The damage of good-girl programming

Good-girl programming is the impact of continued and widespread messaging received from parents, care-givers, teachers, elders and anyone in authority when we are children.

This might be around making behaviour more “acceptable” (quieter, calmer, only speaking when spoke to etc), being given “rules” to adhere to and having achievement academically or in other competitive areas valued above all else.

So, yes as you might have guessed it – we have ALL received this programming. Of course some of it’s necessary and can’t be avoided, there will always need to be rules around safety, decency and so on and our entire academic system is set up for excellence.

The amount this early programming impacts our adult life will depend on the individual, their level of adherence, how much fear was imposed, how much creativity, expression and free-thinking was encouraged.

In my experience, based on the women I meet, my clients and the women I see in circles, sensitivity also seems to be an attractor for it. I believe this is because sensitives particularly tend to avoid conflict and therefore are more likely to adhere to rules in order to feel safe.

You might also be wondering why this seems to be more widely a women’s issue. The truth is, I don’t know entirely to what degree it impacts men, I suspect it does to a level, but men’s emotions are not as widely talked about. However the notable difference with women is our hormonal make-up, particularly oestrogen, which is the bonding hormone, there for us in the years of family and fertility, but also comes to a propensity towards pleasing others. This is why women often welcome the shift of gears and the end of people pleasing in menopause.

So why exactly is this type of programming a problem for us? Mainly that it doesn’t translate to adult life.

Of course there are always rules to be followed, but things are different out of the family home and education system.

• We need to think for ourselves
• We need to know who we are outside of the guidelines
• We don’t have the same rules
• Giving all your effort to something doesn’t always guarantee success
• More complex social rules exist

As we transition into adulthood we find that:

  • The connection to our own innate guidance, our intuition, our soul voice, our body is lost or deteriorates.
    We don’t trust our judgement.
  • We give all our effort to everything we do, believing it will be rewarded. Instead we end up burnt out, lost and feeling empty.
  • We don’t know who we are because our expressive parts have been pushed down deep below the “rules” and surrounded by fear.
  • Anxiety, fear, over-thinking and worry are common as we try to live outside the lines of what we’ve learnt is “safe”.

How do we release ourselves from our programming and find a better life?

∆ See it first. See how much it impacts your life and take steps to “unhook” from it.

∆ Make contact with and learn to live from the soul – the true, wise self.

∆ Re-learn the wisdom of the body and see how it always guides you.

∆ Tap into intuition. Once you discern it, you’ll see it’s the greatest super power you ever could have.

∆ Welcome playful, expressive and creative activities

∆ Embrace growth – it shows us exactly where we need to heal!

Life beyond the good-girl, in living in connection with your soul, in true integrity is beautiful and powerful. I truly believe that behind every good-girl is an innately powerful woman who has incredible gifts to offer with the world!

It’s time for us all to remember that there’s no greater authority than what our heart wants for us.

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