Sticks & Stones: Could You Withstand A Verbal Attack?

Heartbreak, Self

Lessons we can learn from the confident, graceful Sandra Fluke!

I am a life and health coach and my blogs tend to focus on fun stuff like vegetables and food labels and how to get out of your own way when you’re trying to lose weight. I never thought I’d wade into anything remotely political, but the recent events involving Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke have provided such an important lesson, for anyone, about knowing who you are and rejecting other people’s version of you. 5 Food Label Dealbreakers

On a much, much smaller scale, I see this in my coaching practice all the time. Fortunately, none of my clients have been called derogatory names on a national radio show! Have you ever been accused of doing something or being something that just wasn’t true? Creating Your Own Happiness

You’re selfish. You’re a screw-up. You’re nothing. You’re a phony. Or even, you’re a slut.

It’s always shocking and painful when someone resorts to name-calling, labeling and attacks, no matter who it is. It’s stunning and it can take your breath away. It’s an end to any meaningful dialogue rather than an invitation to discuss and understand one another. The problem with being called names, aside from the fact that it hurts, is that, too often, we can actually believe what we hear. Especially if we hear it repetitively.

Here’s a question for you: How much of what you believe about yourself has actually come from YOU? How much of your identity has come from what you’ve been told about yourself by your parents, teachers, friends, family? You see, just because someone says something about you, doesn't make it true. We constantly have to evaluate the information we receive in the world. We have a choice with everything we see, hear, and read to decide. It is important to think about: Is this true? Or, do I think this is baloney? Life Coach: Can A Woman Be Both Powerful And Feminine?

This is easy to do if someone tells you that your shirt is red when it is obviously blue. But when someone mislabels or misrepresents your character, your work ethic or your intentions, it’s not as concrete. If you have even the slightest doubt about who you are or what you stand for, hearing someone’s nasty words about you can throw you into a tailspin.

You may start to think the following: Gee, maybe I AM really selfish. Maybe I AM a phony. Maybe this person sees something about me that I don’t see like, I’m a failure, a nothing or a slut.

Without a strong personal foundation, it’s all too easy to start agreeing with whatever gets flung your way. This is why I happen to think that Sandra Fluke is the bee’s knees. Here is a woman so confident in who she is, so self-assured, so solid with her own self-knowledge that when she was erroneously labeled a "slut" and a "prostitute," it was as ridiculous as if someone had told her that her hair was purple and not brown. How To NEVER Eat Anything Again.

Instead of believing what was said about her and retreating from the debate, she completely rejected the negative and shameful labels with poise and grace. She didn't even feel the need to defend herself or offer proof that she was not, in fact, a paid prostitute. The accusations were too foolish to even merit that kind of response. Her composure and her continued focus on the substance of the debate spoke volumes about her true character.

For Sandra Fluke, it doesn't matter what anyone says about her. SHE knows who she is. That kind of confidence comes from deep within. It's born out of self-respect, pride, accomplishment, and self-knowledge. I believe it's attainable for all of us. What would it take for you to become that comfortable and confident in who you are?

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