Are we meant to be tamed?

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Many moons ago, a friend told me that my personality was so strong, she thought it’d be a problem for guys. Scientific evidence to support her claim is still to be found.

However, I remembered this a Saturday night ago when I thought to myself, are we meant to be tamed or should we run wild and free? Is there something wrong with asserting our true selves with no fear of how people will receive us?

Should a strong woman be afraid of appearing too strong for a man or vice versa?

See society tries to make you fit a mould. We’re all afraid to be strong personalities and truly express ourselves. Even those people who you think are strong and brave may not have even cracked the surface of their true selves.

In trying to be accepted or to behave like any other ‘normal’ person, we keep ourselves in a shell. In trying to not appear to be ‘too strong’, we’re holding back ourselves.


‘Is there something wrong with asserting our true selves’


We’re afraid to own our power, and to place our stake on what we want in life. It’s like watching Whitney Houston (in her hey day of course) and thinking to yourself, “I’m a great singer”. Yet you’re afraid to sing in front of a small group of friends, far less to step out on a stage and share yourself with an audience. You don’t want to appear to be too sure of yourself or cocky. No one’s asking you to become a diva, but you’ve got to have some faith in yourself.

If former Digicel Rising Star Kay Alleyne didn’t believe in herself enough to enter the competition, she probably would have never shared the stage with Chaka Khan (which she did at the Tobago Jazz Festival earlier this year).

If Ato Boldon didn’t believe in his skills, he wouldn’t have become an Olympian nor go on to become a broadcaster. If Richard Thompson allowed himself to be psyched out by Usain Bolt in the Olympics, he probably would have never medalled. If Usain Bolt told himself he couldn’t become the world’s fastest runner because of his multiple sclerosis, then he wouldn’t be where he is today.

See there’s nothing wrong with coming on strong, as long as you don’t hurt anyone.

If we truly stopped to consider our true potential, and how behaving ‘normal’ keeps us from achieving our maximum reality, maybe we’d be a bit more willing to be wild and free.  Do you see a lion trying to stifle his roar or a bird keeping their morning chirps at an all-time low? If they were to do so, then they wouldn’t be who they are.


‘… behaving ‘normal’ keeps us from achieving our maximum reality’


Tarzan had a real point when he pounded his chest and let out his famous “oh oh oh oh oh” (it’s kind of difficult to communicate his pitch in words). Sometimes you’ve just got to act all King Kong, pound that chest, and get ready to take on the world.

We see dynamic people. The Oprah Winfreys. The Barack Obamas. The Beyonces. The Damien Marleys. The Machel Montanos. The Destra Garcias. The Allison Hinds. They’re going out there and claiming their stake. We admire their presence. We admire who they are because they are achieving their potential.

Somewhere, our admiration is based not on sheer awe, but the subconscious desire to be like them – to be able to share who we are and our talent with everyone, unafraid or unwilling to be phased by people’s reaction to us.

If I tried to stifle who I am then I wouldn’t be true to my friends, family or myself. If I tried to pretend to be a much softer personality, then I couldn’t provide the sort of support I do for my loved ones. If I tried to stifle my so-called strong personality, then my own personal spark would dissolve, and I wouldn’t be that special anymore. The thing that my loved ones love most about me would be gone. More importantly, that passion inside – which I’m yet to pinpoint the true source of – would be gone. I’d be another human being… just being.

I wouldn’t have had the nerve to even start Outlish, nor would I have had the nerve to leave my cushy job. If my friends weren’t strong and sure in their own steps, they wouldn’t have supported me either. We all agreed that we needed the appropriate environment to nurture our potential, so if we couldn’t find it where we were at the time, then we’d have to create that environment for ourselves.

See, we aren’t meant to be tamed. When you become tame, that’s when you lock off all the possibilities for your life.

Think again of the lion. In the wild, he is the king of the jungle. In captivity, he’s just another cat, left to lick his paws in a state of self-pity. So what’ll it be? It’s your call.

Author bio: Karel Mc Intosh is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Outlish Magazine. She’s also a Marketing Communications and Training Consultant, who likes to do things with a twist. A real online junkie, when she isn’t surfing the Internet, she’s thinking about surfing the Internet. Follow her at



Image credit: Ben Heine.

Karel Mc Intosh

Karel Mc Intosh is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Outlish Magazine. She's also the Lead Communications Trainer at Livewired Group, where she conducts workshops in business writing, social media, and other communications areas. A real online junkie, when she isn't surfing the Internet, she's thinking about surfing the Internet. Find out more about her here or tweet her @outlishmagazine.


  1. Aisha De Bique

    July 8, 2010 at 4:07 am

    This is beautiful.Self Acceptance is a topic that I believe is sadly overlooked.In this fast paced society(self help books,plastic surgery,botox,get rich quick ventures…)people by and large seem to have overlooked what a beautiful journey SELF ACCEPTANCE is.Only in my thirties did it occur to me that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ME!No wonder those self help books weren’t working!Of course they have their place-and they continue to inspire people everyday-but they just didn’t do it for me!I think we spend too much time berating ourselves.We focus too much on our weaknesses-trying to fix them,to overcome them.I believe that the most successful people(and by successful I mean the people most willing to share their talents with the world)focus on their STRENGTHS not their weaknesses!We all have weaknesses(YES-even Oprah and Bill Gates)and let’s face it-many of us aren’t going to get over them-not in this lifetime anyway.We need to make the most of the time we have and give our strengths a workout!

  2. observer

    July 8, 2010 at 4:27 am

    and being an overbearing and controlling b****?

    While it’s true that some men have issues with Independent and strong willed women, there is also a definite line in a relationship between confident women and control freaks.

    Relationships are about compromise, and that’s something that even the most confident and strong-willed person needs to understand. You have to be willing and able to bend, even when you think you’re right, in a relationship.

    So while being a strong, self-assured and independent woman is commendable; being controlling,overbearing and diva-ish is certainly not.

    And women who embody these characteristics invariably find themselves alone or have serious problems with relationships.

    if instead of analysing their issues or working with a professional they chose to dismiss their flaws as ‘strong will’ and ‘independence’ then they will never grow and develop as people;never accept and address their weaknesses, will they?

  3. karel

    July 8, 2010 at 6:44 am

    “So while being a strong, self-assured and independent woman is commendable; being controlling,overbearing and diva-ish is certainly not.”

    I agree with this line. Thing is, being strong doesn’t mean you have to stamp on others. Being strong, to me, means accepting yourself, going after the things you want, and helping others along the way. I know many strong women, like Patrice, who’s featured in our interview. She’s a strong woman, in my eyes, but she’s always so supportive of other people who are coming up.

    To be strong, you’ve got to be able to nurture yourself and others. That’s the kind of strength I try to live up to.

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