on your Personal or Business Freedom Journey, I would love to invite you into a one-on-one coaching series. If deep in your spirit you want to feel empowered, share your creativity, live with freedom, and finally feel joyful again, then you’re in the right place! My goal is to help you integrate the parts of you feeling afraid and unsupported, hand back the outdated cultural stories, that Dominant Dogma we’ve been talking about, and guide you to rise as the deeply, wildly, and holistically free human you already are. Your next step is to Book a FREE Clarity Call with me at megscolleen.com. I hope to see you on a call soon!
Freedom is yours,
Mentions & More:
- Read more about Tall Poppy Syndrome
- Send me the Dominant Dogma in your life to request I discuss it on a future episode of the podcast! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a DM on instagram: @megscolleen
- My 1:1 coaching series. Book a FREE clarity call with me to get started: https://megscolleen.com/book-a-free-call/