Is your good girl in charge?

Is the good girl in you running your life? Have you spent years being well-behaved, polished and compliant and now you're wondering - what for? What's the point of all this pretending?

I'd like to share a story with you. I once knew a young woman who tried hard to please everyone and do the right thing. She wanted to fit in and belong and was motivated by a deep need to be liked and to avoid conflict at all costs. She was exceptionally good at reading people, giving them what they needed and telling them what they wanted to hear. 

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.
— Aristotle

 

Like many girls of her time, she was taught to dim down, stay quiet and be a good girl; i.e. look nice, but be seen and not heard. And of course she grew up to become a nice woman with many friends, and she chose a respectable path she believed would please her parents and give her the sense of belonging she craved. Which is why it's no surprise that in her efforts to please others, she lost herself.

When this woman's true self started to re-emerge in her early 30s, she didn't at first recognise it. All she knew was she no longer felt content within her life anymore. She felt profoundly lost. Confused. Dissatisfied. Nothing seemed to fit - her friendships, her career, her interests - and seemingly overnight she felt like an outsider looking in. Missing in her own life. 

She was shocked to discover she didn't have a clue who she was or what she believed in; that she barely had an opinion about things - because she'd always deferred to others to tell her their opinion. And suddenly this wasn't okay. How could she be living a life without knowing who she was? 

Which raised a far more terrifying question: What if she finds her true self and it rejects the life she'd created for herself?  

She knew the awakening within her signified change. Big change. But she honestly felt she didn't have a choice but to find out who she was, no matter what the consequences. Because to keep up the facade meant betraying her soul. And she could feel her soul urging her to show up in her life fully, and dump the cardboard cutout that had propped her up until now. And so she embarked on a long search of self-discovery which ultimately brought her back to herself.

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Once you recognise you're lost to yourself, you have two choices. You can keep pretending or you can dare to find the truth of who you are. I know which one feels safer but in the long term imprisoning, and which one is hugely challenging but ultimately brings great reward. I know because this is not only my story, it's one shared by so many women.

Nothing compares to being at home in your own skin. Nothing. 

All of us have to start somewhere. Embarking on a journey of self discovery is one of the most profound gifts you can give yourself because it's the start of finding out who you really are and what you are here to do with your life. Not who you've moulded yourself to be to please others. 

If this post resonates with you, then it's likely that behind your inner "good girl" is a huge heart wanting to make a real difference in the world. Because that goodness in you comes from your heart. And at some point, your heart is going to draw you towards what you need to change in your life in order to be of service.

That's why I believe we experience awakenings and periods of darkness and confusion - because we have something important to do. Your heart knows it, your soul knows it - it's just the rest of you that needs a bit of prodding to catch up to where you're at.  

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
— Joseph Campbell

If your good girl has been in charge, please send her lots of love and compassion for all that she has done to keep you safe in the past. And then gently, with a big hug, tell her you've got this, and step back into your adult self and do what you need to do to release her.

May you wake up and know who you are in this lifetime. May you dump the conditioning that taught you to be anything other than yourself. And may you celebrate what's unique about you. Because the world is waiting for you to show up.

With love xo