An obvious lack of confidence can be a huge turn-off.
But having self-confidence is a turn-on for women.
That’s why self-confidence is so important.
But are we as confident as we could be?
What if I told you that being a LGBT female might have hurt our confidence at a young age, before we were able to protect ourselves or do anything about it? It’s true.
Growing up as lesbian or bisexual or queer in a straight world left our self-confidence vulnerable to deep injuries that other kinds of people didn’t have to face.
And back when we were little we didn’t have the tools to protect our self-confidence because we didn’t understand what was happening. (Back then most of us didn’t know we were lesbian or bisexual or queer, and even if we did, there weren’t any resources available to help us.)
Events happen in the “present moment.”
We experience things “as they’re happening”, but then they’re over. Forever.
All that remains are our “memories” and “conclusions”…
Our “memories” are our ideas about what happened.
Our “conclusions” are the beliefs we formed about ourselves based on what happened. (If this happened, then it must mean X, Y, Z about me.)
The past is over. But the conclusions remain.
The beliefs we’ve formed about ourselves (based on the things that happened in our past) are still in our heads. And they still shape how we see ourselves today.
It’s important for us to be able to recognize the events in our past that made us feel bad about ourselves.
Recognition brings power.
The more we can recognize what happened, the more we can reframe the stories we tell ourselves about what happened.
And that is the best way to take control back over the way we feel about ourselves.
This is the path to increasing self-confidence.
I’ve discovered that there are three little-known reasons why growing up as lesbian (or bisexual or queer women) left our self-confidence more vulnerable than it would have been if we grew up with heteronormative tendencies.
The first reason is that for most of us, our earliest girl crushes were unreciprocated and unrequited.
9 out of 10 females are straight.
Do the math.
Chances are 9 out of 10 that the first girl we had feelings for wasn’t LGBT.
Because girls who are not LGBT are not wired to feel romantic feelings for other females.
Lesbians are. Bisexual women are. Queer females are. We all are wired in a way that allows us to fall in love with other females.
Straight women are straight because they don’t have this capacity.
There is no way for a straight girl to feel quite the same way about us as we do about her because her brain and biochemical structures aren’t built to allow for it. So what happens?
And what does that lead to?
And that totally messes with our self-confidence.
Nobody is safe from unrequited love. And probably everyone can relate to being rejected by early crushes.
But when the chances are 9 out of 10 that the first females we have crushes on won’t feel the same way, this sets us up for more injuries to our self-confidence than we would likely have gotten if we were straight.
The second reason why growing up as lesbian (or bisexual or queer women) left our self-confidence more vulnerable than it would have been if we were straight is that girls are mean…
Girls are really mean.
Girls are mean in a different way than boys are.
And girls are mean in a different way than females of other species.
Here’s how it works…
All females in nature are competitive. In every species the females compete for dominance, because the dominant females get more food to eat, which means they are more likely to survive and produce stronger offspring (and stronger offspring are more likely to survive and reproduce.)
But there’s a difference.
In nature females compete by fighting physically.
But our human culture is funny.
We developed these rules that say girls are supposed to be “nice” and “polite.” Girls are taught that being physically aggressive is wrong.
Boys are not taught this. Boys are allowed to be tough and aggressive, and usually the most popular boys are the strongest and most athletic.
But according to the brilliant book Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons, girls are forced to compete in different ways. She calls it alternative aggression.
Instead of beating each other up, girls attack each other socially and indirectly.
Girls use their relationships to hurt each other. They say things like “I’m not going to be your friend anymore.” Or “I’m not inviting you to my birthday party.”
Girls attack each other socially by gossiping and excluding and ganging up.
Girls attack each other indirectly by ignoring each other and leaving each other out by choosing another person to be close with that day.
And oftentimes the meanest behavior comes from within each girls’ immediate group of friends. So the wounds cut even deeper.
Rosalind Wiseman is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes (which was the basis of the cult classic movie “Mean Girls”) and she said “the lessons we learn from those early adolescent relationships can mess with girls’ boundaries and ability to handle conflict for the rest of their adult lives”
This affects all girls. Not just lesbians.
But for women who are lesbian or bisexual or queer, we are wired to feel so much deeper for other females.
So “mean girl” behavior can cut much deeper.
Plus we grow up to date and build romantic relationships with other women. So it is really bad news that “mean girl” experiences from adolescence disrupted our ability to handle conflicts and draw boundaries and trust other females.
And that totally messes with our self-confidence…
The third reason why growing up as lesbian (or bisexual or queer women) left our self-confidence more vulnerable than it would have been if we were straight is that humans evolved not to want to be different.
Our ancient ancestors were tribal.
They lived and survived in small tribes of about 150 people.
Our ancient ancestors couldn’t have survived on their own, without their tribe. So the instinct to “fit in” developed inside of us as a matter of survival.
We have a primal instinct not to want to be different.
And yet 90% of the population identifies as being heteronormative.
In a world of sameness, we grew up with blatant inherent differences.
Whether it was having more intense feelings for other girls, or not wanting to dress as “girly” as most girls, or not having the same “girly handwriting”, or not having a crush on the same boys as everyone else, or not enjoying hooking up with guys the way our friends did, or simply feeling like we didn’t fit in, even if we couldn’t explain why… most of us can relate to wishing we could be more like the most popular girls who seemed like they did everything the “cool way.”
Being different is something we evolved to be afraid of.
And knowing we were different (even if we didn’t know why) is something that really could have hurt our self-confidence when we were little.
Here’s the good news.
Power comes from awareness.
Just knowing these things about ourselves and our past can help us “reframe” the conclusions we’ve drawn from the events in our past.
You’ll never be able to feel as bad about these things ever again, because now you have recognition and awareness.
There was never anything wrong with us – we were just adorable little lesbians stuck in an environment where we didn’t have the right conditions to thrive.
We don’t have to buy into the stories from the past that mess with our confidence (especially stories based on faulty assumptions, like the assumption that our crushes will be unrequited, that we can’t trust females to not be mean, and that we are different. None of that was ever true or real.)
This is the first step towards taking back control over our self-confidence.
Watch my video right now if you want to hear more.