Generally speaking, we women aren’t very nice to ourselves. Almost from our first days, we begin to internalize messages that we aren’t good enough—we are too much of some things and not enough of others. Those messages become such a part of who we are that we don’t even realize how ridiculous some of them sound.
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
- I just need to lose five more pounds.
- Age might be just a number, but I’m giving myself Botox treatments for my birthday.
- Isn’t my five-year-old daughter adorable when she pretends she’s sexy?
- I don’t need to worry about saving for my future—I’ll be married by then.
- It’s my fault my husband had that affair.
- I can’t take that meeting; my hair looks awful today.
- I hate going out with those people—they always make me feel bad about myself.
Today is publication day for The 10-Day Girly Thoughts Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power by Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, and it’s a day I’ve looked forward to for some time.
I worked with Dr. O’Gorman on two of her previous books, so when she asked me to edit her book about girly thoughts, I jumped at the chance. Her goal for the book, which was inspired by the phrase she developed and used in The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power, was to shine a light on the damage women do to ourselves by internalizing these negative messages and then provide a plan to detox from them. What woman wouldn’t embrace that concept?
Negative messages surround us, and they contribute to the toxic self-talk that reinforces our negative beliefs about ourselves and have helped us form our identities as women. Consider the advertising that reminds you:
- your gray hair makes you look older,
- those extra pounds might keep you from getting a promotion, or
- being too assertive isn’t sexy.
Then, as Dr. O’Gorman writes, “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.”
As the epigraph in The 10-Day Girly Thoughts Detox Plan reads:
“It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.”
I’ve been counting the days until I could buy this book and gift it to my friends and my own daughters. Each day of the ten-day detox plan covers a specific area in a woman’s life, including body image, relationships, parenting, work, sex, aging, and finances. Specific problems faced by real women become detox goals, and after a detailed explanation of the source of these negative thoughts, Dr. O’Gorman offers a plan for changing the way we think about the particular problem and a solution to dealing with it for the long term. Each chapter ends with a quick-reference list of Do’s and Don’ts, and the book is filled with positive messages, affirmations, and new ways of looking at old problems.
I can’t think of a better detox! As author and HuffPo blogger Mary Eileen Williams wrote,
This guide belongs on the nightstand of every woman who’s ever put herself down and/or put her own needs last.”
The detox plan itself is thoughtful, doable, and a powerful antidote to the toxic messages we are bombarded with and, sadly, have embraced as fact. Pamela Madsen, author of Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure . . . and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner, wrote,
Sex, weight, body image, marriage, aging, parenting—they’re all parts of each of us, yet we let our girly thoughts tell us we aren’t good enough at any of them.”
But no more! The 10-Day Girly Thoughts Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power is now available for every woman who ever thought she isn’t quite good enough—and for every man who knows she is.
Update 11/7/14 Listen to Dr. O’Gorman’s interview with Dr. Alvin about girly thoughts and how to detox from them.
Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is an internationally recognized public speaker known for her warm, funny, and inspiring presentations, a resiliency coach, and a psychologist. She is noted for her work on women, children of alcoholics, and trauma in the child welfare, mental health, and substance-abuse systems. She has a psychology practice in Saranac Lake, NY.
Dr. O’Gorman serves on the Board of the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and she previously directed a rape crisis 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), worked as a clinical director and chief psychologist for a statewide child welfare agency, and is a cofounder and current advisory board member of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. In addition, she is the chairperson of the advisory board of Horses Healing Hearts, Inc. (HHH) a nationally recognized equine therapy program for children of alcoholics located in Delray Beach, Florida.
She is a veteran of numerous radio and television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of numerous articles in magazines, including Addiction Today, Counselor, and Recovery, and has been quoted in WebMD.
This is her ninth book, the third in her series on women.
New for 2015! A workbook and curriculum for facilitators working with women: Out Your Girly Thoughts and Embrace Your Strength, available through www.patriciaogorman.com.
Bad Day image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.
For more great writing and publishing information, check out Change It Up Editing and Writing Services on Facebook, where I share interesting articles and links about writing and publishing.