How can we utilize typically feminine traits to encourage success in the business world? What benefits can you receive from creating boundaries with yourself? Are you learning how to practice self-compassion? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Gangotri Garg about leading with compassion and empathy and embracing your femininity.


Gangotri Garg is a women's leadership coach and facilitator. Her mission is to make women feel at home in the highest levels of leadership. She does this by working with leaders to embrace a feminine model for leadership in which empathy and compassion become the new currency. She has a Masters in Business Administration and Healthcare Administration and has been working in the leadership development/coaching industry for over 15 years. Find out more and connect with Gangotri here and get in touch:


  • The glass ceiling for women
  • Gangotri’s model for feminine leadership
  • Boundaries with yourself and with others
  • 3 Steps to self-compassion

The glass ceiling for women

The idea of ‘good enough’ is not self-defined by women, it is a near unattainable status that is designed by a society that demands its women to do it all, alone, and to do it perfectly. It is not possible for anyone to do it all, and if this is the standard, how can women ever feel in themselves that they are enough?
We’re not being setup for success in the expectations that are being asked of us. Women aren’t really checking in with their own beliefs and values because they’re chasing this ‘good enough’ that has been prescribed, honestly, by a patriarchal society. Working off this masculine model doesn’t always align. (Gangotri Garg)
The business glass ceiling that women get stuck under comes from the fear of asking for their needs to be met for fear of being perceived as ‘too much’, even though it is impossible to attain this high a standard without assistance. They do not set good boundaries because they are then perceived as being ‘hard to work with’ because women in business are told to be easy going.
Having women in high levels of leadership benefits everyone, and so it’s something I so want women to hear. Your leadership is what is needed right now, it’s what is going to create connection and empathy and compassion in the world and look around, it’s what we need! (Gangotri Garg)
When you doubt yourself, check yourself to see what standard you are comparing yourself to, and are not chasing this unattainable ideal that you have not even set for yourself.

Gangotri’s model for feminine leadership

There are six petals:
  • Body awareness: How are we willing to treat our own bodies? Can we recognize the wisdom in our own physicality?
  • Emotional wisdom and connection with others.
  • Mindfulness.
  • Connection with others and our emotions.
  • Boundaries: How do we set them in a way that can be helpful for relationships?
  • Creatrix: A woman who is highly intuitive. When all these petals are aligned, the intuition is heightened and emboldened.

Boundaries with ourselves and with others

Gangotri discusses the importance of creating inner boundaries with yourself, especially when it comes to making mistakes and how to work with self-compassion:

Boundaries with ourselves:

This has to get dialed in before we can set healthy boundaries with others. This comes from how we treat ourselves when we make a mistake for example, and how we treat ourselves in those moments. When we yell and beat ourselves up internally, we are not able to healthily set boundaries with other people. Setting boundaries with yourself comes from a place of self-compassion.

Boundaries with others

By stating what you need and do not need, you are creating space around yourself and around the other person. By setting a boundary, you are saying to them that this is where you end and that is where they begin. You need to teach people what you need to make sure that you are not mistreated. The clearer you get on your own experience, the assertiveness follows, because it is difficult not to live in your truth once you are aware of it.

3 Steps to self-compassion

When you implement self-compassion, your ability for resilience increases, your ability to learn from mistakes and do better increases. (Gangotri Garg)
  1. Acknowledge the pain.
  2. Acknowledge the common humanity of it.
  3. Practicing gentle kindness towards yourself: Recognize this is difficult, know that other people have gone through this, and still have compassion for yourself, as you would for a friend.
Notice the feelings you experience in your body when you practice self-compassion. Notice your physical feelings when you allow the emotions to pass without activating the inner critic.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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