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Queen of Your Own Life

Replacing Negative Messages | The Battle for You

by Cindy Ratzlaff

For the last two days, I’ve been in New York City speaking at BookExpo America, the largest convention in the United States devoted to books, authors, publishers and the business of books.  This was my 22nd year in attendance.  I love this convention because I get to see old colleagues and publishing friends, many of whom I only see once a year.

I was honored to have been asked to speak this year, especially because this is a conference of my peers and colleagues.  Yet I had moments of anxiety just before the talk about, of all things, my weight.  I know how silly that sounds.  People were coming to hear me speak about a topic I know well and they were seeking information I had to offer and yet the voices in my head were screaming “You’re fat.”

Many times in my life I’ve let anxiety about my weight hold me back.  I chosen not to do things because I was afraid of being judged for being overweight.  I’ve beaten myself up over my weight.  I’ve missed out on experiences because of my own anxiety, not other people’s, about my weight.

Just before I went on stage, Kathy Kinney called me.  Among other things, she reminded me that I have a purpose and that I’m not responsible for anything other than showing up and fulfilling my purpose.

I’m happy to report that I was able to banish that brief moment of negative thinking and deliver the information that people came to hear.  And, I suspect no one sat in that lecture hall thinking, “Gee,  I sure wish I was hearing this from a thinner woman.”

I am still blossoming as a woman.  I am still developing coping skills to banish the negative things I tell myself in unguarded moments.  I believe most of us are doing the same thing.  For today here’s the new message I’m giving myself.

“I have information that other people want and need.  I will show up and be of service today, delivering what I know to the best of my ability. I am the right person, at the right time, to share this information and I’m grateful to be here.”

Are you feeding yourself messages that are holding you back from doing something, going somewhere or being something? Let’s name them and take away their power over us.  Let’s replace those old, untrue messages with new ones.  Remember that when we share our stories, we share our strength.  I had a good friend to remind me that I have a purpose, so I’d like to do the same for you today.  You have a purpose, every single day.  I’d love to hear what you’re doing to battle negative self-talk and live your purpose.

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7 Responses to “Replacing Negative Messages | The Battle for You”

  1. Julia says:

    Sometimes this is really hard, especially when there is negativity surrounding you. I call my Mother or friend, someone who values me and they remind me I am good, my heart is good. I pray and read positive materials. Getting off my rump and doing something for someone else gets me out of myself and always fixes those negative thoughts. We are beautiful, smart, creative, strong women worthy of love.

  2. Nancy says:

    Throughout my career that voice was shouting those same words – “You are too fat, you consume too much space, no one will listen to you because they are looking at your size and not your talent” I had to stand up straight, square my shoulders and (in my head) yell in a louder voice “They want you, they like you for what you bring to the table” and “They need you”. The unfortunate thing is that I believed that I was only worth my “talent” and not as a person. The human doing not human being syndrome. I struggle with getting out of my “thinking” everyday and have to “choose” to “be” and participate in “being.” It’s a daily choice – many times I win, sometimes I still lose. But the scales are finally leaning the other way. By the way – I no longer stand on the weight scale, it has become a false god whom I no longer choose to worship. Blessings to all on our journey to wellness. – Nancy
    (The quotes are used for italic-type emphasis)

  3. I am trying to push down the voices that tell me my smile is all anyone sees. That it is ugly, stained, full of crooked, chipped, “long in tooth” ( because the gums are gone on so many) …every time I start to feel good about myself I see a photo or pass myself in a mirror and it is all I notice. It has even surpassed what child birth, weight yo-yo’s and age have done to my body. I think that is all anyone else sees. When people say I am beautiful I can not hear it, because the voices tell me that they can not possibly think so with how my teeth look. I can not even imagine what will happen when they begin to fall out ( each day makes that day closer) . I truly want to overcome those voices before it happens. I need to, as I know it is holding me back, making me want to become a recluse so that I do not have to face those voices in the head. These voices and the truth they are speaking and the lies as well ( thinking that is all others see) are holding me back from 100% enjoying all the good things in my life and I want it to stop…I want to learn how to live with and accept what I am facing and make the best of it so I can be and feel my best despite it.

  4. cindy says:

    Queen Nancy, I love “human doing not human being syndrome.” That’s a powerful image and I’m going to use that to remind myself to get on with it on those days that get me down. Thank you!

  5. cindy says:

    Queen Julia, we are beautiful, smart, creative, strong women and we are worthy of love and friendship. Thank you for that. And, I’m grateful today that you have such a wonderful circle of support!

  6. cindy says:

    Queen Stephanie, this breaks my heart. I know several women right now who are going through exactly what you’re going through. It’s so very frightening when our bodies fail us and we’re struggling for the resources to stop the decline. I know it doesn’t help right now, but I’m focusing a lot of thought and prayer on you.

  7. It helps on so many levels. I thought I would be my Moms age ( late 60’s) before I faced such things. Prayer is what keeps me strong and going so that I can find the help I need. THX!

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