I have a question for you: By nature, are you a good-girl or a bad-girl? I’m a good-girl. And this article is dedicated to all the good-girls out there. You know, the ones who are by nature the kind of person you would want to have as your best friend? Good-girls are…
- Quick to forgive
Many years ago, I was in a workshop where we had to stand in front of our peers and listen as they shouted out attributes that best described our essence. These twelve attributes were used to describe me, and many others in my group. That experience was more than a decade ago, but in the past month, I have been paying attention to the things I say to myself throughout the day. I can promise you, the voices in my head are NOT about being kind or generous or any of these feel-good attributes. I noticed I wasn’t stepping into my essence, but instead, I was standing in toxicity. So I found that hand-written list of attributes and folded it up to carry with me in my wallet. Everyday, I get it out, read it, and tuck it back into my wallet. I use it when I need a boost of self-confidence and a reminder of how I show up to the world if I am authentic and free of self-doubt and fear.
For over a month now, I’ve been wearing these attributes like a badge of honor… soaking in the acknowledgment…. and it actually began to work! It dispelled most of the negative self-talk that typically stayed at the forefront of my mind each day. I was enjoying my new habit of reviewing my attributes and living by them each day…. until last week. Last week, I read an article that turned my list of attributes upside down. It literally rocked my world. It created such a profound shift in perspective that I am still reeling from it!
The question posed in that article was, “Are you readily identified as the good-girl? If so, that good-girl complex may actually be not-so-good in your life.” What? Now that I’m finally minimizing my toxic thoughts, the healthy, feel-good thoughts may be not-so-good for me? I begrudgingly explored this concept and I found that it actually had some truth to it.
First, let me start by saying that no one is saying that its bad to be generous and kind, etc. And I’m not saying those attributes aren’t true to who I am. As a matter of fact, because they are my essence, I can’t be anything else and still be authentic! But I am going to say that with each one of those attributes comes an image that has a flip side to it that was actually sabotaging my life and my business! Let’s dig deeper.
Do you ever hear someone’s voice whispering any of the following phrases to you?
- Do the right thing.
- Turn the other cheek.
- Be polite.
- If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Don’t make waves.
- Bite your tongue.
- Always be kind to others.
- Mind your manners.
- It’s better to give than receive.
- Think positive.
- Life is good!
- Never give up.
For me, every one of those phrases was a constant whisper in my ear. While I believe they are noble and worthy pieces of advice about how to be in the world, they were also wreaking havoc when it came to achieving my goals and living an authentic life!
I began to evaluate my good-girl image and found the subject fascinating and liberating! The premise was that inside each of us is a good-girl and a bad-girl! And it isn’t always the bad-girl that causes many of our problems… it might actually be the good-girl! Wow… what a paradigm shift!
Let’s think about that: The good-girl follows all the rules, but sometimes that means she settles for status quo and doesn’t step into strong leadership. The good-girl is generous with her time and talents, so much so she is often run-down and exhausted. The good-girl is so kind that she is often taken advantage of! The good-girl is positive, but often lacks the ability to face reality. The good-girl is compassionate, making it easy for others to be less-than-kind to her. The good-girl is forgiving, inviting others to count on that forgiveness when choosing how they treat her. The good-girl is loyal, so she often gives up her needs and wants for the sake of an unhealthy or unbalanced relationship. The good-girl is generous, but she often discovers she has nothing left to take care of herself. The good-girl believes that life is good, and when its not, she often thinks she did something wrong. The good-girl doesn’t often give up, but that no-quit attitude often delays her progress when it’s time to let go. The good-girl turns the other cheek, but fails to hold others accountable for their actions. The good-girl is often so polite that she often sacrifices her dreams and her heart’s desire. The good-girl doesn’t speak her truth (bites her tongue), especially if it means letting others know their words or actions were hurtful. The good-girl doesn’t make waves, which means she stays safe in the harbor.
I don’t know about you, but I can relate to so much of this good-girl image. Since shifting my perspective, I have begun letting go of my judgment about the bad-girl and the image I have of her. I found creative ways to transform my relationship with the side of me that had notoriously been deemed as bad. In short, I decided to take my bad-girl out of the corner and let her be in service to the goals I’ve set! And no, that doesn’t mean I will become insensitive, selfish or unkind to others! I will most definitely still let the good-girl take the lead!
What’s different is that now I can call upon my inner bad-girl to access the courage I need to speak my truth, to stick up for myself, to say ‘no’ when my plate is full. I call upon my inner bad-girl to take care of situations where I have been taken for granted or when boundaries have been violated. The inner bad-girl is really my inner ‘brave girl’ who watches out for all the goodness I carry and makes sure I can do even more good in the world. We need all the good-girls out there to rise up and stand in their power! We don’t have to be mean or rude or bully our way through situations. We don’t have to be passive aggressive. And mostly, we don’t have to lose the very essence of who we are when we step into our power! We actually honor the very essence of who we are when we speak our truth, safeguard our boundaries, and live our life powerfully and passionately on purpose.
It’s a beautiful new friendship I have made with that part of me that I kept silent for most of life – fearing I would be perceived as bad or actually be called a “B—-” because I spoke my truth or stood in my power. How about you? Is it time to let your inner bad-girl come out of the corner and be a part of serving your purpose in the world?
To your courage and your radiant spirit,