Last week, my friend Emma came over to help me prepare for a presentation. As we died my gray roots black (ah!), talk landed at her struggle with lack of confidence. The TeleWonderWoman List of Five has hands-down been the most productive means of bumping up mine. She immediately threw a name on her own list. By the night of the event, she had a second name at the ready.
To recap: Back in early winter, I noticed that I’d often fall into horrible anxiety late at night. When almost asleep, I’d crash awake, fearfully lost in a brain that wouldn’t stop telling me how inequipt I was at existence: I’m a failure, I’m a failure, I’m a failure. Recognizing this cycle inspired my January TeleWonderWomen Challenge, where I not only popped into Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses on a regular basis, but also immediately started repeating a List of Five names — amazing women who represent kinds of strength and love that immediately hush the mean voices in my mind.
As the Challenge progressed, I noticed that I’d sometimes land upon one name — one person who’s particular strenght I needed to fuel me through that instance.
- Wonder Woman: Brute strength and honor.
- Carrie Fisher: “Fuck it, why do you care?”
- Michelle Obama: Grace, intelligence, and taking the high road.
- My Best Friend Lyndsey: Resilient earth goddess.
- Mitra: Unconditional, sloppy love.
Today I decided I need a second list. One not about channeling power or confidence, but for culling calm. Here are my first three:
- Anne Shirley: “…Tomorrow is a brand new day with no mistakes in it yet.” This Year has allowed me to fall deeply in love with magic again, and Anne has it in spades. Her faith in poetry and romance allows me to put aside the practical and pessimistic parts of myself that have been honed from logic and disappointment.
- Carrie Newcomer: “I thought I’d live a louder life. I’d learn a lot and get it right… But silence called me deeper still. Like nothing else I know ever will.” That’s from her song, I Meant To Do My Work Today. Lyndsey introduced me to Carrie years ago. Now, when most stressed, I put my “Carrie favs” playlist on to remind me of what “I Believe” to be true about the world. She reminds me that many people believe in protecting each other, the earth, and life.
- Iris Higgins: Iris is the owner of The Goldilocks Movement — an online retreat center for women I was a part of and highly recommend. Our hypnotherapy work blows my mind. From Iris I know: I have the guides I need inside me, if I stay open to hear them.
So who’s on your list? A 3-Step Process
- Pay attention to the kind of self-effacing thoughts you fall into, and when they happen. How do you wish you could think, feel, or behave in those moments?
- Pick the names of five women — human or animal, living or dead, real or fictional — that embody those thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. Put their names in an order that sounds good, that you can repeat easily. Don’t overthink this; your heart will know.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Whenever you recognize those moments of low confidence, immediately start saying that list to yourself, over and over, for as long as it takes. Visualize those women. Allow yourself to feel their love, strength, and power inside your body. Where do you feel it? How does it feel? How does it change you? Do this, over and over. And over again.