Begin Each Day With a Yes … and a No



I’ve attached a blog written by someone who may be familiar to you, Candace Johnson, the editor of my last three books, who I praise in my acknowledgments. She sent me this blog on July 11, just before my book signing in Lake Placid, NY.

With all of the busyness of my life, I, like you, miss important events, so I didn’t see this until later.

Sunday morning as I sang in church, the tears finally came for Candace, her family, and this beautiful young girl literally cut down in the prime of her life. I thought about Candace’s advice about appreciating life because it could change in an instant, and I wondered, how?

My takeaway and my suggestion for you is to begin each day with an intention about what you want to bring into your life and what you want to stop in your life. Since you and I live a life so filtered through our societal messages of what we should do and how we should look, what I’ve named our toxic girly thoughts, I offer my intention to you:

Each day when I wake up and check my emails while still in bed, I’m going to write an intention for the day in my phone:

  • A personal, concrete goal I have for myself this day;
  • Which girly thought I’m going to challenge because I know from experience that it will rear its ugly head and attempt to misdirect my energies as I pursue my goal.

Why don’t you try this, and let me, and Candace, know how it works for you.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my latest 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.

Sexual Politics in a Brief Encounter…NO Girly Thoughts Allowed

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD


Sexual politics run deep in our responses, even in casual meetings. We act like dutiful little girls in our responses, and in an almost instinctive reaction, we do to ourselves what society has taught us to do. This reaction, which I’ve named girly thoughts, is one I fight against, and I’ve coined the term and literally written the book!

I was in a restaurant yesterday in the small town where I live when a man entered and approached me. He smiled and said, “I saw your profile in Strictly Business,” pause, “ and it was good.”

I stood so at least he wouldn’t be looking down at me, but then I almost did that girly thing—you know, the shrug, the modest “Oh, it was nothing,” statement accompanied by a smile and a giggle. Doing so would have taken away his compliment and my power. Instead, I did something that is still uncomfortable for me but is a much more honest reflection of how I feel: I looked at him directly, smiled, and thanked him.

The Subtle Dance

My reaction to his compliment seemed to surprise him. He quickly told me he had been profiled in the same magazine. That was nice to know, but that isn’t why he shared the information; he wanted me to know I didn’t have anything up on him. Then he felt it necessary to state that of course his wife had been profiled in the women’s edition.

Keeping in mind the subtle dance of societal expectations that is part of so many of our daily encounters, I decided his message here was not terribly subtle. He is a businessman, but his wife and I only qualify for special treatment in the women’s edition. I almost laughed.

Don’t Let Your Girly Thoughts Stop You from Receiving a Compliment

Is he a bad guy? No. He’s a community leader, an active volunteer, someone who I may even work with on a community need we began discussing. But he is a male schooled in seeing women a certain way, and I somewhat unbalanced him by not playing along.

I found not only his reaction striking but also my strong tug to do this dance with him. What should you do when you next encounter this type of subtle sexism that feeds your girly thoughts? In the words of that old song: Don’t Dance.

So what should women do when we are presented with a compliment?

  • Accept it, don’t talk it away.
  • Stand up straighter; you’ve just been seen.
  • Let sink in, and use it to empower you to do more great things.

When you’re stressed from going through a day filled with this type of tension, don’t anesthetize yourself with that beer or glass of wine, but instead, figure out the best way to fight your girly thoughts.

If you’d like to see my profile that caused such a stir, visit Strictly Business (, and watch for future blogs on the impact of being  a ‘cover girl’, this time for professional reasons.

Next stops:

  • TONIGHT: SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY, April 16, 7-8:30 p.m., I’ll be speaking about: Freeing Yourself From Your Girly Thoughts in the Fireside Lounge, Barrington Student Union
  • Schenectady, NY, The Electric City: April 18, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Book signing at The Open Door Bookstore.
  • Grand Island, NE: April 30: I’ll be giving a workshop on “Trauma” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and a speech over dinner titled “Girly Thoughts from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • New York City, NY: May 17, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. “The Big Apple: Leadership and Girly Thoughts.
  • Worchester, MA: June 11, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “Girly Thoughts and Addiction”
  • Lake Placid, NY: July 11, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Book signing at Bookstore Plus

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my latest 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

Front Page News and No Girly Thoughts


Patricia O’Gorman, PhD


Have you ever been on the front page of your local newspaper? I don’t mean as a cute baby in the Easter Parade, or for having committed some terrible crime, or for being awarded a prestigious prize, but as an adult, and just because you were happy?

I was, and here’s the proof:

patricia o'gorman - maple syrup

Weird, huh?

A Dream Fulfilled

Well, that was me a week ago. It all began so innocently, while I was on a mission to fulfill one of my fantasies. Now, we all have dreams, but for me (and perhaps for you), that’s what many of them have stayed: dreams. But then . . .

A Sweet Experience

As I was chatting on the street during what passes for spring in the Adirondacks, a snow shower—yes, it snows with the sun peaking out periodically, and we all get giddy because, well, there’s some sun—I mentioned to a friend that I would love to be in a maple syrup tasting. For those of you who don’t know, I have a massive sweet tooth. And I love to cook. I have long thought that different maple syrups have different tastes, but I’ve never put in the energy to line up a couple and, well, sip.

That’s when my friend told me of a tasting at the Lake Placid Conference Center the next day.

Caught on Camera

I happily entered the great hall and made a beeline for the maple syrup tasting, smiling politely to the food vendors as I almost jogged to my goal. I was a woman on a mission.

Once there, I found eight different syrups, all portioned in one-teaspoon servings, all for the tasting, and we could even vote for the one we liked the best.

It was so exciting. I was surprised by the taste of almond in one, a deep caramel aftertaste in another, more bitterness in a third, and too much sweetness in a fourth. Since I had to cast my vote, I took this very seriously, savoring each encounter, all with a huge smile on my face.

Along came a reporter and began asking if he could take pictures of me and my fellow tasters. We all agreed.

But Wait—Am I Ready for This?

Suddenly, a girly thought popped into my mind. Yes, like you, I have internalized these corporate images of beauty into a swirly negative self-talk. I thought:

  • I’m not wearing any makeup.
  • I’m wearing my glasses.
  • I’m warm because I haven’t taken off my coat; is my face sweaty?
  • Oh, my hair! What does my hair look like?

Don’t Let Girly Thoughts Ruin a Good Moment

But I didn’t care. I was so happy, and probably at this point on a slight sugar high, that I just beamed, as you can see. Being so tuned in to how ridiculous and delightful this whole experience was allowed me to tell my girly thoughts to take a hike!

Let’s start a conversation. Share your story of how your joy allowed you to overcome your girly thoughts.

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my latest 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