Big Girl Pants


Many moons ago I was listening to a work colleague talk about some work she’d struggled with. C recounted how she’d had a touch of Imposter Syndrome (we may come back to that another time) and I asked her how she’d got by it. “Oh, I just put my big girl pants on and got it sorted,” she quipped. So that’s how I was introduced to the phrase.

So it was that in a meeting this morning – a meeting, I should add dear reader, that I was not looking forward to, for the concern (fear?) that it would be more conflict than collaboration. But, thinking back to the old mindfulness hack of what is it I can see and hear?, I decided to not worry, but instead, to don my (metaphorical) Big Girl Pants.

I’ll spare you both the topic and the ins & outs, but we will go to the punchline: it did not go as badly as I had worried. Indeed, the worry was probably the silly part of the whole thing. Really, the two folk who joined us, well, I guess they wanted to find a way that worked for all of us, and not to trample over the team. I would call that a win.

Perhaps I’d been emboldened by the earlier conversation in the week, this time with the Ever Lovely Mrs J, in which I came clean about my pins. I will not recount the discussion, because some things are private. What I will say is we’ve listened to each other and we’ll try things differently in the future. How that’ll be, I don’t know, but the secret is out there, and we’re dealing with it. The bit I will share is this: it would be better if we could have talked about it. Indeed and it’s a favourite phrase of mine, having first heard it on some Stonewall Ally Training a number of months ago: it would be better next time if…. 

Likewise, getting ready to go to Chameleons for the first time, or stepping outside into the real world: that did feel terrifying. But, with taking a deep breath, thinking that I only had to take small steps to get things done, I got there. The Ever Lovely Mrs J has said to me – when I’ve worried about travel – that it’s all small steps. Get packed, get the car to the venue, get the train, get to the hotel, etc. It’s not a huge journey, but just small tasks where you only have to think about the small stuff.

Looking at all the above occasions I guess there are a few things to take home. One is knowing that things may well go a lot better than you may think. Secondly, take a deep breath and think about what you can actually see & hear. What I’m saying is you can’t guess another person’s thoughts and sometimes those ‘perceptions’ say more about us, than they say about the other person. Lastly, be cool, stay calm, and, oh, don’t forget your Big Girl Pants. You’ve got this, 🙂

Take care,


  1. Hi Lynn,
    In hind sight it is always easier to talk about the subject, but of course that is often not how the world works. 'taking a deep breath and putting your big pants on' is one way of looking at it. The problem, in my mind, is that we fear – fear, once we can get over working about what others might possibly think we can just get on with what we want to do.

    1. Yes, thinking about crossing a rope bridge that's eight metres up is certainly easier when sat on the ground. 🙂 Yet, how many of the things that we face, are really just repetition or subtle variations of situations we've faced and handled just fine?

    1. A mate once said to me “you’re doing the best you can with what you have and where you are.”. Perhaps words to live by when you’re trying to do the best you can.

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