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June 07, 2008


I think part of the answer comes from observing you, Whitney. You are both cheerleader and player. We often want (because it's easier and more simple) to identify with one or the other -- and act accordingly to the expectations of that role. I wonder if the fluid and skillful movement between these "roles" is what generates the energy needed to accomplish our work, whatever that may be.

As for the Twilight Series, Bella is loved because she exists - not because she does everything right, fulfills expectations, or has a great haircut. I believe that deep down this is what we all want -- to be loved for our very existence.

When we "work" to secure love and acceptance (whether through showing the nice parts of ourselves, saying what we think others want us to say, dutifully playing a role that may not be in line with our purpose, etc.), I wonder if we preclude ourselves from having what we really want -- to be loved simply because we are who we are.

Good post Whitney! As I recently read a number of your entries, I thought that the tone of your posts had moved a
bit from the more (extended discussions of your thoughts, experiences) to the less personal (e.g. cheering on other people, etc.). I wondered whether this was deliberate or not. (?)

In my profession I deal with a lot of contractors. 99% of them are men and although the architecture profession has more women in it today than ever before, it is still and will probably always be mainly men. When I show up on a job site I think they do a double take sometimes. I can say that I have established good working relationships with 95% of the contractors that I have worked with in my 10 year career and have learned a lot because of it. I do find myself going back and forth between establishing a 'friend' or 'buddy' relationship with them which really works to have a down-to-earth daily discourse versus being professional and sometime dropping the hammer on them when necessary. "Come'on guys, you know better than to let your subcontractor punch holes in the front of this brick house!" It is not so much of a struggle as it is a balancing act and being both a peer, equal, colleague but also having to work in the best interest of our client and being determined and forceful when necessary. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I find myself caring less about whether or not they really like me and being more concerned with serving my client in the best way I can. But I am a woman and even professional things have a personal impact on me so I think there will always be a little desire of acceptance in my mind. I just can't let it get in the way of doing my professional job.

Might I add that "cheerleader" has taken on a different meaning of late. The person that leads us must also be a "cheerleader" of sort to get us to do what we need to do. The atta boy/girl goes a long way in inspiring people to do their best. It seems to me that if you had not been a cheerleader, you would not have thought anything about it. Men say what they mean, no hidden agenda. They don't even want to think about love and acceptance...all they know is that when someone says "good job" it just feels good. So when they talk, words just come out of their mouths. (Poor dears!) :)


A good friend in Florida recently "enlightened" me about "Cheer". I had no idea what it was and was shocked to learn that boys sign up for soccer and football, while girls (beginning at age 5) sign up for Cheer. I have nothing against cheerleading--it's very athletic and looks like a lot of fun. What I strenuously object to is the stark gender emphasis placed on it at such a young age. My daughter is in the thick of the game playing soccer, which she adores, and I want every girl to have that same opportunity, provided she wants it. (I never enjoyed team sports and was really thrilled to study ballet, something my daughter finally convinced me she would never love.)

Usually when I interact with a client I ask myself "what do I want out of this conversation?" If I need answers to questions I think of how to pepper them into our conversation, if I need to make a point, I think about how blunt I need/want to be and construct the dialogue as such. I wish others were as thoughtful when they had conversations with me. That said, not everyone is interested in meaningful conversation...
I think it is a challenge that multi-faceted people face: how do I want to "show up" in this conversation? Do I want to put my "mom" hat on? my "cute cheerleader" hat on? my "hard core analyst" hat on? It has been my experience that people need to frame people easily and if you show "too many" sides to you, it can become confusing as to how to identify you - so your complexity is boiled down into easily identified subjects such as "oh, YOU'RE a CHEERLEADER" (which can conjure a vision that may not meet with your vision of a cheerleader or even the depth of your character).
How do we construct our dialogue with others to be sure our meaning is portrayed and received with the purpose you intended...

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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