The ‘cool girl’.
A woman who doesn’t get ruffled by anything.
She’s low-maintenance and doesn’t take offence to anything.
Doesn’t speak out or make anyone uncomfortable.
She keeps the peace.
She doesn’t have many needs.
It really fascinates me that our culture has burnt into many of us that this is a desirable person to be.
Because, let’s get real - how often do we actually question how healthy this is?
The truth is, it can get us into a lot of trouble.
And this might be in more than just one area of our lives.
I started to think the other day why this is.
The reason why it can cause so much tension for us is because what we are actually doing is selling our true selves out.
Take, for example, when it comes to your career:
Your boss or colleague makes a sexist comment, disguised as a ‘joke’.
As your team cackles around you, including female colleagues who feel intimidated into having to validate the joke with a nervous laugh, you start to feel rage build up inside.
It’s a subtle backhander at women. It’s offensive.
But you’re scared to make a scene - especially in a professional environment. Or maybe you just don’t want to speak up - maybe you’re just tired of always having to be that person to wear the burden of calling things out.
Especially against someone above you.
I get it.
The thing is, when we pretend we don’t care, or let sleeping dogs lie to keep the peace - and we play along with the crowd, we hurt ourselves in the process by becoming bystanders to bad behaviour.
Behaviour that makes us feel resentful - and ends up creating a toxic work environment. Behaviour that ends up normalising things that you should never have to put up with.
There really is such a thing as being ‘too resilient’ for your own good.
It’s the same with our finances.
We’ve been brought up in this culture where to be seen to care about and be particular about money and talk about it openly is ugly.
We think we should be ‘cool’ about money - and that we don’t want to be seen as greedy, or go against the ‘tribe’ by speaking up about it or making it our business.
You might feel compelled to say things like “Oh it's not about the money”, when really, every fibre of your being is screaming out, “Umm hello! Of course I need the money, I need money to run my life!”
No matter what your reason for opting out of ‘owning’ that money is important to you, you end up losing out.
You stop yourself from taking ownership and empowering yourself financially.
You might even experience this in the world of dating apps.
I’ve heard many of my girlfriends tell me stories….
Against all odds, one guy makes it through with a witty opener that suddenly has you intrigued.
You respond excitedly and from there, the back-and-forth builds up.
Except, after you feel like you’ve got into a proper chatting rhythm, the messages suddenly start to come in a little less consistently.
You start to feel like he’s pulling away. But you just can’t put your finger on why.
So you decide, well if he’s going to be that chilled, maybe I’ll text back less quickly and play it cool too.
I don’t want to risk looking needy. I just won’t care as much!
The problem is, if you have a desire for connection and a certain level of consistency, but you squash your own needs - in fact if you have the desire for anything naturally within any type of relationship - and you find yourself minimising these to try and appear a certain way to another person - you’ll always feel unsatisfied.
You’re creating a lot of tension in the body from putting someone else’s needs before your own, faking to yourself the person you really are and what’s important to you.
And pretending to be ‘a cool girl’ instead of owning your own needs is exhausting.
What are we really doing here in all three cases, and so many countless other times?
We’re gaslighting ourselves.
After decades of building the habit from being gaslit by society, we’ve internalised the behaviour to gaslight ourselves in order to not rock the boat.
So, whether it’s choosing to be the natural person you are when it comes to dating, standing up to a boss making sexist comments - or finally working out where you can save more money for yourself and diversify your income streams, the key thing is to remember that taking action is self-protective.
If you want to really tap into this self-championing energy, our advice is to think about the area in question and focus on the tension or resentment that is likely to be building in your body somewhere. This is the stuff that will propel you into action.
First, remove yourself from distractions and sit in a nice, quiet place.
Take a deep breath.
Then check in with your body.
Are there any areas that feel any tension or aches?
Scan your whole body and see what comes up for you.
Usually there will be a kind of anxiety or an uncomfortable feeling somewhere.
This tends to arise from not being your authentic self; a type of spiritual non-alignment.
Put your palm on top of that area to let yourself know that you, as your true self, is present - and that you want the very best for yourself.
Then ask yourself, what is it I need right now?
Take your time to give whatever arises space to flow.
It’s important to ask yourself what you want out of the interaction itself - or the relationship; the type of work environment; the level of wealth you want to have. Think big.
When you start to call out behaviors that don’t serve you, you’re not just helping yourself now, but also the future you - by dictating the kind of experiences you will and won’t let into your life.
And you’ll be happier, more empowered and richer for it.
The truth is, you deserve nothing less!
Have you had your own experiences of this in your personal, professional or financial life - and feel brave enough to share? Tell us your story by joining our Facebook Group here and feel the support of our community of like-minded, remarkable women!