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Tag: women

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young

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It’s only because they like me. I was in the right place at the right time. I just work harder than the others. I don’t deserve this. It’s just a matter of time before I am found out. Someone must have made a terrible mistake.

If you are a working woman, chances are this inter­nal monologue sounds all too familiar. And you’re not alone. From the high-achieving Ph.D. candidate convinced she’s only been admitted to the program because of a clerical error to the senior executive who worries others will find out she’s in way over her head, a shocking number of accomplished women in all ca­reer paths and at every level feel as though they are faking it—impostors in their own lives and careers.
While the impostor syndrome is not unique to women, women are more apt to agonize over tiny mistakes, see even constructive criticism as evi­dence of their shortcomings, and chalk up their accomplishments to luck rather than skill. They often unconsciously overcompensate with crippling perfec­tionism, overpreparation, maintaining a lower pro­file, withholding their talents and opinions, or never finishing important projects. When they do succeed, they think, Phew, I fooled ’em again.
An internationally known speaker, Valerie Young has devoted her career to understanding women’s most deeply held beliefs about themselves and their success. In her decades of in-the-trenches research, she has uncovered the often surprising reasons why so many accomplished women experience this crushing self-doubt.
In The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, Young gives these women the solution they have been seek­ing. Combining insightful analysis with effective ad­vice and anecdotes, she explains what the impostor syndrome is, why fraud fears are more common in women, and how you can recognize the way it mani­fests in your life. With her empowering, step-by-step plan, you will learn to take ownership of your success, overcome self-doubt, and banish the thought patterns that undermine your ability to feel—and act—as bright and capable as others already know you are.

Have you ever felt that you didn’t deserve that job you have? Or the grades in school, or praise from peers? Do you feel as if there was a mistake somehow, and you are not as good as others say you are? You are not alone; you may be suffering from Impostor Syndrome.

Many high-achieving women feel as if they got something they didn’t deserve, and are waiting to be “found out”. I picked up this book because I was recently promoted, and still couldn’t believe that I was the “one in charge” – and was sure once I was in the job for a little while, I would be “found out” to be incompetent. At times I felt like a child playing at being grown up.

The author was plagued by similar thoughts – instead of faking it til she made it, she decided to do research into this emerging phenomenon. She came to realize that many things come together to cause this self doubt in women: being “feminine” means not being “bossy”, interacting with men on an uneven playing field causes women to shrink from conflict and quietly overcompensate, plus the emotional makeup of the female means constructive criticism sounds like denigration.

It almost sounds like a given that being successful and a woman means you are in for a lot of self doubt. The author is aware of this, and offers many uplifting thoughts along the way. She takes every excuse that you have, every reason that cements your failure, and cancels them out with infallible stories and truths that help banish the deadly Impostor. Her tone is never judgemental, but encouraging.

Some of her anecdotes are eye opening. There was one comparing two managers who were given a project; one they knew nothing about. One shrunk back and said they couldn’t do it, the other got through it by convincing everyone that they had the background to handle the project. The difference? The first one was a woman, the second, a man. How many times have we heard a man bluster his way through things, and if he fails, he just laughs it off and tries again? Why can’t a woman do this?

The author encourages you to change your mindset by replacing crippling thoughts with positive ones, and offers activities at the end of every chapter to show you that no, you are not a fake. Her style is easy to read while getting her point across in a powerful way. I felt as if I had an older sister who put her arm around me and gave me a push in the right direction!

This is not a book you can skim through; I think it would work best by digesting the chapters slowly while doing a good deal of self reflection. Years of a certain thought pattern doesn’t go away easily, and the author acknowledges this. Everything takes practice. Thanks to this book, banishing the Impostor Syndrome is something I do every day!

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B00DEKR52E” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

Woman on Fire by Amy Jo Goddard

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Based on her sought-after sexuality workshops, the coauthor of Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men shows women how to master the 9 elements of sexual empowerment to reclaim their desire and live the sexually fulfilling lives they want.

The prevalence of low sexual desire ranges from 26.7% among premenopausal women to 52.4% among naturally menopausal women. That is an enormous segment of women who are frustrated about their lack of desire and wonder what’s wrong. But in Woman on Fire, Amy Jo Goddard shows us that the more whole we are as sexual beings, the more fulfilled we are as human beings. In this accessible, prescriptive book, Amy Jo reveals her holistic, inside-out approach to developing Sexual Empowerment. Women from 20 to 70 come to her workshops with issues like these: “What am I missing?” “I don’t like sex the way everyone else seems to.” “How do I maintain desire after having kids?” “How do I build sexual confidence?”

In answer, Amy Jo shows us how to master the 9 Elements of a Sexually Empowered Life and includes stories from the thousands of women she has worked with. She shows us how to get (back) in touch with desire, explore vulnerability and play, and push the boundaries of what we think is acceptable. We will not just have better sex, we will have more pleasure throughout life and more intimate relationships, whether we have many partners or one.

Thanks to  Roshe Anderson at Penguin Random House for gifting me this review copy!

Amy Jo Goddard is a world reknowned sexual empowerment coach. She has done many things to promote sexuality, feminism, and couple’s communication. With those credentials under her belt, I expected a whole lot from this book –and I wasn’t disappointed!

I started highlighting stuff about 20 pages in. Goddard’s vision is refreshing in that, if society would stop sending women sex-negative messages, they would be able to enjoy themselves more. Women are shamed and made to feel guilty on a regular basis. Mothers tell their daughters to be protective of their body and not be a tease. Girlfriends talk about each other behind their backs, using terms like “slut” and whore”, when peer pressure is at its most effective. Men use their strength against women and hurt their psyche with rape or other types of abuse. Goddard’s message is to let go of your “story”, the tale you may tell yourself and live your life around it (I am a victim, I am a slut, I am someone who has strange sexual tastes) and embrace who you really are. People identify so strongly with their own stories that it can keep them from moving forward.

Goddard says that some of your story, while relevant in the past, may be outdated now. Perhaps you are divorced; perhaps you feel attracted to women now instead of men; perhaps there are things going on in your life that has changed you in other ways. No matter what is happening, it’s time for you to find your voice and speak up for yourself. There is no need for any woman to feel powerless in her life. There is no reason for any woman to hold onto beliefs that don’t serve you (sex before marriage is bad, good girls don’t have that type of fantasy).

In WOMAN ON FIRE, the author outlines 9 elements that are essential to sexual empowerment. She also includes an online portal with exercises and resources that will help the reader get the most out of her book.

As I read each chapter, I could feel myself figuratively “catching on fire” and wanting to become the woman that Goddard says is inside all of us.

I was especially moved by the chapter on emotion and showing up emotionally powerful. Goddard says there is a cause and effect for everything, and that YOU are the cause and your life circumstances are the effects. It makes perfect sense to me—and somehow no other book has every conveyed that in such a clarifying way before.

The writing is supportive, empowering, powerful and bold. This is not a burn-your-bra missive; this is a search-within-yourself journey that just happens to have sex at its core. Women that have contented sex lives will benefit from reading this as well, because Goddard forces you to think about things in a new way.

Her theory is acceptance: of yourself, of your needs, of your desires, of your body. Element 4 is all about your body and the media lies that force unobtainable standards upon women. There is also a section that illustrates the sex organs and explains their function.

Goddard is frank about her past abuse and how she freed herself of her own story, lest there be some women who discredit her theories as being too glib for comfort. Healing from past shame/abuse/loss of power is not easily gained, yet the author is open about her situation and the ways she learned to let go and regain self esteem again. To me, this makes her words more real and more empowering.

Women must learn to be whoever THEY want to be, not trying to live up to someone else’s idea. True, the major portion of this book urges you to awaken your erotic core, but it is also helpful for anyone wanting to gain more self love, confidence, and mindfulness. Here’s an example of how much Goddard wants women to make themselves the best they can be: her confidence quiz. Her website is full of information and encouragement for women of all ages.

Today’s world is full of self help books and buzzwords to make women feel empowered–WOMAN ON FIRE is a book that delivers and supports this attitude with real stories, real scenarios, and authentic support. Kudos to Amy Jo for telling it like it is, free of shame or embarrassment. I hope this book takes the world by storm.

Get your own copy [easyazon_link identifier=”1594633762″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Jess Under Pressure by E. Graziani

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You didn’t know? You seem like a perceptive, aware woman. You’re a doctor of psychology and sociology. You have a book on the bestseller list about women and coping – and you didn’t know?”

Dr. Jessica Britton’s life sparkles with the sheen of success and happiness. Her bestselling book, “Give More, Do More, Be Better!”, modelled after her own life experiences, inspires readers all over the world to achieve a perfectly balanced lifestyle that includes career, family, and happiness.

This happiness is shattered when Jess’s husband is killed in a fatal car accident, leaving Jess with the shocking truth that her perfect life was nothing more than a carefully veiled wall of illusion.

Consumed by grief for more than her dead husband, Jess unexpectedly leaves Toronto after a particularly grueling interview and finds herself in the small town of Gananoque.

Broken, impaired, and in desperate need of healing, Jess is rescued by Susie, who takes her home, and helps her deal with her situation by letting her know that no one has the perfect life, but everyone can work through their issues and come out stronger on the other side with the right kind of support.

Thanks to Jennifer at Morning Rain Publishing for offering me this book for review. You can visit the author’s page here.

Sometimes women spend their time tearing each other down, rather than building each other up. This book is delightful in that it shows strong women, bonding and spending quality time together,  in a real environment. Sure, there are those that delight in the character Jess’ fall from grace, but her new found friends give her the strength to ignore them and discover who she really is.

The first part of the book shows us Jess spending her time in the spotlight, talking about her book and the success it has been. Suddenly, her life spins into a tragic abyss: her husband dies and her children are angry and distant. Jess goes from the top of the world to the bottom, battling depression and self doubt. This could happen to anyone, and the author makes Jess a sympathetic character, someone who is able to help others easily but does not have the answers when it comes to her own problems.

I was quite touched by the love Susie’s friends showed Jess. There was a bit of shock, as Susie introduced the fallen idol to the group, but after a few false starts she was welcomed in and cared for. The scene where all the women shared their personal struggle was quite poignant–I could feel the love!

Graziani has composed a sort of self help book: by reading about the goodness of others and seeing how fictional Jess was able to heal herself, I was cheered up and had more faith in the human race. I know there have been many circumstances where strangers have been kind enough to care for someone struggling through a hard time, but this is such a good feeling way to read about it. The style is a bit different from Graziani’s other book, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NMNQNOO” locale=”US” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]ALICE OF THE ROCKS[/easyazon_link], but just as readable. The plot is not too complicated, so the message and the intent shines clearly through.

I hope others are able to feel hope and positivity after they finish JESS UNDER PRESSURE. It starts out sad and bleak, but finishes strong. The message is perfect, without being too heavy handed.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B00WN3NEK0″ locale=”US” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

 

 

 

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

 

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 An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy. Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never exist—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few year have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

 

I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway! Thanks to Emily Nagoski and Simon & Schuster for contributing the book in exchange for an honest review.

There are many books out there claiming to be the best source of knowledge about the female body; but this one is pretty much on the money. Nagoski talks honestly about what women experience, and why. Her tenet is: we are all alike, but different,  we are all normal.

Women may get their knowledge  from social media,  and therefore have an unrealistic image to live up to. Women may feel “broken” because their bodies don’t react the way they think they should. This feeling is insidious and permeates the brain and hinders sexual pleasure.

Nagoski explains that women have a “brake” and an  “accelerator” and that they need to be aware of what hits them, in essence. She talks about “spectatoring” (thinking about yourself in a denigrating way during sex, effectively hitting your brake) and discusses how to love your body.

COME AS YOU ARE is an uplifting, celebrating, and positive book that all women should read.  The ideas she puts forth are simple, and she includes worksheets and questions in the book that the reader can use to help them along their journey to better self awareness.

The author includes a chapter on anatomy, which is very thorough and should educate even the most sexually aware person! She also debunks the myths that women’s pleasure is secondary to men’s, or that the purpose of a female is just to procreate. Her message gives women power on every page.

Intertwined with Nagoski’s wisdom are 4 fictional women, each experiencing a different problem. As the book progresses, each woman’s relationship progresses, concurrent with what the author is saying. This way the reader can see how the principles are applied in real life.

What makes this book different from other self help books is that the solutions are put forth for both the mind and the body. It won’t matter if your sex drive is low or high,  as the tenets will make many women feel better, both about themselves and about what they feel. Education goes a long way, and this is the author’s aim: to let women know they are normal, while teaching them why this is so. There can be no better message, especially in these times where the average female has a lot of negativity surrounding her. Every woman should read this book, then give it to their partner. There would be more happiness in the world if that occurred.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B00LD1ORBI” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

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