Here are 5 signs that you may have a Good Girl Persona problem; how exactly it’s holding you back and some tips on overcoming it so you can live an empowered, uncaged life.
The Good Girl persona or archetype is one that I am all to familiar with and if you have ever struggled with people pleasing or perfectionism – then it may be familiar to you too. The Good Girl persona may manifest in different ways for you, but the short of it is that the associated behaviours limit the idea of what a woman should be by outdated societal rules that are there to keep us small.
Here are 5 ways that your Good Girl Persona may show up and how sticking to good girl behaviours can limit your journey towards your goal.
1. Good Girls don’t cause a scene. I remember being told often that good girls should be seen and not heard (very different from “boys will be boys” right?). Telling little girls this means that we learn not to speak up about our own needs or – heaven forbid – speak up when something is not right.
This keeps us small by putting the comfort of others over our own wants, needs and goals. We learn to stay quiet; avoid confrontation and push down our discomfort all for the sake of keeping the peace. Antidote – learn to use your voice, speak up and be heard.
2. Good Girls prioritise other people’s needs. As above, people pleasing is a key Good Girl persona characteristic. On the surface, people pleasing looks like simply being nice and kind – behaviours that society values, but dig a little deeper and people pleasing is a toxic, self limiting behaviour.
When we put other peoples needs and priorities above our own, it can lead to burn out frustration as we continually avoid confrontation. Antidote – swap people pleasing for strong boundaries to protect your time, energy and peace.
3. Good Girls study hard and do their homework. Another one that on the surface appears to be a good trait – study is positive, right? Like all things in life, it’s about balance. Good Girls tend to believe that you need to have studied and got a qualification in a certain field before you can put yourself forward for new jobs or embark on a creative venture.
This is another way that we hold ourselves back from jumping in before we have all the answers or pieces of paper that prove our value. Antidote – build confidence in your abilities and self trust that you can often Do before you Know you can.
4. Good Girls follow the rules. Following the rules is of course sometimes necessary – like road rules for example – but sticking hard and fast to all the rules – that makes good girls much less likely to take risks, be creative or follow their instincts. Looking to others for authority over our actions can limit the development of our ability to do what feels right and good for us over what we “should” do.
Rules are everywhere – family, society, culture, friendship groups – all can have unwritten rules and trying to follow all of them can leave us uncertain of what we want for ourselves.
5. Good Girls are always perfect. Hair neat and tidy; clothing clean; bedroom kept immaculate – being a good girl often carries the weight of being perfect and when we carry that in to our working/business lives, it can result in crippling fear of being seen as anything other than perfect.
Making mistakes; admitting we don’t know the answer or the idea of having to wing it can break us out in a cold sweat. Holding to impossible perfectionist standards can stunt us in moving forward as we get caught un in the detail over the bigger picture. Antidote – have a go at being deliberately imperfect – make a mess, be a beginner and ask for help.
Society has taught us for so long that being a good girl – staying quiet, following the rules and not making a fuss - is how we can be most valued in the world, when the truth is, it's yet another way to keep us small.
Being a good girl in recovery, I am still on my own journey to unlearn these behaviours myself, and I have picked up a lot along the way about what works in the pursuit of feeling empowered and confident.
Contact me today to book in a free 30-minute discovery call to find out how I can help you unlearn your own Good Girl behaviours so you can live your uncaged life.