I bought new bras recently. They seemed a bit tight and I put that down to their newness. But they stayed tight despite being washed again and again. It didn’t occur to me to check their size until last week and that’s when I discovered my bras were too small for me. I’d bought the wrong size.

No wonder I felt so squished and uncomfortable. No wonder I felt so constrained. No wonder I couldn’t wait to get the thing off and sighed with relief when I did.

Sound familiar?

The corsetry industry complains that many women wear ill-fitting or too small bras like mine. Or with straps that cut into shoulders or with breasts hanging out the sides or with clasps that ride up your back in a lop-sided way. Or, worst case scenario, all of the above and more.

What are we doing to ourselves, women?

I’ll tell you what you’re doing to yourself. You’re keeping yourself small and not taking up your rightful space in the world. Keeping yourself smaller than you really are, literally and metaphorically!

How come? My last week’s blog post, You should be feeling really guilty if you’ve read this far,’ suggests some of the causes.

You know what? Enough!

I feel as if I’ve been going on forever about women keeping themselves small, de-pressed, squished, held down, put down ya-di-ya-di-ya. And I’m tired.

I’m tired of hearing women tell me their husband, partner, mother, sister, brother, friend, work colleague blah-blah-blah is the one who does it to them. Or, one of the best, ‘I can’t XYZ because of the kids.’ Like children don’t thrive better with a happier and more confident mother?

NOOOOO! You do it to yourself. You allow the other person/people to over-ride, censor, and, at worst, humiliate and crush you.

YES… I know it feels like you can’t do anything about it because you’ve been trained to be compliant or, in the extreme, a victim. You feel powerless but you’re not. You’ve just given your power away to whoever you say keeps you down.

So, here’s the thing…

Even if you think your bra fits you just right…

Think of a powerful woman, real or fictional, alive or dead, a character from a book or film or other media. Please don’t sabotage yourself by picking a woman who might look powerful but isn’t. For example, a woman who manipulates others, who uses emotional blackmail to achieve what she wants.

That’s not being powerful. That’s being a bully!

Women often think of Wonder Woman as a powerful figure… An American, stereotypical, small-waisted-big-bosomed-long-legged brunette. Shit… who cares? Her confidence, power and effectiveness in the world are what count. Indeed, a recent film based on the character portrays her as a true warrioress.

If not Wonder Woman, which confident and powerful woman do you choose as an example for you? Take whoever you get, however bizarre.

Whoever she is, close your eyes and see or sense her in your imagination.

Notice how you feel.

Now, with eyes closed, step into her. Literally become your warrioress letting your body move naturally into the position of her body. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, keep sitting as your warrioress for a minute or two.

And then notice how you feel.

Having worked with thousands of women over thirty years, if it wasn’t professionally unethical, I’d lay money on you feeling more positive and powerful as your warrioress than you did before.

To embed that more positive and powerful feeling, keep ‘being’ Wonder Woman or your particular warrioress. Walk like her, eat like her, speak to others with her confidence and power, make the bed like her, do your work like her. In short, live life as if you were her.

The secret is, by identifying with her, you’re strengthening the muscle of connection with your very own more positive and powerful self. Keep practising and, in time, the muscle will become so strong you can be that woman at the drop of a hat.

For more of my #7 Step Dare to be You insights watch out for my next blog post ‘Do Your Own Mental Health Check… Really?’ If you’re not yet part of our community, you can sign up here for your Morning Inspiration boost and my blog post straight to your inbox.

Or…

Oh alright… Wear a bra that’s too small for you then!