Your Summer Wardrobe Doesn’t Have Room for Girly Thoughts

 

connect with me at: @drogorman | www.patriciaogorman.com

 

It’s summer, and you’re enjoying shedding the coat, boots, and scarf. You want to feel the air blowing your hair and sunlight on your skin. But, you consider, how much skin should you be showing?

You want to feel the freedom that comes with summer, but not necessarily feel like you are dressing unprofessionally, or even too provocatively in your free time. Why? Because your sexuality is something you are often shamed for, so you try to protect yourself by how you decide to dress.

Judging Yourself—Your Girly Thoughts

Face it. You are on a tightrope, balancing between what may be acceptable and trying to figure out if you have a right to enjoy your body. This inner struggle results in your own toxic, inner dialogue as you second-guess the way you dress, even judge your friends’ choices, and in essence do to yourself what society does to you: try to be perfect . . . whatever that means.

To help you get a handle on this, I’ve named this type of negative thinking girly thoughts. Why? So can you identify when you are having these toxic monologues and stop them! 

Dressing for Work with Your Girly Thoughts

If you are like many of us, you carefully consider what to wear to work. You want to look good—but not too good. You want to look professional (read “not sexy”) but you also want to look fashionable—a careful balance. Why do you put yourself through this every day?

Because you never again want to feel caught in the double bind of feeling good because you look good while being treated as a piece of meat by the men around you, especially men you need to respect you.

The result: a heap of discarded clothing on your bed as you begin your day—stressed, doubting your looks, and maybe even late.

Dressing for Fun with Your Girly Thoughts 

What about after work? Here you may give yourself permission to dress sexy, but even as you prepare to go out, you probably hold yourself back. Why? Because you don’t want to look like you are asking for IT! As if you can carefully control others simply by your dress.

The result: you are self-conscious all evening.

So . . . How Should You Dress Yourself?

  • First, realize that your girly thoughts are not helpful. Clothing doesn’t make the woman. It’s how she carries herself that says it all. So dress yourself with no girly thoughts. Carry yourself with pride!
  • Dress for comfort—your comfort, not guided by the fashion police, the guys, or your girly thoughts.
  • Don’t take the comments or looks of others personally! Recognize that the person who is giving you a catcall in the street or sizing you up in the office has his own stuff going on. His reaction to you is about him. Not about you.

Want to share a story about how you dress yourself with no girly thoughts? Contact me through www.patriciaogorman.com.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Picture: courtesy of Pexels.com

Yes, Your Anger Is Your Friend

connect with me at: @drogorman | www.patriciaogorman.com

blog

It may be hard to believe that your anger is your friend. But it is. Your anger is a powerful emotion, one that demands attention, often one that makes you want to take action.

Viewed this way, your anger can actually become your friend by positively changing your life. Sound crazy?

Why You’re Afraid of Your Anger

Your anger is probably the one feeling you are most cautioned against expressing. As a result, being angry can sometimes feel dangerous because it may make you step into unchartered territories.

So why should you befriend this part of yourself? For one graphic example of why your anger needs to be your friend, read Kameron Hurley’s post Female Rage Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, which depicts the sexual harassment she and another woman experienced at a bus stop … until, that is, she exploded.

Your anger can help you leave your comfort zone and consider something from a radically different perspective. That’s because your anger gets your attention and makes you begin to notice what is not right in your world:

  • Getting catcalled as you walk down the street.
  • Your ex posting intimate pictures of you.
  • Not getting the raise you deserve.
  • Women being mocked in public.

Your anger tells you that this isn’t right, that it may be time take action.

But you hesitate.

Why This Is So Hard? Girly Thoughts and Your Anger

As a woman, you are subtly—and sometimes not so subtly—reminded that being angry is just not becoming. You are told constantly that:

  • you need to be nice
  • being angry makes your face look ugly
  • men won’t like you if you’re angry

These are all examples of what I’ve named girly thoughts, an uncomfortable name for the way you internalize the societal messages around you into your own toxic, inner dialogue. Those messages distract you all day long by making you doubt yourself and causing you to not take actions that are important to you.

You Deserve Better

Listen to what that angry inner voice is telling you, and

  • notice your discomfort so you can decide how you want to handle it without silencing it.
  • don’t listen to your girly thoughts that tell you to suck it up and not take any action.
  • have fun fantasizing doing something, saying something that is outside of your comfort zone.

Yes, ignoring your girly thoughts and paying attention to your anger instead can change your life. Are you ready?

Photo: courtesy of gratisphotography via Pextels.com

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Do Girly Thoughts Sabotage Your Success?

sabotage

Sunday night I had a huge first . . . I performed in an actual concert hall, with an orchestra, with a new conductor! How was I? So nervous! But my nervousness didn’t go in the direction of doubting myself, being critical of my appearance, wishing I had lost weight, or telling myself I shouldn’t have agreed to do it.

Those would all have been what I call girly thoughts—the way we learn as women to tear ourselves down, deplete our energy and focus, and in general sabotage ourselves in achieving our goals.

Now this wasn’t a solo performance; I was part of a seventy-person choir. But that fact wouldn’t have stopped me from doubting all aspects of my being as I tried something new, something out of my comfort zone. Professionally, I am a psychologist and a speaker; I have spoken solo to hundreds. But I’m not a singer. For me, singing was something more private, something I did to center myself, to soothe myself. Joining a choir with some professional singers and musicians was outside of my comfort zone, and that left an opening for those nasty girly thoughts. But I refused to listen to that toxic inner voice!

Yes, We All Doubt Ourselves, but It’s Different for Men than for Women

Of course it’s normal when we try something new to have doubts about how well we are going to do. But what I have realized is that nervousness about pushing yourself to a new limit doesn’t have to translate into doubting yourself for trying something new. Often, men are exhilarated by a new challenge, while women focus instead on how they will be judged for taking a new challenge as those girly thoughts creep in—but that doesn’t have to be true for you.

Want to Stretch Outside Your Comfort Zone?

• Use your women mentors. My choir director, a woman, believed in all of us. She worked us hard, helped us understand we could do this. I believed her.
• Focus on your skills, not your girly thoughts. I knew I knew the music. I focused on this, not on my hair, weight, clothes . . . all of which would have diverted my energy.
• Surrender to your passion. I asked myself how I got into this situation and then reminded myself I love to sing. It’s my passion, and my passion is worth an investment of my time and energy.
• Enjoy your daring. I am tickled that I actually did this! Today I’m saying: Yes, I can!

You are more than your doubts and your girly thoughts. You are your dreams; you are the product of your hard work. Push out those girly thoughts so you can enjoy your successes.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Want to Soar Like an Eagle? 3 Ways Your Girly Thoughts Are Stopping You

eagle

Ever want to soar above your troubles, be more in the moment instead of all in your head?

The answer: Look up, then look in . . .

Yesterday I happened across a video of what an eagle needs to do to thrive. I invite you to watch it to see what it takes to get serious about taking care of you!

What Get’s In the Way?

Witnessing the clear and weighty decisions an eagle makes to keep her supremacy immediately had me thinking of how our toxic girly thoughts stop us from doing what we so admire in the eagle—enjoying our power. Yes, girly thoughts, the purposefully obnoxious yet memorable name I’ve given to how we do to ourselves what society does to us.

How Your Girly Thoughts Are Stopping You

  1. Your girly thoughts keep you focused on what you can lose by trying something new, something radical, as opposed to focusing you on what you can gain by changing your thinking about yourself!
  2. Your girly thoughts have you struggling with the fantasy of keeping the body you had at eighteen by having you deny yourself food and keeping you from really enjoying the body you have now.
  3. Your girly thoughts have you struggling to maintain the popularity you had in your college sorority by being the nice girl as you struggle to make it professionally.

Learning from Eagles

If eagles can make radical changes to increase the value of their life, why not you?

  1. Re-create Yourself. Begin with your beak—how you speak to yourself, how you feed yourself. Keep your goal in mind, even if it does require some pain and effort. You are worth it.
  2. Get rid of those “old feathers,” and dress in a way that makes you feel good now. Maybe that means shorter heels, tunics, more pants. Let a new look energize you.
  3. Build new talons. Working on your goal may make you seem fierce to others, but if your goal will make you feel good about yourself, so what? Remember, you’re not in college any more.

Your girly thoughts are an example of old beliefs that keep you stuck in the past. Free yourself from them so you can take advantage of the present.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Women in Sports Really Can’t Afford to Think Girly Thoughts

women-sports

Women in sports take a great deal of abuse, and most of it is off the field.

Professional women athletes are criticized in both public and social media for being competent, for being aggressive, and for winning.

Consider the sexist remarks made before the women’s final of the BNP Paribas Open. Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore opined at a press conference that “both the Women’s Tennis Association and its players ride on the coattails of men” and that they “should go down every night on their knees and thank God Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were born.”

Negative, Disparaging Attitudes Led to THIS 

Not only do professional women athletes receive less media, but what they do receive is often negative. Take the case of the World Cup Championship U.S. Women’s National (Soccer) Team.

ESPN reported that “The USWNT’s victory in the World Cup final last summer not only beat the title-clinching game of the NBA Finals in viewership ratings, but also became the most-watched soccer event in television history. . . .” Yet the women earn an astonishing 98.6 percent less than their male counterparts, receive less funding, less media coverage, and are forced to play on a tougher surface than the U.S. Men’s team.

#MoreThanMean

The negativity came to a head this month in a video about sports reporters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro and the vicious tweets they’ve received. In it, men (who did not know these women and had not previously seen the vitriolic tweets) read them in person to the two professional sportswriters. The fans, who stutter and struggle to read these horrible tweets realize these attacks are #MoreThanMean—they’re harassment.

Do We Do This to Ourselves?

Chances are good that you, too, are outraged at these stories and these tweets. Sadly, women in sports are subject to the same types of disparaging remarks as women in other fields receive.

Yet, if you experience outrage when you hear an obviously sexist remark from a man, why do you say similar things to yourself?

Think you don’t? Consider these examples:

  • I’m so grateful—instead of feeling good about your ability to work your tail off to achieve your goals.
  • I’m so lucky, I owe you—instead of understanding you earned that promotion, raise, degree, championship, or anything else.
  • It’s my fault—instead of standing up for yourself and saying, “No, you can’t treat me that way.”

Telling yourself that you’re not the reason for your own success, or that you are the cause of a problem, is a toxic pattern of internalized self-blaming ideas I’ve named girly thoughts. Why name this? So you can identify and distance yourself from this type of pervasive, negative thinking that has you doing to yourself what the tweets in the video are doing to the reporters—shaming and disempowering yourself.

So the next time you

  • second guess yourself,
  • make excuses for your success, or
  • feel reluctant to be in the winner’s circle,

think of Serena and Sarah and Julie exercising their power, and then exercise your own. See what happens within you when you tell yourself, “That’s a girly thought!”and don’t forget to share your experience with me. 

Want to take some public action?

  • Share the hashtag #MoreThanMean to increase awareness about harassment of women in sports.

Picture courtesy of pixabay.com!

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Celebrate Your Mother’s Strength—Not Her Girly Thoughts

mothers-day

Sometimes it is difficult to see what is before your eyes.

You may not notice what is obvious: Both you and your mother have many strengths. You may be too conditioned by your girly thoughts to appreciate your moms resilience, her ability to bounce back from adversity. But who was your first influence in developing your own resilience? Your mother!

What are girly thoughts? you ask. Girly thoughts is the uncomfortable name I’ve given to what women do: we focus on faults in ourselves and in other women our mothers, even our daughters; we do to ourselves what society at large does to us, and that negative, self-defeating talk harms us and keeps us from our power.

Pre-Spanx: The Girdle

When I think of my mother, I remember so many stories. Many of them are now funny, like when my mother and I were shopping for a girdle for me.

Remember, this was pre-Spanx; this was girdle time, and my mother thought a girdle was a necessity . . . except we couldn’t quite find one small enough to fit my tall and (at that time) lanky frame.

“Why do I need a girdle?” I remember hissing at her in a store.

“Because you don’t want to spread.” Not a reason my eleven-year-old self felt was valid, but my mother was adamant. She bought me a girdle that hung off my hips. But she was happy. She had done her job. She was helping her five foot five inch, ninety-pound eleven-year-old not spread.

This is why I was so excited to see how someone I so admire—Audra McDonald, the beautiful, funny opera singer—is delighted by her mother’s strength, both physical and emotional.

Honoring Our Mothers

Who was my mother? She was a funny, unconventional woman who was also a product of her times, where her very own girly thoughts said women had to be thin to be desirable. And she loved me enough to fight with me over wearing a girdle to achieve this.

So let’s have fun. Make a list of some of the girly thoughts your mother raised you believing because she believed them:

 

2.

3.

 

 

Now write how you counter these girly thoughts today:

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Remember that your mother did what she thought was best for you, just like you are doing with your daughter, your friends, your grandchildren. The important thing to remember is that you now have the ability to change the girly thoughts you wished your mother had the wisdom to do when you were a girl.

Drop me a line and share what girly thoughts your mother had as you think of her this Mother’s Day.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Suicide and Girly Thoughts — Five Ways Get Off this Merry-Go-Round

merrygoround

New data documents that the suicide rate in the United States has surged to the highest level in nearly thirty years, with increases in every age group except older adults, and “the rise was particularly steep for women.”

Why Are Women’s Suicide Rates Up?

Here are the more obvious answers to what is stressing women:

  • More women in the workplace
  • Divorce has increased
  • More women are single heads of households
  • More working women as single heads of households
  • Women continue to make less than men in the same fields creating economic hardship

But those answers don’t tell the full story.

Depressing Girly Thoughts

The list above is not complete. To fully understand what is making women feel defeated, we need to add that the very image of the Perfect Woman has changed:

  • Marilyn Monroe was a size 10–12; today’s models are a size 2
  • Everything is photoshopped, resulting in a corporate image of beauty
  • Where models don’t resemble real women, in fact they may not even look like themselves.
  • Women have responded, and plastic surgery is becoming more of a norm

And this image of the perfect woman is relentlessly brought to you everywhere via digital media to remind you of who you “should” be . . .

None of us can control what comes into our minds. Daily—even hourly—we all receive reminders of how we are not meeting societal standards for our looks and actions. And how can we not respond to this media flood and internalize this into our own toxic mix? 

It’s no wonder we think thoughts—I’ve named them girly thoughts—that aren’t helpful to feeling good about ourselves, and can even cause us to hate ourselves.

You control how long your girly thoughts stay around. You do not have to allow them to live in your mind rent free, taking up space and making your feel depressed.

Five Ways Get Off the Merry-Go-Round.

Want to stop the vicious cycle that makes you feel bad about yourself? Try this:

  • Identify sources of girly thoughts that cause you to doubt yourself.
  • Ignore what is triggering you to think in this way.
  • Challenge yourself every time you are thinking a girly thought. Tell this thought to get lost; say, “You’re not helpful”; think a positive thought instead.
  • Speak to your girlfriends about girly thoughts so you have support in challenging them and some fun at laughing together at how they are everywhere.
  • And if you find yourself feeling depressed, seek professional help from a mental health professional.

No, you do not need to let these societal messages tear you apart. You deserve better!

Photo courtesy of Pixaby.com

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.New data documents that the suicide rate in the United States has surged to the highest level in nearly thirty years, with increases in every age group except older adults, and “the rise was particularly steep for women.”

Blaming Lady Gaga for Being Raped?

gaga

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

@drogorman

www.patriciaogorman.com

Lady Gaga made news yet again, this time by publicly sharing during the Oscars that she was raped at age 19. Yes, she set off shock waves around the world, not just because she shared something so intimate, but because she challenged each of us to consider how we talk about rape in our own lives.

One of the heartbreaks about being a woman is that it feels like we are blamed by society for everything that happens to us, and sexual assault is no different.

But if you wouldn’t blame Lady Gaga for being raped, why would you blame yourself, or your friends?

Why Do You Blame Women . . . and Maybe Even Yourself?

When you find yourself more responsible than the other person for virtually everything that happens to you, including rape and sexual assault, you are tapping into a conditioned response. Internalization of the continuous media messages as well as all of our family messages leads to the creation of our own negative self-talk, which I’ve named toxic girly thoughts.

Why have a name for this? So we can first identify when we are blaming ourselves for all the woes that come our way and then stop thinking this way!

What You Can Do

This tendency to “blame the victim” needs to be addressed on so many levels. This is why I was thrilled to read Jes Skolnik’s blog on Medium.com: “some guidelines for music/entertainment writers writing about sexual assault [sic].”

Her clear guidelines for those in the entertainment industry also bears consideration for writers and bloggers everywhere, and they have relevance for all of us in how we discuss rape and sexual assault.  Here’s a summary:

  1. Be careful with your language. If there is alleged violence, do not refer to it using the same terminology as consensual sex. This reinforces the pervasive social myth that sexual violence is “sex gone wrong” rather than specific and contextualized violence. . . .

  1. Be clear about your own biases. . . .

  1. FACT CHECK EVERYTHING. . . .

  1. Do not write a story without even attempting to contact the person on the other side of the allegations. . . .

  1. Do not ever, ever pressure someone to tell their sexual assault story to you. If they don’t want to talk, let them go. . . .

  1. Be careful about reporting allegations (from either side) as indisputable fact. . . .

One way to stop the perpetuation of toxic girly thoughts is for us to stop doing to ourselves—and to other woman—what society does to us.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

A Valentine’s Day Detox

valentinesdetox

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 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. By providing a window into your relationship with your partner and into your relationship with yourself, the day:

  • provides an opportunity to see if you have picked someone who can take care of your needs and your wants.
  • gives you an chance to see how well you have done in communicating these same needs and wants to the one who loves you.
  • teaches you about yourself and about building more resilience from the pressure and stress generated by this one day.

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

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

A version of this post originally appeared on 2.20.15.

Picture courtesy of Pextels.com!

Letting Your Man Define You on Valentine’s Day—Why?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

@drogorman

www.patriciaogorman.com

Valentines-Day-crafts

Wanting to be liked is important to all of us, and yes, we’re feeling the pressure on Valentine’s Day.

But for you, and for many other women, this desire can move from wanting to be liked to desperately needing to be liked once a man enters the picture. For this, you pay a huge price—you give up your power to figure out what is best for you!

Your Toxic Girly Thoughts In Action

When the way we are supposed to act and, very importantly, how we are supposed to look become decisions we allow someone else makes for us, we give up our personal power. We do this because of the negative self-talk we invite to reside in our heads, and I call these ideas toxic girly thoughts.

Read this post from Brittaney about how she allowed her boyfriend to govern:

  • the length of her hair
  • the color of her hair
  • her makeup
  • her clothes
  • her weight
  • even her tattoos

http://www.upmoments.com/her-boyfriend-makes-fun-of-her-appearance

Stop Listening

Brittaney stopped listening to her toxic girly thoughts—but how?

The answer is to tune into your Resilient Voice, the part of you that knows what is right for you, the part of you that your toxic girly thoughts try to drown out.

This Valentine’s Day, try this:

  • If your boyfriend wants you to have short hair when you like your hair better long, choose what you like and makes you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror.
  • When he wants you to have blonde hair and you like it auburn, wear your hair the color you think best expresses who you are.

And if you think he’s the makeup artist you’ve been waiting for, or the medical personnel you’ve needed to guide you in health care decisions, or the dress designer who knows better than you what looks best on you … well …

Think again, and maybe, consider a new boyfriend. Now that could make for a good Valentine’s Day.

Now say: I know what is best for me.

Because you really do!
??Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.