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: