I get it. It’s easier to be nice than to have boundaries. It’s easier to give up your own needs than have to deal with the drama of someone else’s anger. Or worse, their sadness. You definitely don’t want to make others feel sad or bad about themselves in any way.
Even Oprah has had to deal with her “disease to please.” She talks about it in this recent interview with Brene Brown on Living Brave. It was because she wanted to be nice. Read this: Even Oprah wanted others to think she was nice.
Nice! A very nice modest good girl.
This is one of the biggest blocks to sharing our gifts and having the creative confidence to lead (which I talk about in my free playbook). It’s a subset of the inner critic we call the “good girl” or the “nice girl” – the one who knows how to follow the rules.
One area I see the good girl come up a lot is in relationships. Let’s say you stand up for your desires: you’d like to have more X or less Y in a certain relationship or friendship. Or maybe you want to break away altogether.
The good girl is the part of you that will back pedal you out of it. Sure you said you wanted this...but maybe it’s not such a big deal...you don’t want to make the other person feel inadequate...nevermind, nevermind. Let’s pretend you didn’t mention anything.
In work, we also see the good girl manifest. I see this is especially true when women “look out” for their teammates and bosses in a way that is detrimental to their own wellbeing and career advancement. Your boss is stressed. You want to help him out. The team really needs someone to go on six business trips this quarter. You relent. You can take one for the team, even though traveling makes you less happy and less able to sustain your wellness habits.
It’s the same part of us. And the same pattern: fulfilling the external first versus the internal.
But we all know that in order to lead, we must fill our own cups up first.
Note: I’m not saying there’s something wrong with women. I believe there’s something wrong with the way patriarchy has shaped us into very nice modest good girls. For many many years now, society and culture have rewarded women to operate this way.
Here are 5 signs of the good girl I want you to look out for.
She considers what others want more often than what she wants.
She has trouble saying no and setting boundaries because she’s scared of any negative reactions (anger, judgment, etc.).
She feels guilty about her words, thoughts, and actions, even though they are aligned with her truth.
She isn’t sure how she feels about a decision but she definitely knows how others feel about it.
She doesn’t like breaking or modifying rules as she believes there’s a “proper and right way to go about” something.
If you truly want to give your gifts, you must become aware of this part of yourself. A creatively confident woman stands up for what she wants, sets appropriate boundaries, aligns with her truth, accesses her inner wisdom, and breaks the rules from time to time. She’s a badass.
Let me know what resonates with you the most by leaving a comment in this post (Hey! That rhymed). I’d love to hear from you!