Powerful Speaking for Powerful Women

Tricia Karp

Let’s change the channel on our programming…


What is a Programmed Woman?

A programmed woman doesn’t speak up.

If she dares to stand for something, she keeps it to herself for fear of hurting people, being judged, rejected or shamed.

She defers her authority to others, living by expectations and rules that aren’t her own.

She blindly follows.

She is heavily invested in being nice and good, and wants to please and be liked.

She seeks approval and worries about upsetting, offending, or being not enough or too much.

A programmed woman is easily influenced and bends and shifts to conform, ignoring her own boundaries, or isn’t really sure what they are in the first place.

She doesn’t claim her own space or what’s rightfully hers.

She doesn’t ask for what she wants.

She shoves down and hides emotions that might make other people uncomfortable, especially anger.

Shrinking to stay small is her default position.

She lives outside herself, often walking on eggshells trying very hard to act the ways she thinks people want her to act.

She isn’t comfortable in her own skin.

A programmed woman apologises for herself, and is disconnected from herself.


This is what it’s like to live as a Programmed Woman:

You hold back from saying what you really feel – in conversations, meetings, presentations and relationships.

You choose the path of least resistance with your words and language so that you’ll be accepted and liked and not rock the boat.

You stay quiet and watch as other people speak your ideas and take credit for them.

You don’t put your hand up or put yourself out there, for fear of being seen as not enough (not smart enough, experienced enough, knowledgeable enough… the list goes on) or too much (too bold, pushy, bossy, full of yourself… the list goes on).

When you do speak, you adopt other people’s ideas because they offer safety, and you don’t stand for your own.

What you want is secondary, and you don’t ask for it.

When you present to a group of people or have something important to say in a conversation, you shrink by using a small voice and not taking up too much physical space.

Your body language shows your discomfort in your own skin, as you drop your shoulders, fidget, shuffle your feet, worry about where to put your hands, and apologise for yourself.

You focus on your own perception of whether or not your audience likes you or agrees with what you’re saying, which impacts on what you say, how you say it, or if you even say it at all.

You shun the spotlight and opportunities to stand in it, but are more than willing to offer it to someone else you consider more deserving.

When you do speak, you shy away from igniting your voice with passion, presence and power.

In conversations, meetings and presentations, you don’t dare call people to action when something needs to change, or you see someone behaving out of integrity.

You’re often not sure what’s even yours to say.


The truth is, we’re all programmed women.

Maybe in some ways and not others, and maybe at different times and in different situations, but that doesn’t change the fact.

We’ve been conditioned and trained by our culture to be nice, good, quiet and small. And it runs deep.

We can change this. We need to.

We have a responsibility to change it in the name of inner peace and freedom… for ourselves, our daughters, sisters, girls and women everywhere, and men too.


When you step into your power you:

Own your authority. You speak your truth – in conversations, meetings, presentations and media interviews.

You put yourself forward and you put yourself out there. You’re willing to show up, and be seen and heard.

You’re led by purpose and vision, and that colours your speaking and allows you to make a positive difference with your words and actions.

You speak confidently, sharing your ideas and knowledge and expertise and experience, with the aim to benefit others.

You speak up when something doesn’t feel right or work for you.

You put yourself first, you know what you want, and you ask for it.

You claim your voice and your right to use it, whenever you want and need to. Your voice is real and true, and energised and powerful.

You trust your intuition and allow it to guide you.

You’re comfortable in your own skin, and you own the room when you speak. You claim your space. You take all the space you need.

You create your own rules, and don’t shrink or compromise to make other people in a conversation or in the room feel comfortable.

You dare to be seen and heard, without apology.

You know your boundaries and you respect them.

You keep stepping more and more into your power – and inner peace and freedom.

You become a powerful speaker and a powerful woman.