I’m not sure exactly when it began but I have found that I frequently apologize for no reason, second-guess my own opinions, and seek reassurance from others before saying what it is that I really want to say. I don’t behave or act this way due to lack of confidence or knowledge on a particular subject, but rather I unknowingly undermine my own opinions and ideas by peppering my emails, presentations and conversations with seemingly innocent words like “sorry,” “actually” and “just” and upward inflections that signal that I am asking a question vs. making a statement. While I am most certainly guilty of this behavior in the workplace, I am guilty using weak or undermining words during my “off hours” as well. Thankfully (or sadly), I know I’m not alone.
The exact problem I and many other women/girls/ladies face was addressed in a not-so-recent but new to me article (thank you Lindsay and Ashley for sharing) featured on Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop.com. The article itself was inspired by a book by Tara Mohr, titled Playing Big.
If you are at all like me and/or want to assess whether or not you are guilty of using weak language, check out the links below!