The Voldemort List

A friend and I were chatting this week about the price of cheese, the meaning of life and such and at one point he compared taking ownership of things we are afraid of to calling ‘he-who-must-not-be-named‘ by his name. And The Voldemort List was born.

The Voldemort List is the five adjectives you fervently hope you shall never be named and will not be true of you

Simple? Try it. Then reflect on your list.


It gets interesting when you explore your choices. Why did you pick the ones you did? Perhaps a hint of hard truth you’re noticing already, something you’re already fighting? A weakness unaddressed?

Mine are the things to which my heart responds NO must vehemently when asked: “Do you really want to be that girl?”.


Naming them is the first step. Awareness is half the war won. Taking your they-shall-not-be-named’s and looking them square in their hairy eyeballs.

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each new thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down – Eleanor Roosevelt

The truth is that there is no thing about you, or I, that ought not to named. Without self-acceptance and being honest to ourselves and others, we are so very lost.

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: ‘A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.

I challenge you to write up your Voldemort list. And if you’re feeling brave, or even if you’re not, to share it.

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