Would you consider yourself a good girl? Always following the rules and doing what you are supposed to be doing. Not talking back or disagreeing with people, putting others needs before your own. Not making waves and keeping yourself poised and classy at all times. Being the hostess with the smile. Sound familiar?
For the majority of my life I’ve been trying to keep up with my title as the good girl. Even when it began to impact my life in a negative way, even when I got sick, even when my work started to suffer. Through hell and high waters, I was still going to be the good girl.
Until one day that didn’t work for me anymore. I wanted to be more than just the good girl.
I wanted to be great in my own right and the only way to do that was to break out of my good girl box.
Yikes! Scariest decision ever, but it continues to be one of the best choices I have made for myself.
Is being a good girl keeping you stuck? Here are 4 ways the good girl label might be holding you back:
1. Your self-worth is based on whether or not you meet the “good girl” standard
As a child, I was labeled as the good girl. I did what I was told, followed all of the rules, made good grades, didn’t make waves, and tried to always keep the peace. My poor sister, the free-spirited one, was always being compared to me. Honestly, it made me feel good. I knew my place and strived for that.
As I grew older, my people-pleasing tendencies took over. I became so perfectionistic, that any mistake I made would riddle me with anxiety. I would continuously re-think situations in my head until I was practically in panic mode. On the outside, I seemed perfect, on the inside I was a frazzled ball of nerves. Instead of being praised for being a good friend or a kind person, my worth was based on whether I had the right grades, acted appropriately in social situations and said no to peer pressure.
The standards others set for me (and the ones I set for myself) became so unattainable, that each time I didn’t meet the mark, I would feel like a complete failure.
I still struggle with trying to rise to this imaginary bar I’ve set.
If your worthiness is attached to how well you follow the “good girl” rules, you may be sabotaging yourself in a big way. This is crushing your self-worth, which when healthy, can only come from within. Try reminding yourself that external things are not what define your worth.
You are worth it regardless of past, present or future decisions.
You were born with an innate worth. Don’t let that be taken away from you. You don’t have to prove your worthiness to anyone.
What is defining your self-worth? External ideals and things, or your internal value as a human being?
2. your creativity is being squashed
The good girl box can be suffocating. Feeling like you need to put on a show and always be “good” can be a huge detriment, especially if you would consider yourself a creative like I do. Whether your art is drawing, painting, writing, singing, crafting, speaking or something else.
If you often find you have someone else’s voice in your head telling you what you can and cannot do, your inner good girl might be holding you back.
Do you often find yourself changing your creative path because something might be too risky (or risqué!), too impractical, too “out there,” too expensive, too this, too that!
This is the beginning of the fear that you are not good enough. That taking any type of risk outside of the good girl box is not only the wrong choice for you, but actually dangerous and detrimental. This leads to the dreaded play it safe mentality.
I played it safe for over two decades of my life, and because of it, I was not reaching my full potential. It wasn’t until I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, that I began to really experience life.
Sure, risk is scary and there are no guarantees, but the reward has often been worth the risk.
The greatness you can achieve, if you jump out of your box, has no ceiling.
How freeing to be able to do your craft with no real or imagined boundaries holding you back.
How has the good girl ideal held you back creatively? What would happen creatively if you were to let go of that ideal?
3. You aren’t completing your life’s mission (or worse, You’re completing someone else’s!)
Don’t break the rules, don’t talk back, don’t disappoint. Being the good girl can really derail you from your life’s purpose. You do all of the right things, go to school for the right degree, get the right job and wake up one day wondering whose life you are living because this isn’t what you wanted.
I fell in love with psychology in high school and decided pretty quickly I wanted to be a child psychologist. It was a noble profession, people praised me for it and quickly got attached to the title. Ooooh you would be a doctor? I have to admit, I got a bit attached to the title myself. I was feeling pretty good about my life’s track, doing all of the right things to get myself there.
Then came the day of the graduate school entrance exam and I bombed it! BIG. TIME. My whole world was shaken in an instant, I felt like I had failed, not only myself, but everyone who was excited for my big dreams. I had to rearrange my plans, I started working a 9 to 5 job with a less prestigious title because I thought that is what I was supposed to do. I worked myself sick, (literally my body fell apart), doing a job I hated for much less pay than I was worth. I was miserable on so many levels. This was definitely not my life’s mission.
Fast forward a few years and I am working in a career I love, with a flexible schedule and I decide how many hours I want to work. I’m happy and better still, my work is fulfilling. Sure, this job has much less security and no benefits, but it’s worth it on so many levels!
When you don’t listen to your heart, and instead rely on the opinions or ideals of others, you may entirely miss your life’s purpose.
Your life purpose is so unique that ONLY YOU can fill it. If you fail to do so, the world misses out on your greatness! This is kind of a big deal!
I hope you are doing what you were meant to do on this planet. If not, you still have time to start. It’s never to late to complete your mission. Don’t feel like you have to do something to appease your parents or do something because it’s the “right thing to do.” Remember, you have the final say in your life. You get to decide what is in your heart. Embrace it.
Your life’s work should make you feel energized and inspired, not exhausted and drained.
How is your inner good girl holding you back from completing your life’s purpose?
4. Your needs are being sacrificed for the needs of others
Is the saying good girls finish last feeling true for you? It might be because you are too busy thinking about the needs of everyone else, and you have completely forgotten to finish your own race!
If you’re anything like I am, I bet your inner good girl is always telling you to be kind, be hospitable and keep your mouth shut. Go with the flow, put on your smiling face. How many times have you caught yourself saying “No, it’s ok.” “Don’t worry about it.” Even though inside you are steaming.
Most of us good girls are natural born nurturers and helpers, but sometimes we do this to our detriment.
It’s ok to want to do things for your significant other, but are they now expecting it? Are you getting what you need? It’s ok to work extra at your job, but are you working yourself to death? Are you getting compensated for the extra effort?
Remember, your needs are just as important as the needs of others.
Sometimes you have to make waves. Sometimes you have to set boundaries.
It’s ok. It’s healthy! And you will ultimately feel better about the situation because of it.
Don’t be afraid to speak up, even if it’s a taboo topic for a good girl. It can be really scary for the good girl to talk about topics such as money and sex. But, you’re worth it, your needs and desires need to be met too! It’s like ripping off a band-aid. You just have to do it. You will feel better for speaking up, even if the outcome isn’t exactly what you had hoped for.
If you are always saying yes to everyone else and no to yourself, you are putting yourself at risk of being taken advantage of. Good girls have a tendency to become doormats too quickly. Don’t get caught up in that trap.
Make sure that your needs are being met. If not, make them known. This isn’t mean, it’s assertive and assertiveness is a key component to your greatness!
How is your good girl ideal keeping you from getting your needs met? How can you assert yourself in areas where you aren’t getting your needs met?
Hopefully, your inner good girl isn’t sinking you like quicksand. Who needs that label anyways? Pull your hair out of that pony and embrace the life YOU want to live.