Boss Lady

How your Good Girl Syndrome is letting you down


Knees together, eyes front and pay attention! Those are the echoes of days spent at the desk in class us women often carry with us. And while being the Good Girl in the educational setting may have set us up for a decent whack at this game called life, there’s a darker side.

Let’s take a look at how Good Girl Syndrome could be letting our marketing, personal branding and business endeavours down.

Holding the towel versus riding the wave

Are you the sort of woman who grabs the surf board and isn’t afraid to get wet, sandy and dumped?

There’s an irony in business and marketing that those who buck the trend and break out tend to be the ones who make the biggest splash. But we tend to forget that there has to be a lot of failure underneath the successful wave.

Never forget that the success you see is someone else’s highlight reel. And that any woman with a highlight reel has had her fair share of ankles over head tumbles and moments where she felt like she was drowning.

Admire the neat, stylish idea with the perfect finish. But admire the tenacity, sweat and courage that lead to it more. Don’t take the photo of being pretty on the beach without being proud of soggy, sweaty and sandy you as well.

Looking for the mirror image

As grown women, we’ve done what we can to shake off those nagging teenage voices. The ones that worried about big bottoms, uneven boob growth and not enough of a flat tummy. We implore the young girls in our life not to get hung up on images.

Then we walk into our business world and repeat these exact patterns with our peers. How terribly odd!

Does it really matter that the woman you admire most sends you green with envy at her ability to keep on producing work? Should you be placing your thoughts in the hands of others where you steer yourself away from innovation? Or worse, copy what other women do?

At school, we’re trained to compete and to accept rankings. But in the business world, there is no ranking. No special prize is given for being at the top of the business class. We each have our abilities and our drive- and these are our super powers.

So just as we counsel young women and girls not to be blinded by peer pressure, so too should we recognise this pull within ourselves. Don’t let Imposter Syndrome and wanting to fit in stifle your innovation or rob you of the potential to stand out. Be wonderfully real you.

Forget the Good Girl and get on with the job

Perfect is a lovely idea that is completely unobtainable. It holds no practical merit whatsoever. There are a million perfect ideas that have never happened who will never happen. They gather dust instead of momentum.

What a terrible waste that is.

Learn from the failure. Get smelly, sweaty and work hard. Work backwards from what you want written on your tombstone and forget everyone else’s version of success. Admire the scrapes, bumps and dizzy moments.

Embrace failure as the reward of being in motion and getting through it. Everyone is trying to keep their head above water and find their own road they don’t have time to scrutinise you. Give your own “atta girls” and enjoy the difference.

About Rebekah Lambert

Rebekah Lambert is the Founder of Unashamedly Creative, and gets a kick out of helping businesses, startups and freelancers crack the content marketing code. The business offers Content Creation, Consumer Research, SEO and Creative Copywriting, Social Media Services, Marketing Strategy and Training and Development.

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