Breaking the Good Girl Syndrome During Divorce to Connect With More Happiness

I am writing about breaking the good girl syndrome today as a mental pile of mush. However, it creates space for a powerful, honest conversation. One of the key reasons I’m a mental pile of mush today is that I am about to get my period. Now, does that mean that I am not a capable woman this particular week? No. But it does mean that I need different things and that how I show up is going to look different this week than it would in other weeks of my cycle. The more I listen to that, the better I will feel and the better I will perform.

How you feel on any given day in your life during or after divorce is related to your mental, emotional, and physical existence. You’re not crazy. The reason why you feel crazy is somewhere in our societal constructs, your needs have been minimized, denied, distracted from, or not facilitated well. And that is real.

We ask ourselves: Does everybody feel this way? If they do, how do they cope with it all?

Raise your hand if you could relate to having this strong, almost Herculean-sized drive to be a ‘Good Girl.’ You feel crazy largely because you are trying too hard to be a Good Girl in a way that does not serve your individual mental, emotional, and physical needs. This is what we call primary programming. It is a deep-rooted, strongly-held belief. “I need to be a Good Girl. I need to be perfect. I can’t express or show my needs or emotions.”

woman with long blonde hair, pink sweater, and undershirt, sitting and holding her head, breaking the good girl syndrome

What is the Good Girl Syndrome?

Good Girl Syndrome is a mindset and set of behaviors instilled since childhood that includes fear of disappointing others, a strong desire to be perfect, a sense of obedience, and a reluctance to speak up or out against others.

Many women who have Good Girl Syndrome are ‘trained’ from a young age to be people pleasers.

There are so many repressed needs in being a ‘Good Girl’ that we end up feeling boatloads of resentment and a lot of suppressed rage. In fact, by doing this, we are damaging our cellular health at a physical level. How could you possibly thrive in a divorce scenario when you have this huge crisis going on and the underlying programming is telling you you have to be perfect or good through this incredibly complex, difficult season of your life? Answer: you can’t.

Things to Break the Good Girl Syndrome

If you are feeling on the verge of collapse at every given moment while you are experiencing divorce trauma, know that this conversation is for you and I see you. You can overcome Good Girl Syndrome.

You Are Worth It

I’m here to normalize for me, for you, for us women, that how I ‘perform’ this week is not going to be the same as how I would ‘perform’ next week. This relieves so much of the pressure we women feel to “get it right all the time.”

Our societal structure is not invested in attending to your needs, but this does not mean that your needs don’t matter and that you’re not worth it.

What it means is you have to become willing to break the good girl syndrome and claim your needs and attend to them — regardless of what other people say, do, think, feel, or believe. Dr. Mindy Pelz is someone who studies women’s hormones and fasting. I’m deep in her world right now and it is unlocking new levels of understanding of who I am, how my body functions, and how magical it is. Dr. Mindy is teaching me that my body is designed and programmed to know exactly what to do and how to heal itself.

woman in yoga outfit and lotus seat position, doing yoga. Breaking the good girl syndrome.

Listen to Your Body

To heal ourselves, we women have to hack into our body’s natural programming.

Now, fun fact, your 9-to-5 job, your parental responsibilities, or co-parenting with your ex-husband may not support your body’s innate needs and programming. This is when we become sick, and we feel undersupported. Then, our bodies start breaking down, we lose our mental toughness, and we lose our emotional regulation skills. This is when we women say, “What is wrong with me?” We have become disconnected from the truth of how our minds and bodies function.

Practicing Self Love

A lot of the established expectations of our current society do not fit with your individual needs. It is an exciting time because this conversation is happening. I found Dr. Mindy Pelz on a podcast episode with a male doctor. He read her book because he has a 10-year-old daughter, and he wants to understand all of this so that he can parent his young daughter intuitively. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how this is a very different time where this conversation has space.

Being In Alignment With Yourself

Inclusivity dialogue has opened the door for all of these conversations, and we women get to individually sift and sort what truly works at a deep mental, emotional, spiritual, and cellular level for each of us and what doesn’t.

To thrive and attract abundance, you need to deeply get to know yourself and understand your own hormonal cycle. You feel this way for a reason.

Once you understand this, you have to meet those needs. This is a process of uncovering, learning, adapting, and overcoming. Notice the times that you’re super tempted to focus on your ex as an enemy or the court system as the villain. You have to be willing to pivot that and to look inside and say,

“I’m sensing that something is misaligned, and it needs a solution. I am capable of finding that solution and enacting it.”

cereal with strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and kiwi in porcelain bowl, with spoon next to it.

Be Your Biggest Supporter

Whether it’s working from home or a comfy chair or changing what you eat for breakfast, there are little tweaks you can make to acknowledge where you’re at and give yourself some grace. Support yourself during these times.

Be Aligned With the Universe

Here is your permission to stop being a Good Girl because it’s not in alignment with the laws of the universe.

This is your permission to start living life according to your hormonal cycle and not according to a patriarchal structure. This is your permission to have the courage to do this (even when it’s not popular in the spaces around you) because that is the way that we create change.

First, inside of ourselves and second, inside of our families, and then in our communities. This is your permission to give yourself grace for how you’re feeling on any given minute or any day.

You’re not crazy. How you are feeling in your life during or after divorce matters and it is calling for a solution. But you are most likely blaming the wrong thing for how you feel, and it potentially is due to underlying Good Girl syndrome programming. This will block you from healing and attracting future abundance in love, work, parenting, and overall life.

It’s time to break up with being a Good Girl and start meeting yourself in a meaningful way. I say that to you as I’m on this journey, week by week.

I’m excited to keep having meaningful conversations with women like you about deeper truths. That is where we unlock the juicy tidbits about how to live in love, joy, happiness, and peace.

Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins

...helps people crack open. Challenging the status quo, she integrates multiple modalities from EMDR to EFT tapping, journaling, homeopathy, and movement, embracing remedies that heal both the mind and body. Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins is on a mission to deliver life-changing therapy in an accessible, scalable, affordable way and make waves in the world of mental health with the same enlightenment that happens in her office. Part science, part essential oils, pure magic.

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