Have you ever gotten something really wrong? Have you ever based your conclusions on little fact and many feelings, and as a result you painted a truly erroneous picture for yourself of what you were dealing with?
I know I have, and recently.
My latest error didn’t begin with misunderstanding a Facebook post, or by reading too much into a quizzical look from a neighbor. No, it began with an invitation to speak to a group on the subjects of trauma and addiction, and to do an evening presentation for women on girly thoughts.
How did I feel? This invitation made me happy! So far so good—but I had never heard of the location: Grand Island, Nebraska . . . and this is where I made a mistake. I did what many of us do: I filled in my lack of information with my fantasies.
Using Fantasies Instead of Reality
And such fun fantasies I had. The “island” in the name conjured images for me of the Caribbean, or Nantucket, beautiful islands in the sea. But I knew there was no sea in the middle of our country (at least I got that right). I thought maybe there is a lake with a small island in it. Yes, in this small town, there is a lake with a little island in it. I thought, How sweet. I pictured the people of this prairie community as so optimistic for wanting an island, for naming their town not just any ole’ island name, but Grand Island.
I was so wrong. Not only is Grand Island not a quaint small town, but it is a major metropolitan area— in fact, it’s the third-largest city in the state! And it is on an island in a very large river!
But my whole inner process began my process of thinking about how easy it is to jump to conclusions about so many things, from geography to our girly thoughts.
Girly Thoughts = Major Wrong Assumptions
Years ago, I heard the expression, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” Making assumptions is easy to do, yet so harmful. So don’t do this with your girly thoughts. Instead:
- call them out for what they are—a toxic self-talk.
- jot down which girly thoughts keep coming to mind so you can figure out how to target these girly thoughts in particular.
- help your friends identify their girly thoughts.
Coming to Grand Island to Speak About Girly Thoughts, and Trauma and Addiction
Yes, I’ll be in Grand Island on April 30, and hope you can join me. For more information, visit my website: www.patriciaogorman.com.
- 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
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.