Words Matter. Compliments vs Daggers

I'm in the right place at the right time.

In the right place at the right time


I’m too often second guessing myself, and almost always feeling some level of displacement. It’s this weird, schizophrenic thing that women, generally do.  At one moment, we question if  we’re doing enough. And then a split second later we’re wondering how we can do more. And then the next we’re asking ourselves if we’re even smart enough to be holding the reins. As a mom, the doubt is always there and it’s difficult to get past. Weekly, I’m like: Am I working too much and neglecting my kids? Am I not working enough to be competitive with others in my field? Am I splitting my time too thin to be successful at anything? Am I totally effing up?

I would bet that these questions roll through the minds of most women, cluttering up valuable head-space of the young and the old, the veteran and the neophyte.

We know self doubt is deadly. It’s been known to stop us in our tracks and kill all gumption – right before we’re able to make good on our big and wonderful dreams.

Men, on the flip side, rarely question themselves in this way. PapaBear would never ask himself if he should ‘stay home with the family and not work – all for the betterment of the family’. The words sound utterly ridiculous – when used in reference to men. PapaBear is known to hop on a plane to Ghana and be gone for several weeks – simply because the work has to get done, and the job requires it. Two days lead time, the flight is booked and he’s off. Now of course, he misses us, but he feels no guilt (key component). And the world doesn’t blink an eye, because we collectively believe that men can (and should) submerse themselves in the ‘world’  in order to be their best and most effective. Men believe they can do it all, and so, they fulfill their destinies.

Women are torn. We question: Can we do it all and be good at it?

Mama. 1979, Principal of The Patterson School

Mama. 1979, Principal of The Patterson School

My call to action: Every woman in our crew needs to be hyper aware of the words we choose when we talk to each other. Pick words that encourage us to do it all – to be  mother and entrepreneur, nanny and personal chef, blogger and wife, employee and boss. World traveler and girlfriend. We need not ever talk with words that make us feel as if we’re missing out, incapable, or unaware. Those words are thrown at us like daggers on a daily basis, so let’s simply throw them out the window.

Instead, let’s speak with each other as though we understand how hard it is to do all that we do. Let’s support each other with words and actions that encourage us to think bigger.  Sarcasm, comparisons, judgements – let’s get rid of them.

Compliment instead. “You’re so focused on work, great job.” “Your an awesome mom!” “I love how adventurous you are.” “Your kids are going to benefit from all the great things you do.” “You’re so smartl! Go get whatever you want.” Words matter.

Let’s make each other believe in our multi-layered and complex lives, so that we’re confident of being in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing(s).


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One Response to Words Matter. Compliments vs Daggers

  1. On our blog you state, “Women are torn.” We are looking to your generation and your children’s generation to mend the tear…rather to heal it! You are certainly doing your part very excellently!

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