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Be Like Misty Copeland – Don’t Dream Girly Thoughts

By 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 (publication date 10.28.14) The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013) Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting—The Codependency Connection (2012)

Perhaps the name Misty Copeland is not a familiar to you—yet. It will be very soon. Misty is the latest prima ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, a cause of celebration in and of itself. But that is only part of the story for this young African American woman.

As the youngest of six children raised by a single mother, Misty is a living, breathing example of not letting those girly thoughts trip you up. Girly thoughts tell you what you can and cannot do, how you should and should not look, and the punishment you can expect if you don’t listen to these implied societal directives. Misty chose to ignore those messages, especially the ones that began with You Can’t.

The fact that Misty didn’t look like your typical ballerina didn’t stop her. Truth be told, she had many things against her:

  • She is only 5’2” when the average height for a ballerina is 5’7”.
  • She isn’t Caucasian, like almost every other prima ballerinas.
  • She didn’t begin dancing until she was thirteen. Most ballerinas begin their arduous training before they even begin school.

But none of this stopped Misty from listening to her body, and her body told her to dance beautifully, gracefully, like a ballerina.

Her Key to Success
What did Misty listen to? She listened to herself, not to the limits she felt from society. Misty listened to her dreams, her senses, the love she had of her body moving in space, for leaping, spinning, and landing with grace and ease. This is what she wanted. This is what she achieved.

Misty’s drive and resilience shine through in this riveting video, which is part of the Under Armour campaign “I Will What I Want”:

What Do You Want?

If you want to give yourself permission to just feel, what is getting in the way of doing what your body say it wants to do?
How do you see your body moving? How does this feel? And if it doesn’t feel good—ask yourself why not.
What is stopping you from giving yourself this gift? Do you think you’d look ridiculous? That you’ll be judged? If so, ask yourself, “By what?”

Say “Get Lost” to Your Girly Thoughts

Tell the part of yourself that has internalized all the do’s and don’ts—the part that is the good girl you were raised to be—to get lost. Tell your girly thoughts you want to dream, and you want to make your dreams come true. Turn on your music and move. You may be surprised how truly easy it is to be you, to trust your body, to feel and follow your senses.

This is the beginning of you trusting you to take care of yourself, of you becoming more resilient.

 

How do girly thoughts develop?

By 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 (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)
Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting—The Codependency Connection (2012)

girly thoughts quote

I’ve often been asked, “How do girly thoughts develop?” Some women think perhaps they began having negative thoughts about themselves when they entered puberty or became teenagers. The truth might surprise to you.

Your Girly Thoughts in the Beginning
It may be a rude awakening for some of you to really think back and see when you did began to think girly thoughts, that toxic, inner dialogue fed daily by media and some less-than-helpful female traditions, because you will very likely be able to trace it to a much earlier time than you thought.

A woman I spoke to a couple of weeks ago shared that she thought her four-year-old was having girly thoughts. Her four-year-old daughter told her, “I know I’m going to be popular!” Her mother was excited. “Why?” she asked. “Is it because you’re smart, helpful, a good friend?

“No,” her daughter said, smiling and twirling her hair, “It’s because I’m blond.”
A Focus on Fashion Instead of Sports
Even as young girls, we become aware of what is acceptable and what is not. We receive lots of positive feedback for being pretty, being quiet and polite, and most of all for being good . . . but how this translates may surprise you.

A male friend of mine who is the principle of an elementary school shared with me that he dreads spring. Why? “Bare midriffs, short shirts . . . why do mothers buy this stuff?” He doesn’t understand how relentless your girls can be about being accepted (he has a son). But why do mothers give in? We have our own girly thoughts, and so the cycle continues.

What to Do?
I was recently honored to speak at the 2nd Annual Beautiful Women Doing Beautiful Things Women’s Networking Event in Albany, New York, about this very subject. I invite you to watch the video of my presentation, where I give tips on what to do about your own girly thoughts.

Put those tips into action, and let me know what new strategies you are developing.

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a best selling author, psychologist, resiliency coach, former executive, and an international speaker known for her warm and funny presentations. She is the author and coauthor of nine books, including The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (publication date 10.28.14), as well as numerous articles in magazines. Watch for Dr. O’Gorman’s newest book A Man’s Guide to girly thoughts, and Out Your Girly Thoughts and Embrace Your Strength—A Resilience-Building Curriculum will be available in 2015; visit www.patriciaogorman.com for more information.

What’s in your girly thoughts?

What Does Living Without Girly Thoughts Look Like?

By 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 (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)
Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting—The Codependency Connection (2012)

Our girly thoughts define us. They tell us what we can and cannot do. They encase us in the known and confine us to the acceptable. And they promise punishment if we move outside of these defined walls.
So what does living without your girly thoughts look like? How does it feel? And most important, how do you begin?

A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words

If you want a life that is not ruled by your girly thoughts, then BREAK FREE. Feel your inner freedom and joy.
Is that hard work? Yes, of course it is. You were confined. But see what happens when you risk leaving the known.

first_blog

Break Through From Your Mold By Zenos Frudakis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Dare to Feel Your Real Power

When you dare to break free from what has been confining you, you can begin to sense you true power. Sit back and feel your unencumbered energy surge through you. Allow yourself to know the energy that can emanate through your perfectly imperfect body.

expansionExpansion by Paige Bradley, New York, USA

As you reject your girly thoughts and embrace your personal power, you open yourself to living a life free of the constraints imposed by these toxic self-judgments, freeing yourself to live a life based upon who you so gloriously are.
Let me know how you are tackling your girly thoughts. Send me a comment, or an email at girlythoughtsdetox@gmail.com.

But Am I Pretty? How Girly Thoughts Destroy Your Teenager’s Self-Esteem

By 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 (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)
Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting—The Codependency Connection (2012)

The pressure to be thin enough, pretty enough, popular enough is difficult for any woman, but it’s especially tough for teenagers—achieving those “goals” is incredibly importance to them.

In today’s world, asking your best friend for her honest opinion doesn’t seem to be enough feedback. Teenage girls have never been bastions of self-esteem, but with today’s smartphones, YouTube, Snapchat, and other replacements for the “slam books” of past generations, feeling good about themselves is more difficult than ever.

Enter girly thoughts, the toxic self-talk that reinforces our negative beliefs about ourselves and have helped us form our identity as women. They profoundly influence how we see the world and understand our role in it . . . and they are reinforced by family, friends, and the media.

In my soon-to-be-published book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan, I include a quick quiz you can take to see if you’re affected by girly thoughts.

Spoiler alert: You are. We all are.

“Tell Me What You See, Even If It Hurts Me”

Over the past several years, more than half a million YouTube videos have been uploaded by young girls (most younger than fifteen) asking for feedback from total strangers with a version of the question, “Am I Pretty?” (Read the August 3, 2014 edition of the New York Times article here.) The results are astonishing and depressing, and when I read it, I couldn’t help but think “no wonder we struggle to feel ‘good enough’.”

I found this concern with looks even extended to aging—for example, spas now offer Quince and Sweet-16 Botox parties. In fact, at every age, Botox is now the most commonly used noninvasive surgical procedure (American Academy of Plastic Surgery, 2013)

Role Models

As adult women, as mothers and grandmothers, aunts and neighbors, teachers and mentors, we need to let these young women know they are asking the wrong questions. We must set the example by defining ourselves and taking control of our own lives instead of basing our value on society’s norms.

As their role models move away from “Am I pretty?” to “Am I happy?” and from “Am I good enough for this guy?” to “Is this guy good enough for me?” our teenagers will have a roadmap for learning to embrace their own personal power—the direct opposite of their girly thoughts—and enjoy a future of their own creation.

This is the message behind The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan, and I invite you to join me in outing your own girly thoughts as a first step toward helping younger women see their way out of that toxic jungle. Please join me at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6iXxMoDz3o and email me at girlythoughtsdetox@gmail.com or comment below.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page, just below “Recent Posts” or by clicking here:


 

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a psychologist and resiliency coach, and an international speaker known for her warm and funny presentations. She has worked extensively with women and children of alcoholics in private practice with an emphasis on trauma. She also serves on the Board of the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault, previously directed a rape crises center as well as the Division of Prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She founded the Department of Prevention and Education for the National Office of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), national office, worked extensively in senior management in child welfare, and is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. The Girly Thought 10 Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power is her ninth book; others include The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power, Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, The Lowdown on Families Who Get High, Dancing Backwards in High Heels, and 12 Steps To Self-Parenting.  She invites you to visit her website: http://patriciaogorman.com

Getting Married? Don’t Say I Do to Your Girly Thoughts

By 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 (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)
Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting—The Codependency Connection (2012)

Your wedding should be a joyful day for you and for your guests. This is the day you invite those you love the most to join with you in celebrating a major change in your life. As the day gets closer, so should the joy of anticipation. But that is not how it often plays out.

Your Girly Thoughts Cause Major Stress—Yes, Even on Your Wedding Day

So often as you see your wedding day approach, you feel the stress mount. Why? Your girly thoughts, that toxic inner dialogue that keeps pointing out where you are lacking, where you are to blame, is there telling you what to do . . . and they rob you of the pleasure you deserve to be feeling on your special day.

Girly Thoughts Wedding Stressors

Here are some of the girly thoughts that have the potential to ruin your special day:

    1. 1. I’m fat —Interesting that this is the first girly thought I list in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan. This is a girly thought that follows us wherever we go. But why let it take up space on this, your special day?
      Tell this less-than-helpful, energy-draining thought to get lost. Your weight, whatever it is, is perfect for today. With all of the other stressors heaped on you, you don’t need to stress about losing another five pounds.
    2. 2. Your wedding day has to be perfect for everyone—Your girly thoughts say you have to consider everyone else’s feelings when you make your choices for your wedding and reception—the seating, the songs you’ve chosen, the color arrangement, even the flowers you’ve picked. With all the personal decisions you’ve made, there are sure to be some decisions that those close to you won’t like.

Claudia’s sister was upset because she choose a song that her sister claimed as her own. . Her mother thought daisies looked cheap. She put her two aunts—who hadn’t spoken to each other in fifteen years—at the family table. One bridesmaid didn’t like the color of her dress.

Invite your family members to be the adults they claim to be. Push back with resolve, albeit graciously and with a smile and a squeeze of their hand to let them know you understand their pain but you deserve their support.

    1. 3. You are responsible for everyone having a good time—Recognize this for what it is, another girly thought telling you to put your needs second, even on your wedding day. This girly thought tells you that you need to earn love by figuring out first how to make everyone else feel loved and honored before you can expect him or her to show you love and support.
      Actually, your wedding is an opportunity for those closest to you to celebrate you and your new spouse, not for you to magically solve all the long-simmering issues in your family or between your friends. Treating those you invite to your wedding as honored guests—who you expect to know how to take care of themselves—is a gift you are giving to them.

How to Enjoy Your Wedding

Don’t base your happiness on what others think of you. Make this the day you want, and invite others to join in to the best of their ability. After all, you’ve done your part . . . so let loose from those girly thoughts and enjoy what you have created!

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page, just below “Recent Posts” or by clicking here:


 

And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a psychologist and resiliency coach, and an international speaker known for her warm and funny presentations. She has worked extensively with women and children of alcoholics in private practice with an emphasis on trauma. She also serves on the Board of the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault, previously directed a rape crises center as well as the Division of Prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She founded the Department of Prevention and Education for the National Office of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), national office, worked extensively in senior management in child welfare, and is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. The Girly Thought 10 Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power is her ninth book; others include The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power, Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, The Lowdown on Families Who Get High, Dancing Backwards in High Heels, and 12 Steps To Self-Parenting.  She invites you to visit her website: http://patriciaogorman.com

Is This Love?—No, It’s a Girly Thought!

By 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 (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)

So Ray Rice says he’s sorry, and it’s all okay? Not so fast.

“Maryland Ravens running back Ray Rice took to the podium for a second time to apologize for the incident that started with him assaulting his then-fiancee and ended in him pulling her unconscious out of an elevator in Atlantic City (http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/08/ray-rice-apology-ravens).”

He then added (for those who questioned her culpability) that she could do no wrong, as if this somehow explained his actions. What’s going on here?

Many things are wrong with this picture—a culture of celebrating and excusing male heroes (women should only be so lucky), a culture of violence against women, and a culture of women being conditioned to accept all of this.

We accept this because of our girly thoughts, that toxic inner dialogue fed into daily by the media and some less-than-helpful female traditions, that tell us to first look to see how we might have caused something terrible to happen to us, and then to be quick to forgive the other if they say the “magic words.”

And those words are not I’m sorry . . . but I love you. If we are loved, we can forgive all. Can’t we? Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

We have been conditioned by our girly thoughts to accept and excuse apologies if that magic phase is thrown in cause “He loves me.” We have been taught to see past another’s actions and blame his drinking, his anger problem, his stress, his mother, as if this somehow makes it all okay that we have been hurt. In doing this, our girly thoughts teach us not to hold another as responsible for his actions and at the same time to hold ourselves responsible for understanding and forgiving those actions. We psychologists call this a “double-bind.”

Is this the first incident of domestic abuse you’ve ever heard of? No, of course not, and it won’t be the last, unfortunately. But you can help change this:

  • Help women label their girly thoughts when they are in situations where they are explaining away the pain they are in; having a name for what you are feeling gives you power over it. Help those women you know gain power over their pain.
  • Know where local help is available for women caught in domestic violence.
  • Catch your own girly thoughts before they trip you.

Remember being quiet with others and with ourselves when abuse involved is never helpful. If you feel women should be treated better let the NFL know. They are courting your support, your money. Let them know that if they want to consider you as part of their audience, you deserve respect. Say no to your girly thoughts that say love is supposed to hurt. … and while you’re at it…say no way… to the NFL for a 2 game suspension for Rice…!

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page, just below “Recent Posts” or by clicking here:


 

And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a psychologist and resiliency coach, and an international speaker known for her warm and funny presentations. She has worked extensively with women and children of alcoholics in private practice with an emphasis on trauma. She also serves on the Board of the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault, previously directed a rape crises center as well as the Division of Prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She founded the Department of Prevention and Education for the National Office of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), national office, worked extensively in senior management in child welfare, and is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. The Girly Thought 10 Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power is her ninth book; others include The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power, Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, The Lowdown on Families Who Get High, Dancing Backwards in High Heels, and 12 Steps To Self-Parenting.  She invites you to visit her website: http://patriciaogorman.com

 

How to Fight Girly Thought #1 I’m Fat– Tell Your Body You Love Her

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

Author of
The girly thought 10 Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)
The Tyranny of Thinness

Let’s face it, you are plagued by messages to be thin, everywhere you look, in virtually everything you hear: Thin is in. Thin is desirable; thin is beautiful; thin is enviable.

Implied in each one of these messages whether they are a digitally altered image, a new diet product, or a new diet plan, is that if you are not thin, then you are the dreaded – fat!

Yes, if you do not fit the newest definition of thin, for whatever reason — whether you’ve just had a baby, and gained weight, even if you are Kim Kardashian; or if you decided to eat a more regular diet as Lady Gaga did, gaining thirty pounds as a result, your weight gets noticed. If you’re famous enough, you’ll even make headlines, as opposed to just receiving snide comments at the office.

Even if your weight fluctuations don’t attract that much attention, except by you, they tend to be the stock by which you judge your own worthiness. Your weight is noted in a critical inner commentary – which I call girly thoughts– captured on your own inner message board, making BIG news, no pun intended, as in “OMG, I’ve gained three pounds this weekend!”

How Thin is Thin Enough?

Even models struggle with the need to be thin. But sometimes crises can be an opportunity as it was for Robyn Lawley. She learned to fight back.

Be prepared to be shocked as you watch 6’2”, size 12, plus size model, Robyn Lawley on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Yes, you have that correct, size 12 is now a plus size. Learn how Robyn dealt with being called fat. How she fended off the criticism that she looked liked a pig – (whoever said this must not have seen her).

Loving Your Body

She handled this in a way that may inspire you. She decided to tell herself that she loves her body. It worked for her and it can work for you. Watch her astonishing interview with Ellen:


The Power of Positive Affirmations

You can do what she did. When you hear yourself saying a negative girly thought such as you’re a loser for gaining weight, you can tell yourself that — you love your body. And you can even single out parts of your body for extra love, and say:
• I love my strong hips.
• I love my tummy that says I’ve been a mother.
• I love my chin that has supported me through so much.
• I love my cushy bottom.

The result, you will begin to feel better about yourself by fighting your negative self-talk, your girly thoughts, as they begin, instead of letting them settle in and take up so much room in you head.

Now, what can be the loss in doing this?

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page, just below “Recent Posts” or by clicking here:

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.


 

And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a psychologist and resiliency coach, and an international speaker known for her warm and funny presentations. She has worked extensively with women and children of alcoholics in private practice with an emphasis on trauma. She also serves on the Board of the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault, previously directed a rape crises center as well as the Division of Prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She founded the Department of Prevention and Education for the National Office of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), national office, worked extensively in senior management in child welfare, and is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. The Girly Thought 10 Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power is her ninth book; others include The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power, Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, The Lowdown on Families Who Get High, Dancing Backwards in High Heels, and 12 Steps To Self-Parenting.  She invites you to visit her website: http://patriciaogorman.com

Is Disney Succumbing to Girly Thoughts?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

author of
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (HCI 2013), and

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

(forthcoming October 2014, HCI)

Disney is an iconic producer of many of the stories that make up the stuff of childhood. But have you ever stopped to consider the impact those gorgeous, svelte princesses have on the developing attitudes of young girls?

Whether you’re of the generation that embraced old-school princesses like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, or the more recent generation that fell in love with Jasmine (in Aladdin) and Ariel (in The Little Mermaid), you likely received the message loud and clear that thin is beautiful.

In signaling out this Disney example, I am in no way disparaging everything the company does.

Yes, there was perhaps a professional artistic team that should be congratulated for portraying Ursula the Witch in The Little Mermaid as a size 24, as she went against the prevailing notion that only ultra-thin female characters could be depicted. But now this witch has been literally “down-sized,” and she looks like a fashion model. This reimagining forces us to consider the perhaps unintended consequences of always portraying female characters as ultra thin.

Being heavy is supposed to be unhealthy. But . . . maybe not always.

Is Heavy Always Bad?

We know we have lots of heavy girls of every age. We have heard that being heavy carries with it other health concerns. Some of you may have experienced this firsthand.

But there are some big women in the world who are healthy, and there are many little girls in the world who are heavier in pre-puberty than they are going to be post-puberty after they have their growth spurts. So maybe being heavy isn’t always bad.

But hating yourself for being heavy is definitely always not good.

Disney on a Diet

This is where the con of Disney changing one of the few role models for young girls who are not super thin comes in. There are few example of “leading ladies”—even those of the villain variety—who are plus-sized.

I invite you to watch the following video that provides another take on being heavy and the joy of actually accepting yourself, all in graphic detail.

Heavy and sexy—yes!

More Fuel For Girly Thoughts

Yes, girly thoughts, those messages you receive that tell you your worth is tied to how close you can come to an ever-more-elusive digitized ideal.

This message was not lost on the eleven-year-old I just saw clinically, who is purging herself after eating pizza and French fries. And she takes her weight issue one step further: She hates herself for being heavy.

“All my friends are thin. What’s wrong with me?” she asks.

I could have reminded her that she hasn’t yet reach puberty, and that when she does, she will probably become taller and thinner (as her pediatrician who referred her to me shared with her and her family), but that isn’t the essential message that is getting her stuck.

The Power of Girly Thoughts

She got the message, all right: She is less deserving as a human being if she is heavy. And who can blame her for feeling this way? Like the rest of us, she is constantly bombarded with reinforcement in media—even in sweet Disney movies—that only thin girls are desirable.

Remember:

  • If you feel you need to hate yourself to be thin, it’s not worth it.
  • Since you may be triggered to eat by the thought that you need to be thin, consider getting rid of the girly thought that says “I need to be thin to be desirable.” Doing this will actually help you lose weight.
  • Self-love: that’s what this is all about. How about loving the person in your body, instead of buying into being judged because of your body? See what projecting this self-love does to your self-image. It may just be contagious.

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD,
author of: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (HCI, 2013)

Order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

and coming in 2014

Out Your Girly Thoughts…Embrace Your Strength workbook (coming April 2014 from HCI Books)

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page, just below “Recent Posts” or by clicking here:


 

And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Saranac Lake, New York, is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and funny presentations that make complex issues accessible and fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O’Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from clinical director of a child welfare agency to interim director of a crime victims organization to director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Learn more at http://patriciaogorman.com

“Don’t Be So Bossy!”—Have You Internalized Early Girly Thoughts?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

author of: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (HCI 2013), and

The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (publication date, October 2014, HCI)

As a young girl, you received many messages about who you were and how you should act. Some of these messages may have been very subtle, such as the looks you received when you reached for an extra piece of cake. Those glares told you loud and clear that you were not doing what was correct. You probably paid attention and put it back, just like the good girl you were raised to be.

Early Rejection

But you received other messages, too: messages that told to you very directly, with great authority and perhaps even with anger, how offensive your behavior was.

These comments and directions, and the tone of voice with which they were delivered, resulted in you feeling terrible about yourself, and not (at least in the beginning) knowing why.

You concluded that you were the problem because you were acting in a way that was totally not acceptable . . . even if you were not sure of what acceptable was.

As a result, you felt ashamed, and you closed down your spirit because you couldn’t face rejection. This may have proved to be a faithful decision that would affect you not only in childhood but also later in life.

But all you wanted was to be helpful

What caused you to act in such a totally not acceptable way? You were probably just trying to be helpful! Think back; do any of these describe you?

  • You saw someone about to do something that could be a problem, so you told them to stop.
  • You saw a better way to do something, so you shared it in a way that young children do, by being very direct.
  • You took charge! You said what you thought!

And then you were told you were bossy

Bossy, yes, and that’s bad if you are a girl. Now, if you’d been a boy, those around you would have said: Look at him, he’s a little general. He’s a leader. He likes to take charge, isn’t that sweet?

Those are all admirable qualities in a little boy, but in a little girl . . . they are not. As a result, instead of your great ideas and clear direction being supported and nurtured, you are rejected and told clearly to STOP.

This is where girly thoughts are born

Our girly thoughts begin with acknowledging the truth in the negative messages that surround us, but we take it one step further: We believe these messages. We internalize them. We monitor ourselves to ensure our acceptability by letting our girly thoughts, our toxic self-talk, guide us. And we shut our powerful selves down. We try not to be offensive in any way. We certainly try not to be bossy.

To remember how this happened to you, watch this sort, powerful video.

What to do? Become aware of your girly thoughts!

  • Begin to notice how you treat yourself with less respect than you deserve, or when you speak to yourself in a way you would not speak to a friend—these are your girly thoughts in action, berating you for something because it may not be acceptable.
  • Ask yourself: What do my girly thoughts try to keep me from saying? What do they try to keep me from doing?
  • Consider what will happen if you ignore these negative, internalized messages. What price do you fear you will pay for not listening to your girly thoughts?
  • Support www.banbossy.com, along with Sheryl Sandberg, Condoleezza Rice, Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez, and hundreds of other men and women who want to rid the world of this negative word.

Remember: Girly thoughts are learned behavior. What you learned one way, you can learn another! Take control of your own thinking and get rid of those girly thoughts. Now that is tapping into your personal power!

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD,
author of: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (HCI, 2013)

Order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

and coming in 2014

Out Your Girly Thoughts…Embrace Your Strength workbook (coming April 2014 from HCI Books)

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Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Saranac Lake, New York, is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and funny presentations that make complex issues accessible and fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O’Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from clinical director of a child welfare agency to interim director of a crime victims organization to director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Learn more at http://patriciaogorman.com