March 12, 2013

The Resilient Woman by Patricia O'Gorman Book Review


Women of all ages want to make others happy—it's just in a woman's nature, isn't it? But what happens when that "need to please" goes wrong, and a woman keeps pushing herself harder while simultaneously ignoring her own needs? What happens when a woman begins to think self-sabotaging girly thoughts—thoughts like If only I was thinner . . . younger . . . prettier . . . was into kinkier sex . . . ? What happens when relationships sour and the trauma is carried into subsequent relationships?

Noted psychologist and author Dr. Patricia O'Gorman answers these questions for today's generation of women. This groundbreaking book reveals how girly thoughts are just conclusions women reach as a way of making sense of the trauma they've experienced and the resulting codependency issues they grapple with. They need to be reminded from time to time of the saying that while legendary dancer Fred Astaire received top billing, "Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

Whether dealing with family members, coworkers, intimate relationships, or a best friend, when a woman feels "less than" she often misses the path toward achieving her true potential. Blaming herself for what someone else has done to her is, sadly, a common theme among women, but Dr. O'Gorman shows how this reaction is merely how women have been conditioned to respond—then provides the tools they need to break the cycle and become more resilient.
Resilience, according to Dr. O'Gorman, is the part of us that celebrates cycles: it looks forward to new beginnings and back to past lessons. Using this life-long lens, readers will learn valuable ways of looking at their interpersonal relationships and will acquire tools to become more resilient, and they will:
                Discover the resilience patterns established in childhood Learn how "girly thoughts" become so powerful and 
                how to neutralize them Understand issues that are specific to women when dealing with any relationship Learn    
                to overcome trauma—physical, psychological, and emotional  Discover how to self-motivate by losing the victim 
                mentality Learn to listen to the inner self and align with personal strengths as a way to tap into personal power 
                Understand what resiliency is and is not, and how to achieve it Determine personal resilience patterns

My Thoughts:  Life is full of "what ifs" and sometimes our "what ifs" take a toll on us mentally and physically.  Dr. O'Gorman's book was an empowering read.  There are times when we have to encourage ourselves to overcome the challenges of life.  Times when the kinds words of others are not enough to lift us out of the abyss of self-pity and loathing.  We must find strength within ourselves to overcome.  

There are times when I feel too this or too that but as I've grown I've learned to love me. The assessments including throughout The Resilient Woman were wonderful tools to reflect on how your past influences the path of your present.  Yet, it was Dr. O'Gorman's term "girly thoughts" that struck a cord with me most.  She writes "what keeps us from using what we know to help us bounce back when we run headlong into adversity?  I finally found a simple term for this liability:  girly thoughts."  The term girly thoughts reprises itself several times throughout the book as a term of weakness and vulnerability.  Dr. O'Gorman offers suggestions to overcome our girly thoughts and those doubts of our strengths.  

Great read.    


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