If there is one thing that I absolutely love, it’s learning new things. I love it so much that it almost doesn’t matter what I’m learning as long as I’m learning something. And thanks to the Information Revolution, I can usually find out about anything I choose with just a few quick keywords. Yes…I am a total Google diva.
I love the fact that information about any topic is so easy to find and I am incredibly grateful that so many people took the time to share all their learning just so that other people could benefit from it. So when I see other women hiding tidbits of knowledge to themselves, it makes me think…
I believe knowledge is meant to be shared. It doesn’t matter what the knowledge is. If somebody can benefit from it, it should be passed along. But I didn’t always believe that. There was a time when I guarded my knowledge more fiercely than a Doberman guards a junkyard.
The memory that comes back to me most often is one from high school when I happened to bring a homemade snack for my lunch. I shared it with my friends and one of them mentioned that she would love to have the recipe. I smiled politely, but the only thought in my head was, “No WAY am I giving out my recipe!!”
That’s something I would never do today. After all, if I give somebody the instructions for making the same dish, does that make the dish I create any less delicious? But thinking about that time got me thinking about WHY I had been so unwilling to share my knowledge.
And the answer to that question, I soon realized, was my lack of self-esteem. I didn’t believe that I had any value. So when somebody expressed a desire for something that I knew, for something that I HAD, I felt validated. Even if I didn’t have any value, something I knew was valuable and if I kept that knowledge to myself, then nobody else would have that little grain of value that I had. Sure, I might be worthless. But I knew something that wasn’t worthless and if I was the only one that knew it then that was almost the same as me being worth something myself.
Getting over that crippling lack of self-esteem wasn’t easy. It took lots of effort, lots of tribulation and, yes, lots of learning. Today I am proud to say that I am a strong and self-confident woman and as a result, I am not only willing to share knowledge with others, I am happy to do so. In fact, if somebody asks me a question that I can’t answer, I will go and find the answer for them if I possibly can! I love helping others and I’m so glad that I’ve grown to become the type of woman that can do so without a second thought.
Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if everybody did the same? If we could ask anybody anything and know that they would be willing to answer, or maybe even help us find the answer? Wouldn’t the blogosphere be a better place? I like to think that the blog community is, by nature, a community that shares more freely. After all, we share our stories and ourselves on our blogs each and every day! But every once in a while I notice a return to that mindset that I saw so much of in high school, a comment or a conversation that practically screams, “Well, if you don’t know then I’m not going to tell you!” And it breaks my heart because I know that the motivation behind the attitude is that old enemy of so many women in the world, low self-esteem.
So how can a woman rid herself of that fear, that prevalent, horrifying fear that she isn’t good enough?
It isn’t easy.
But it isn’t hard either.
What worked for me was constantly telling myself that I was a wonderful person. I told myself again and again and again. When you repeat something like that long enough, it becomes a reality. But it takes time. And it takes work. And when you’re feeling depressed, hurt or inadequate, telling yourself something like that is difficult. But when you do it enough, you really do become the person you keep telling yourself you are.
And when that happens, you realize that your worth doesn’t come from what you look like, what you have or even what you know. In the end, your worth is maybe just measured by whether or not you shine a little bit more light into the world.
Let’s light up the world together. We all have gifts we can share, if we’re not afraid to share them.
And when we do…we all shine.