Below is a short discussion inspired by Glennon Doyle on this episode of Unlocking Us with Brené Brown.
‘Untaming’ is to “re-examine everything you’ve been taught in school, in the world, in a book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul,” says New York Times bestselling author and activist, Glennon Doyle.
She came up with the concept of ‘untaming’ when she encountered a wild cheetah that was trained to perform for an audience. Much like how the cheetah was “tamed,” so have people—women, especially—been programmed by social constructs that prevent them from living as their true selves.
Glennon shares her thoughts on why we should untame ourselves:
- Society’s expectations shape us into what it thinks we should be. When we continue to let this happen, these expectations can stifle and destroy our potential.
- We can give ourselves permission to be free. No one enforces society’s expectations on us than ourselves. Without these expectations, we can live authentically.
- We can inspire others to also be untamed. When people around us see what it’s like to live outside external expectations, they will also desire to live their truth.
We’ve been forced to let go of who we are and what we want to fit the mold of society. The only way to change this is to become untamed. When we stop allowing society’s expectations to pressure us, we can finally be true to ourselves.
the distilld lessons
These are the distilld lessons from Episode #3 of Unlocking Us.
In her memoir, Untamed, Glennon Doyle talks about being tamed by society's expectations, how to ‘untame’ oneself by unlearning all of society’s programming, and conditioning.
Women are like tamed cheetahs, spending their lives trying to live up to society’s standards. They were trained to curtail their personal desires in favor of their family’s.
But women need to be untamed to change the world. Women being true to themselves is the key to creating real change.
The patriarchy has instilled in women that doing what’s best for them will hurt other people. This is a lie.
What is true and beautiful for women will ultimately be also true and beautiful for the people they love. There is no such thing as one-way liberation.
Women’s desires and their imagination are considered dangerous because they threaten the status quo.
The status quo is imbalanced against women. We need to acknowledge that women deserve to have personal wants, goals, and desires.
Our culture makes ‘untaming’ hard. Society isn’t ready for women’s desire for personal liberation.
It’s important to express your feelings, despite what society may teach. Angry, heartbroken women are not broken–they are simply responding as they should to a broken world.
Don’t let fear keep you from becoming untamed. Fear comes from different directions. Sometimes, it can even come from the people who love you most.
To live a life untamed is to learn to live away from fear. This is non-negotiable. Do not let fear into your life.
When we live untamed, we can live wild and free. We can build the life that we want for ourselves, without fears or societal expectations.
- Learn to be firm with your boundaries. Pressure from society, friends, and even family can be strong and persistent. Don’t allow them to force you to live their values.
- Have the courage to speak up. Speaking truth to power is an important step in untaming. It may be difficult and frightening, but it can inspire others to do the same.
- Allow yourself to pursue your own desires. You are more than who you are to other people. Live your life for yourself, not just for others.
- Inspire others to ‘untame’ themselves. Live according to your own ideals and aspirations. Show them how staying true to yourself can lead to an authentic life.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (Extended) are here.