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A Valentine’s Day Detox

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

He loves me, he loves me not?
The bigger question is: Why do I care so much?

Well the BIG Day—Valentine’s Day—has come and gone. This day of tension, caused by the painful and anxious feelings produced by your girly thoughts telling you that your lovability is going to be demonstrated by what your partner does or doesn’t do, is over for this year. A question to ask yourself, because you have total control over this one, is: Do you want to go through all this drama again next year?

If your answer is no, then this is a time of opportunity. Now, in the aftermath of Valentine’s Day, is your opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, your wants, and how to take care of yourself. You know that Valentine’s Day was not a referendum on your:

  • worthiness
  • desirability
  • beauty

Do we need to add to this—thank God?

So . . . How Did You Do?
How would you describe your Valentine’s Day? Was it a painful day because you listened to those society-prescribed girly thoughts that resulted in you:

  • feeling defeated because you didn’t feel you had control?
  • feeling anxious?
  • holding your breath waiting for a text, email, call, gift?
  • feeling a tinge of your self-worth hanging in the balance?

Or instead, were you able to kick those girly thoughts aside and:

  • think self-loving thoughts?
  • appreciate your beauty?
  • smile instead of frown when you looked at your face?
  • make this day special for yourself?
  • laugh at all the hype?

And if you didn’t receive what you wanted, did you think, “It’s your loss, buddy”?

What Is Valentine’s Day, Anyway?
Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to build resilience—that well of strength, of resources, of strategies that work within you—that helps you get through difficult times.

Looked at this way, Valentine’s Day can be a win/win. The day provides a window into your relationship with your partner. You learn about yourself and about building more resilience from the pressure and stress generated by this one day. It provides an opportunity to see if you have picked someone who can take care of your needs and your wants. It is also an opportunity to see how well you have done in communicating these same needs and wants to the one who loves you.

Please share your insights into Valentine’s Day with me by sending your comments through my website: www.patriciaogorman.com.

Since we’re talking about pain, look for a blog soon on Crying At Work . . .

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

Free LIVE Webinar on Your girly thoughts: Wednesday 2.18.15 from 1:30- 2:30 ET

Free LIVE Webinar on Your girly thoughts – REGISTER HERE!

This Wednesday, 2.18.15   1:30-2:30 ET


Dr. Patricia O’Gorman

Author of

The girly thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan


Sa’na Rasul, PHR,

President and Founder of HRgirlfriends

Benefits of attending: 

  • Understand how you are doing to you, what society is doing to you – they’re your girly thoughts
  • Take a quick quiz to see how many parts of your life are influenced by your girly thoughts
  • Ask your questions

In this live, interactive, webinar

When:            Wednesday 2.18.15 from 1:30- 2:30 ET

 How to join? Register now @ http://www.hrgirlfriends.com/events-2


CT Style – Book Lover’s Corner – 2/11/15

4 Ways to Tune Out Your Girly Thoughts on Valentine’s Day


Patricia O’Gorman, PhD


Author of:

The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power

There is a crack in everything . . . that’s how the light gets in.

—Leonard Cohen

There is something about a holiday—and Valentine’s Day in particular—that makes us focus even more than usual on what we see as our faults. It must be the connection between our powerful, emotional needs for love and the cultural promise that the perfect love awaits us if—and this is a pretty big if—we achieve all the requirements that are contained in our girly thoughts.  

Feeling Defective Is a Conditioned Response to Your Girly Thoughts

You know, girly thoughts, our society’s decisions about how you should look, how you should act, even how you should sound, with the promise that if you fulfill these requirements, jump through all these hoops, fit the current corporate image of beauty, then . . . maybe . . . your Prince Charming will magically materialize and you will have the perfect love you’ve been dreaming of.

Valentine’s Day: An Adult Fairy Tale

Valentine’s Day has become an adult fairy tale. We have the key players—you, the lovely young, innocent woman, and your man, your Prince Charming, who is capable of transporting you to another land where your true worth will be recognized, and where you will no longer need to work your butt off.

Well, you no longer believe in Cinderella and her glass slipper, so why do you believe that if you are perfect, the perfect love awaits? This is a big fantasy, not reality.

Why Don’t You Just Say NO?

You can try to tune out these V-Day girly thoughts, but that’s a lot of work!

Because these messages are all around on Valentine’s Day—from the ubiquitous heart shapes to the lyrics we hear in songs to story lines on TV shows and in movies. They all say the same thing: if you are not receiving the love you want so much, it is your fault because you are:

  • too old
  • too young
  • too aggressive
  • too passive

In short, you are somehow lacking.   

Four Ways to Counter Those V-Day Girly Thoughts

Now is the time to stop blaming yourself for the lack of love in your life! Here are four ways you can:

  • Become aware of those messages around you that tell you that you need to earn love based on how close you come to meeting these crazy girly thoughts standards. Learn to identify them—and then say, “Oh yes, another message to make my girly thoughts even stronger.”
  • Laugh! Yes, laugh. Now, you could cry, but why bother? Laugh instead because spending even an ounce of energy on listening to those silly thoughts is ridiculous.
  • Become curious about your light. Yes, your light: What makes you glow? Let every girly thought that seeks to diminish you remind you instead of the best that is in you! Let each reminder of what is wrong with you, every message of a new hoop you need to jump through, be an invitation to think about what is remarkable about you. These messages have you thinking about yourself, so think about what makes you special!
  • Don’t be afraid of your cracks. Whether it’s a new wrinkle or a new roll, a hair that has decided to grow on your chin or a new zit, remember how you handle this crack is how you let your light out into the world.

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy every part of you. You’ll discover that the more you do this, the fewer girly thoughts you’ll be nursing and the more you will enjoy your Valentine’s Day—whatever direction it takes you!

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.



Girly Thoughts in Metro.US – 2/11/2015

metro.us girly thoughts article


‘Girly Thoughts” in the news:

Want to know how your girly thoughts are increasing your stress over Valentine’s Day?

-       Watch Dr. O’Gorman on CT Style on WTNH, New Haven, Connecticut, 2.11.15, 9-10am ET

-       Read Eva Kris Article on 2.11.15 in http://www.metro.us/

-       And watch for my blogs on how to not let your girly thoughts ruin your V-Day

How do your girly thoughts affect those who are supposed to be helping you?  Watch for Jennifer Weigel’s article in the Chicago Tribune

Interested in learning more about girly thoughts attend my FREE Webinar on 2.18.15, 1:30-2:30 sponsored by HRgirlfriends .  Space is limited so sign up now https://hrg.memberclicks.net/events-2

Enjoy Valentine’s Day – Don’t Indulge Your Girly Thoughts

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

author of

The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox


 “How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet

“You don’t spell it . . . you feel it.” – Pooh

—A.A. Milne, “Winnie The Pooh” 

Perhaps no other holiday creates as much tension as Valentine’s Day. This is the day of love, of being loved, of receiving gifts, all of which say that all of your hard work at maintaining your relationship is worth it!

Yes, it is a day of drama, full of tension and storms, the day that keeps us “in the game,” and due to all the disappointments and heartbreaks you have experienced, it is also a day that has helped you grow deep roots.

Girly Thoughts: the Legacy of Fairy Tales

You were raised on tales of Prince Charming coming to your rescue and thereby proving his undying love. You’ve seen numerous movies and read many books where even strong, feisty women are in need of rescuing by the men of their dreams.

While you may no longer be reading fairy tales, you may unconsciously still be living by the messages they taught, messages that are part of the fabric of your girly thoughts, those toxic messages that tell you your self-worth depends largely on how someone else values, even loves you.

Valentine’s Day Is a Day that Proves . . . Your Self-Worth?

Perhaps on no other day do these messages play out as they do on Valentine’s Day . . . the day your “prince” will prove your genuine lovability.

As a result, you probably attach a great deal of importance to the actions of the one you love on this one day.

We pressure our partners to use traditional tokens of love and appreciation—cards, flowers, chocolates, perhaps even Champagne—to demonstrate our importance in their lives and prove their devotion to us. If they fail in some way, we are tempted to feel diminished, less important, and—sadly—unloved or unlovable.

As a Result, You Feel Held Hostage

You put pressure on yourself to be seen and rewarded, signifying that all the sacrifices you made were “worth it.”

And if you are not rewarded as you feel you should be, your girly thoughts tell you the fault lies within you, and you must try harder, do more.

Or your girly thoughts tell you you’re not loveable because you are too old, not exciting, too fat or too thin, and the inner monologue about your real or imagined negative qualities goes on . . . and on . . . and on.

In this way, Valentine’s Day holds you hostage, creating anxiety and uncertainty, draining you of your power as you unwittingly give it over to another person.

This is the exact opposite of what you’d hoped for.

Does Waiting to Be Loved Work for You?

If waiting to be loved actually makes you anxious and miserable, as it does most of us, I suggest an alternative: Why not (also) love yourself?

This isn’t meant to subtract from your loved one’s importance in your life, merely to balance it by also caring for and cherishing yourself.

Yes, you can still be appreciative of the gifts from your partner, boyfriend, or husband, but you also give yourself something perhaps even more important . . . self-love and self-appreciation, instead of indulging those girly thoughts all day!

Appreciate Yourself on Valentine’s Day 

You may be planning a romantic dinner with your boyfriend. If you have children, you may be putting valentines in their lunch boxes. Perhaps you’ll be posting a Valentine’s Day message on Facebook for your friends and family.

But what about you? What can you give yourself on this day of love? Give yourself …well…gifts! Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Plan what you are going to wear on Valentine’s Day in a leisurely way. Instead of just focusing on what you will be making for dinner, think about yourself. Ask yourself: What looks good on me? Which outfit makes me feel good about myself? What do I feel comfortable wearing?
  • As you wear your favorite clothes on Valentine’s Day, tell yourself: I look really good!
  • Write down two things you really like about yourself. You don’t have to display that list, but put it somewhere you’ll see it—and say those words out loud each time you do. They may be as direct as: I am Smart! I am a Good Friend! I can kick (you know what)!
  • Think of ways you can act on those positive qualities and get others to also see them. For example, if you like your voice, sing in your car, sing at work, or entertain your partner.
  • Give yourself attagirls throughout the day for stepping out of your comfort zone and into your power.
  • Tell yourself . . . I love you. 

Now you’re creating a day full of love. You don’t need to spell love, you just need to feel it within yourself.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day! And stay tuned for my next blog where we’ll check out how you did . . .

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

For the New Year, Don’t Listen to Those Girly Thoughts . . . Speak UP at Work!


Patricia O’Gorman, Ph.D.



I can and I will…

Yes, we’re almost a month the New Year, and you are probably finding, as most of us are, that those New Year’s Resolutions are difficult to follow.

To gain some perspective, let’s back up for a moment and consider what the new year is all about. That’s easy: It is a time to start over, to do things differently.

Sound good? But where to begin? How about the way you act at work?

Make a New Year’s Work Resolution 

I know, you’ve already made some resolutions for improving your work situation this year: get a raise, go for that promotion, seek out a new job.

Have you made any progress so far? If not, what’s getting in the way?

Consider making a New Year’s Resolution to address a major obstacle most women must confront to meet their goals—figure out how to challenge your girly thoughts, that internalized, negative self-talk that sabotages your best efforts by telling you (among other things) that you’re not good enough in some way.

Make a Concrete Resolution 

And let’s up the ante and make your New Year’s Work Resolution something concrete, something that will improve your work life—not just today, not just for the rest of 2015, but for your entire career:

Resolve to Speak Up at Work

Why Speak Up?

Why start here? Let’s face it: you face a great deal of pressure in the workplace. Not only was it a struggle to get your job, but you also feel the pressure to keep it and do it well. Some of the pressure you feel is performance based—whether you are a teacher, a computer analyst, an executive, or in sales, you want to be good in your job.

After all, this is where you spend the majority of your awake time; this is the field you have in some way trained for, and you need to stay current with your skill set, all while you navigate those tricky office politics.

How would this look? When you give yourself a voice, you:

  • speak your truth
  • offer your opinion, your wisdom
  • remember that you were hired because you are the best person for your job

So instead of just listening to those girly thoughts, that toxic inner dialogue that tells you to be a good girl and keep quiet, remind yourself of your value and resolve to  let your value show.

Will There Be a Price to Pay for Speaking Up At Work? 

According to Facebook chief operating office Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant, the answer is yes, you will pay a price for speaking up. But then you already know that, and have probably experienced it.

In their opinion piece for the New York Times titled “Speaking While Female,” Sandburg and Grant write:

Male executives who spoke more often than their peers were rewarded with 10 percent higher ratings of competence. When female executives spoke more than their peers, both men and women punished them with 14 percent lower ratings. As this and other research shows, women who worry that talking “too much” will cause them to be disliked are not paranoid; they are often right.

Should the Price Stop You?

You’re already paying the price. You’re stuck. But this is a New Year, so let there be a New You! Challenge those girly thoughts that say  be nice, and instead speak up! And if your girly thoughts warn you how much you will be disliked if you speak up, tell them to take a hike!

How to Speak Up

  • Take a deep breath
  • Speak on the exhale
  • Make eye contact
  • Speak in your natural, strong voice, not that so-cute little girl voice

And after you speak, give yourself a private pat on the back—you did it!

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of that negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.

How have you overcome your fear of speaking up at work?  Let’s start talking …. 

In my next blog, we’ll take a break from work and deal with your heart…. Watch for Enjoy Valentine’s Day – Don’t Indulge Your Girly Thoughts

6 Ways to Know if Your Girly Thoughts Are Holding You Back at Work


Patricia O’Gorman, PhD


This year, train for success!

Your girly thoughts are saying:

Be nice, don’t interrupt, don’t be assertive

When you hold yourself back, when you don’t assert the power of your position, share your information, offer your opinion, there is a price to be paid—and it is either paid in real time with negative consequences or paid down the line in a failure to really succeed.

Are You Holding Yourself Back?

If this sounds like you, you can begin by discovering how those toxic inner thoughts, what I call girly thoughts, are getting in the way of you doing the job you were hired to do. Yes, your girly thoughts can trip you up in many places in your life, but let’s begin by tackling one part of everyone’s job: speaking up at work. Whether you are working as a coder or as a surgeon, your thoughts about your work are important. But for many women finding their voice at work is not so easy.

I was recently at a meeting when the staff was asked to offer their opinions on a subject. It was interesting to note that all the men spoke first. Several women tried to speak during the time when the men “had the floor,” but here’s what would happen:

A woman would begin to speak; a man would interrupt, speaking just a little louder; the woman would smile slightly, put her head down, and appear to “wait her turn” as the man continued speaking.

Sound familiar?

In my last blog, For the New Year—Don’t Listen to Those Girly Thoughts . . . Speak UP at Work!  I cited an article by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on the price women pay for using their voice at work. Yes, there are real consequences for speaking up at work, but there are also very real consequences for not speaking up, for not using your power, for not asserting your valuable professional opinions—and this is why women do not get as far as our male counterparts.

6 Ways Your Girly Thoughts Keep You Down at Work:

Navigating the “Rules of the Office” includes knowing when to speak and how to offer your opinion. To find out if your girly thoughts are getting in your way, ask yourself if you are holding yourself back. Do you:

  • wait for the right time to speak?
  • make sure you are not interrupting others?
  • prioritize politeness and preface your contributions by saying “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry, but . . .”?
  • use your most non-threatening voice, a.k.a. a little girl voice?
  • feel the need to smile as you speak?
  • carefully rephrase your point to be nice when you make it?

How do you feel if someone repeats a point you made earlier as though the idea originated with him or her? Do you feel it is impolite to remind others that the idea is yours by saying something like, “Thank you for summarizing the point I made earlier”?

If your answer is yes to even one of these questions, you need to make some changes.

Stand in Your Power—Warning: You May Not Be Liked

For many women, speaking up at work means being seen as powerful, and that may mean you will not be liked or seen as nice. So let’s take a moment to look at these terms

Nice means, for many women, being seen as compliant, understanding, forgiving, and subservient. Said this way, it doesn’t feel very good, does it? So why do so many of us want to be nice? Because our girly thoughts say that’s how we should be acting, that we have each been raised to be a “good girl and good girls are nice, all the time.   No wonder we feel anxious when we push back at work.

As for being liked? Well, you may not be liked if you speak up, but then again you may be respected, listened to, thought of as a force—in short, you may be cultivating many of the qualities that will be important in your career.

This is your choice—choose to keep listening to those girly thoughts or advance in your career.

This Year, Train for Success

For maximum career success you need to train as you would to improve any skill. Begin with a plan for how you will:

  • discover your voice
  • use your voice
  • tell yourself you will use your power and be successful
  • use positive affirmations as I describe in The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan. Here’s one to get you started:

“The most important thing I wear is my confidence.”

And have some fun—Just Say NO to your girly thoughts that tell you “You can’t do that.”

Let me know how you have coached yourself to speak up at work. Share your tips and tricks for overcoming your own toxic self-talk

For my next three blogs, we’ll switch from the office to your heart and focus on Valentine’s Day. Yes, your girly thoughts have a field day with this symbolic day! I’ll help you enjoy the day for what it is instead of letting it hold you hostage by creating anxiety and uncertainty and draining you of your power as you unwittingly give it over to another person.

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

Imagine a New You in the New Year—Free from Girly Thoughts

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD


Above all, be the heroine in your own life – Nora Ephron

You’re well into the New Year, and your resolutions probably included losing a few of those holiday pounds, right? If you’re like most of us, that particular resolution is a real stumbling block, and failing to realize it is an incredible stressor.

The See Food Diet—Because You’re a Stress Eater

Yes, you know the joke: you see food and you eat it. But why do you do this? It is because you are defective and have no control? Or is it because you are under so much stress that you need some satisfaction that is pretty quick and immediate? Yes, you are a stress eater. Most of us are.

The source of your stress? Those girly thoughts, which form what one of my reviewers in The 10 Day Girly Thoughts Detox Plan calls “your inner trash talk.”

Your girly thoughts tell you to:

  • stay forever young
  • be thin
  • be nice
  • keep your partner sexually happy
  • and dozens of other things on an impossible list made all the more difficult because more girly thoughts tell you to do the impossible without stumbling, without failing, and without gaining any weight.

Does this spell relief?

New Year’s Resolutions That Will Work

This year, give yourself a real gift—rid yourself from this type of thinking and the resulting self-destructive actions that come when you believe your girly thoughts. I promise you, it won’t be that hard. And we can do this together.

For the next few weeks, each blog will focus on a different girly thought, and I invite you to send me additional girly thoughts through my website: www.patriciaogorman.com, and we can address these together.

Girly Thought #1: I’m Fat

If you’re like the rest of us, you probably ate more over the holidays that you thought you should, and now you feel . . . Fat.

To help ease your anxiety, the multi-billion dollar diet industry is ramping up their appeal, hoping you will buy their books, plans, magazines—all of which offer easy, no-effort-required ways to lose weight.

So what do you do? You sign up for the plan, or buy the new book, or purchase the magazine (many of which have tantalizing desserts on the cover), and you collapse in exhaustion, feeling a wave of overwhelming feelings.

To Lose Weight and Lose Stress, Lose Those Girly Thoughts

As we said earlier, most women are stress eaters. So if you want to lose weight, you have two choices:

  • Go on a diet, which will only increase your stress because you eat when you are stressed, or
  • Lose the cause of your stress—those harmful girly thoughts—and commit to doing a 10-Day Detox to change your thinking, beginning with: Reducing your stress!

Make this next year about losing your girly thoughts—and watch those pounds melt away.

Now say: “Yes, I can.”

Learn more about detoxing from your negative self-talk in my book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.

Watch for my next blog for another concrete action you can take to reduce your stress and increase your success in the New Year—speaking up at work!

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