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How to Break Free from "Good Girl" Syndrome: Overcoming People-Pleasing and Perfectionism

Growing up, many of us were conditioned to be "the good girl". We were taught to say and do the "right things", to make our parents happy, and to strive for perfection in everything we do. While this upbringing may have served us well in some ways, it can also lead to dangerous people-pleasing and perfectionist patterns that can follow us into adulthood.

The pressure to be perfect can be overwhelming and can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It can also hold us back from taking risks, pursuing our passions, and living the life we truly want. Here are three practical steps to break free:

🔥 Recognize/ Challenge Your Thoughts

The first step in overcoming people-pleasing and perfectionist syndrome is to recognize the thoughts that are driving these behaviors. For example, you may have a thought that says, "I need to make everyone happy all the time." Once you identify these thoughts, challenge them by asking yourself if they are true, helpful, and realistic. You may find that many of these thoughts are not based on reality and are holding you back.

😍 Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism is a trap that can lead to procrastination and avoidance. Instead of striving for perfection, embrace imperfection and focus on progress instead. Recognize that making mistakes is a natural part of learning and growth and that it's okay to not have everything figured out.

😮 Practice Assertiveness

People-pleasing often comes from a fear of rejection or conflict. Learning to be assertive can help you set boundaries, say no when necessary, and communicate your needs and wants effectively. Start by practicing assertiveness in small ways, such as speaking up when someone interrupts you, or saying no to an invitation that you don't want to attend.

Breaking the mold of being "the good girl" is not easy, but it's essential for living a fulfilling life.

10 Reminders for recovering people pleasers:

  1. It is ok to disappoint others (depending on what it is, of course). As adults, we can handle it.

  2. It is not your job to do everything for everybody's comfort sacrificing your own health and well-being.

  3. You do not need to over-explain or justify.

  4. The opinions of others about you have a lot to do with their own perception of the world.

  5. When someone hurts you intentionally, it's on them. You are not the problem.

  6. Setting boundaries is self-respect. People normally respect them.

  7. Don't make assumptions about what others might or might not think. You will never know for sure, but you set yourself up for rumination and bending your own needs.

  8. When your relationships are healthy there is no need to neglect yourself for love, attention, and approval.

  9. You won't be loved and respected more when you please everyone. It just won't happen.

  10. You matter, your needs, wishes, opinions, and values matter.

If you are struggling with those old patterns of people pleasing and they cause difficulties in your professional or personal life, get in touch. I can help with that in a fast and effective way.


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