‘There isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t have a nasty inner critic’

Every week, Dominique McMullan tries something different. This week: an empowering women workshop

More power: This was the first time I sat in a room and felt the very real power of a group of women supporting each other

More power: This was the first time I sat in a room and felt the very real power of a group of women supporting each other

 

This week I attended an empowered women workshop. With International Women’s Day just around the corner, and new adventures on the horizon, it felt like the perfect time for some female power.

The workshop was run by Sarah Doyle of The Better Life Project. Sarah is a life coach who feels passionately about empowering women, and you can tell. In a room of more than 100 chattering voices silence fell when Sarah spoke. “I believe women experience the world differently to men,” she says. “And our personal power can become hidden behind layers of self doubt, insecurity and fear.” This workshop was going to give us some of that power back.

There’s been a lot of talk about the experience of being a woman recently; some about the good and more about the bad. But this was the first time I sat in a room and felt the very real power of a group of women supporting each other. Instead of picking a new avatar or piling in on a hashtag, we talk face-to-face about the worries – and the wonderfulness – we experience in the world.

Vulnerable but strong

Everyone has a story. A single mum who had lost her job and been turned down by countless potential employees since, shared hers. She wanted to be a good mum, but she was worried she wasn’t good enough. She was vulnerable but she was so strong. She talked about how sometimes a good day was simply putting on a bra. She was funny and brilliant and she was so much more than good enough.

I’m not someone who suffers from low confidence. Since entering my thirties there’s been a significant shift away from “What if” and towards “F**k it” (it’s liberating, I can wholly recommend it). But there isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t have a nasty inner critic who pops up to remind us we’re not good enough/slim enough/smart enough. Sarah said to name that voice, listen to her worries, and then explain to her why she’s wrong. You’ll feel like you’re losing the plot, but if you can get past that, it’s liberating.

Try swapping your usual critical thoughts with positive ones. Imagine what you would say to your daughter/mother/friend if she was in your situation. And if that fails, ladies, just focus on the days you manage to get your bra on.

Sarah Doyle’s book, Be Your Own Best Friend, is available on Amazon.

See more at thebetterlifeproject.ie/

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