Women wrestle hard with being ‘good,’ We quietly whisper to each other our short-comings and struggles. We're constantly judging ourselves unworthy for not being perfect. We keep our needs, wants and desires hidden because they don’t fit the definitions of ‘good.’ The reality is we’re human, never designed to fit inside man-made inventions of good and bad.
My trainer and mentor, Martha Beck, a Sociologist with a Harvard PhD, has studied and published research regarding women and culture. She states, in our western culture, we define a ‘good’ woman as either:
- An Individual Achiever
- A Self-Sacrificing Domestic Goddess
And under those two categories, she says, women choose one of four categories:
- career first (and are very conflicted)
- family first (and are very conflicted)
- combined work and family (and are very, very conflicted)
In my personal work with women one-on-one and in groups, I find this all to be true.
There Are Several Reasons We Are So Conflicted.
- “Good” is a subjective definition. (It all depends on the metrics, ladies)
- It is impossible for anyone of us to fit our whole selves into one human-defined role: We have traits and skills and proclivities that fit into many categories. And
- We listen to everyone BUT ourselves when deciding what’s best for ourselves.
If you are struggling, feeling unhappy and/or unworthy (not good) in any way, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who gets to decide you’re good?
- What would you say to your best friend or sister if she was experiencing this?
- Would you judge or accept this ‘issue’ from your husband/son?
- Is being good making you happy? Or stressed?
If your definition of good is conflicting with your true nature you will be in pain. It is like being born with brown eyes and being disappointed, mad, sad that they’re not blue.
Write out all the things you believe a ‘good’ woman is/does. Identify where each of those beliefs came from. Your family of origin? Your teachers? Your religion? How many of them are what you admire in other women?
Make a list of things that you would love to be free to do, (within the boundaries of ethics, legality and safety, of course) and thoughts/emotions you’d love to express but because of the above list in step one, you stop yourself from doing.
(it’s ok, you can delete/destroy your writing afterward.)
Imagine acting on those desires/expressing your thoughts/emotions without fear of consequences. (this should make you uncomfortable, but that’s good. Imagine it!)
Set a goal for yourself to act on a desire and/or express a thought/emotion on your list. Trust you can deal with the consequences. Repeat.
Trusting your inner guidance, detaching from social role conditioning and identifying and expressing your true nature, this is the path to becoming a Mystic
Stop Over-Caring, Over-Giving and Over-Doing
Certified Martha Beck Life Coach
What Now Life Coaching