Were you conditioned to be “the good girl?” You know, the one who says yes to everyone else, puts others’ needs before her own, and apologizes for taking up space?
Yeah, me too.
And just when I think I unraveled that “good girl” conditioning and said goodbye to her forever, you guessed it, something else happens to bring her back. It’s not that I don’t like her or appreciate what she’s done for me. But frankly, she gets a bit annoying, especially when I’m over here trying to live my life and realize some pretty crazy big-ass dreams. I mean, I’ve got a passionate mission to fulfill.
Oh, good girl…BITE ME!
This latest rearing of the ugly good girl came during an up-leveling in my business where I’m (gulp) inviting people to work with me in a bigger way. No biggie, right? That’s what entrepreneurs do.
But apparently, Miss Thang decided she needed to apologize for asking. WTF? Thank goodness for my own kick-ass coach who nipped that shizz in the bud and got me back on track.
But it got me to thinking…
What is that inner good girl here to teach me, and why in the HELL does she always show up when I’m stepping more fully into my purpose?
When I got silent and let those questions sink in a bit, the answers flooded me like a ton of bricks.
- If I’m not a “good girl,” does that mean I’m a “bad girl?” It’s not a trick question, but one posed by a certain way of thinking. When we shed labels or masks or beliefs, there’s a certain stripping away of the fabric of our identity. We know ourselves in a certain way. Others rely on us being a certain way. So when that is questioned, it’s only natural to question who we are. The answer undoubtedly lies somewhere between “good” and “bad.”
- What will people think of me if I break the “rules?” There are soooo many friggin’ rules, many of which are unspoken, unwritten, and (frankly) stupid. There I said it. Some rules are really stupid! Like ones that have us “not rocking the boat” or “making waves.” If I dare ask for what I want or take a stand for what’s right, what will people think?
- The “good girl” once saved me a lot of angst. Despite my sometimes irrational hatred of my inner good girl, I have to give her props. Growing up in the chaotic abusive and neglectful household that I did, the good girl allowed me to survive. She gave me guidelines of how to act in a family that had rules that changed on a daily basis. I had my role and I played it well.
- Old patterns get triggered by stress. Duh! That’s like healing 101. And something I have taught my clients and reminded them of time and time again over the years. But experiencing it firsthand can lead to amnesia. When going through big changes (no matter how welcomed they are), we can experience stress and our brains can go on auto-pilot, pulling up those old patterns.
As with any part of ourselves, there area always lessons to be learned. I challenge you to get silent and find out what YOUR inner good girl is trying to tell you.
In Part 2, I’ll explore some ways to gently let the good girl go.
Got any insights? Leave a comment below.
- Unraveling the Good Girl Part 2: Five Tips to Escort Her Out of the Building
- 10 Rules for Being Human
- Do You Trust Yourself, Part 1: The Ugly Truth About Distrust