Please take yourself seriously

Our society thrives on a covert and highly divisive code: Don’t take yourself so seriously.

Don’t be so intense!

Lighten up, dear reader!

On the surface it makes sense. It seems jovial and jolly hockey sticks and weirdly generous.

But when you go deeper, you see cracks in this logic.

And, more importantly, you see hidden agendas. Corrupt agendas.

In order to maintain power, a patriarchal society needs to undermine ‘the other’.

And it does this in underhanded ways. In particular, it touts innocuous tropes that are so pervasive, so insidious they are rarely questioned.

Don’t take yourself so seriously. 

We speak out or we speak up, we question the status quo, share our opinions or strive to make positive change (in ours lives or in the lives of others) and the old trope is thrown back at us.

It gets inside our heads.

It colonises our thinking; burrows so deep that eventually we don’t need someone else to pull us up. We police ourselves.

Don’t take yourself so seriously.

The result?

Self doubt

Indecision

Apathy

Imposter syndrome.

And fear.

Fear.

Fear

Fear.

The covert message behind don’t take yourself seriously? The hidden agenda?

Take SOMEONE ELSE seriously.

Someone else knows best.

Someone else knows better.

Someone else can do the job, say the thing, make the changes, far better than you.

Who are these people, these people who know best?

They are the authority figures, the politicians, the influencers and the celebrities.

The uber wealthy, uber successful, uber outspoken.

The suits.

The qualified.

The ordained.

And so on.

They are serious.

We are not.

They are big.

We are small.

And yet, when we don’t take ourselves seriously, when we don’t realise our own worth, when we don’t listen to the inner voice that tells us we are powerful, we count, we are extraordinary simply because we are alive, we hand over our power— and the world misses out.

We renege on our responsibilities—to ourselves, to our communities, to our society and to our personal growth.

When we don’t take ourselves seriously, we tend to slip into neutral and we settle for less.

When we don’t take ourselves seriously, when we dismiss our desires, our dreams and our inner callings—no matter how whacky or unconventional, we play small.

We sit on our hands and we fail to do the good work.

The work we were meant to do.

The work that changes our lives for the better; the work that lets us reach our potential, realise our dreams and, in so doing, make the world a better place.

Please, dear reader.

Take yourself seriously.

Why?

Because you are precious and you count.

To recognise this simple truth is surely one of our highest callings.

Jen xo


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