Going Rogue—No Girly Thoughts

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

“This is who I am and look at me not being perfect! I’m proud of that.”
—Kate Winslet

Girly thoughts are the way you internalize society’s messages about how you should look and should feel. They affect you on many levels, from the way you speak and write about yourself on Facebook and in emails and texts, to what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror.

Girly Thoughts’ Silent Impact

We can talk and talk about these negative messages and the toxic self-talk they foster, but sometimes words get in the way. Your girly thoughts are painful, and so are the ways you unconsciously try to change your body and your life to accommodate that toxic self talk.

Take 2 minutes and 25 seconds to watch this video of trainer and media sensation Cassey Ho illustrating how she tries to make her body and face perfect in response to negative comments about being fat.

What Would YOU Change?

Now have some fun. Write down three girly thoughts that came to mind as you watched this video, and then ask yourself if you:

  • feel you are fat? If so, where? How would you change this?
  • think your breasts are too small? Too large?
  • worry your bottom is too big or too small?
  • Do you feel your eyes aren’t perfect? If so why? How would you change them?

Now imagine if you could change all those things you don’t like about your appearance. When you think about the changed you, how does this make you feel? Do you feel sad like Cassey does?

Self-Acceptance—Go Rogue

What to do? How about accepting who you are?

  • Exercise your body and eat healthily, and enjoy your body’s unique curves.
  • Tell that girly thought that says your eyes are too small to take a hike.
  • Enjoy the shape and size of your breasts.

Yes in this media age, self-acceptance is the ultimate rogue act—it says you don’t care about what they think! And you can have fun with sticking it to them and not playing along by feeling inadequate about yourself all the time.

  • New York City, NY: May 17, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. “The Big Apple: Leadership and Girly Thoughts.”
  • Worcester, 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

The Crying Game: Where Your Anger, Not Your Girly Thoughts, Can Be Your Friend

There is something you have that the world needs . . .

the girly thoughts 10-day detox the resilient woman's guide to saying no to negative self-talk and yes to personal power - patricia o'gorman

So often we feel it is not good to be angry—particularly at work, where we’ll be seen and judged. We fear our anger is unbecoming, and that if we let ourselves get angry, we won’t be liked, that we’ll be labeled the dreaded B-word. Instead, we tell ourselves we should be pleasing, approachable, not threatening, and accommodating to all of the nonsense.

To make sure you are acting the way you should, you watch the reaction of others to gauge if what you’re doing is acceptable (and God forbid you aren’t acceptable). You adjust your voice, maybe making it sound less threatening and younger; you watch your posture and the way you walk.

In short, at work and in other parts of your life, you put those hard-to-put-a-finger-on society forces that I’ve dubbed girly Thoughts in charge of your career—a terrible idea that I discuss in The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan.

Don’t Get Angry and Cry; Instead, Get Smart

When you are afraid of being angry, a terrible inner tension is created, and you become frustrated. As a result, especially in important meetings when you feel your anger beginning, you also feel your tears welling.

But instead of trying to figure out if you should cry at work or not, perhaps the better question is: Why is crying the first feeling up when you are angry? It is fear of crying that many women cite as a reason not to speak up, because crying at work would make them be seen as weak, as lacking leadership qualities, as undependable.

Not only does crying at work feel risky, but it has an awful side benefit, too: crying keeps you in the role of needing to be rescued, yes, even at work, while your anger, well, that will have others look at you as a B…—and your girly thoughts do say that is even worst.

So what to do? Be smart:

  • Realize your girly thoughts are keeping you silent at work. Identify this is what is going on. Name this toxic inner dialogue.
  • Act on that New Year’s Resolution to give yourself a voice at work.
  • Rehearse those scenarios that make you want to cry and see how you can frame your points so you are clear, even powerful. Yes, that will mean telling those girly thoughts to get lost, but you can replace them with a focus on your strengths, on your resilience, even, that can support you in public situations at work.
  • Run these ideas by a friend, but not necessarily one you work with; more about this in a later blog.
  • Get support from an outside mentor who can help you navigate the pitfalls specific to your job.
  • Remember, the world needs you to make that contribution, and to do so you need to let the world know what your contribution is.


Practice makes perfect, and at work you are likely to get a great deal of practice in identifying those girly thoughts that bring on your tears.

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

Let me know how you deal with wanting to cry at work.

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.



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

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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