Portrait of a young woman holding a diary and thinking

When I closed my laptop on Friday night and put down the phone, I had just spent the week in the company of very smart women.

They are successful executives, doctors, artists, and academics. They make things happen. They manage a career, take care of their families and are committed to their personal progress. I was thrilled and impressed with what they had come up with during the sessions: insights, courage, new actions, ideas and transformation.

Yet, from the way some of them talked, you would never have guessed this:

  • “Sure, I managed to finish this thing successfully (the “thing” in question being a very complicated project in a difficult and highly political context), but there is still the problem of…”.
  • “This doesn’t count, that is easy…”.
  • One client started every second phrase with “I know this sounds stupid….”.
  • Another one likes to beat herself up “Why can’t I….”.
  • “That’s too small to be worth mentioning.”
  • And of course there is the inevitable “I should…”.
  • All seasoned with a hefty dose of “Sorry”.

Our education, our upbringing, our perfectionism, our need to be liked all have conditioned this kind of communicating. Not one woman I know, yours truly included, is completely free from it. Most of the time, we are not even aware of the way we talk about ourselves.

We talk a lot like this. It begs the question if we also want to live like this.

-How are you going the get the raise at work, if you tell the world that what you say is stupid?

-How are you going to experience more joy and ease in your life, if you dismiss everything that comes easily to you as not counting?

-How are you going to improve your job/your relation/your time, if you are only willing to look at what doesn’t work?

If you are ready to upgrade the way you want to live, the way you talk about yourself is an excellent way to start. Because we sooo shoot ourselves in the foot with this belief that others will like us better when we belittle ourselves!

Women who are ready for #MyTimeFirst learn to say:

– Yes, I really did a good job here.

– I’m grateful I have this talent for ….

– This is exactly what I think and how I feel.

– There are many things I’m already getting right. It so follows that I have what it takes to get the rest right, too.

– No more Should’s. I will or will not. I can or cannot. I want or I don’t want.

– Thank you for your understanding/patience/help. I apologize only when I really want to apologize.

They accept compliments and only apologize when they really feel they want to, and not because someone stepped on their toes.

It’s all connected: How you think to how you speak about yourself to how you treat yourself. And this in turns impacts on how others in return treat you.

Start by talking to and about yourself as you would do with your best friend. She’d probably not be your friend any longer if you were talking about her as you are often talking about you!

#MyTimeFirst doesn’t start between the pages of your calendar. It starts between your ears.





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