Giving Your Power Away: Why Being ‘Good’ Doesn’t Work

I made a choice in my childhood to give my power away in exchange for some attention, the second best thing to love, or so I thought. In essence, I wanted to be seen by my parents and I wanted their affection, so I found a way where I knew I could make this happen.

To me, giving my power away meant overriding that part of me that instinctively knew who I was and what was true, an inner strength and clarity, the love that I am, and I exchanged this for something that is nothing compared to the knowingness to be found in this innate way of being.

I became the ‘good girl’ of the family. When my siblings and parents fought with each other, which was often, I could feel the disharmony in the house, and so I became very ‘good’.

I didn’t talk or when I did talk, I changed my voice and spoke to them in a different way so not to disturb. I became the peace keeper, the daughter who didn’t cause any problems. I was finely attuned to where everyone was at; I could say the right things at the right time and did all my chores diligently. I controlled life in such a way where nobody could say anything bad about me because I was so good, so nice and so polite.

But people did make judgments despite my best performance, and this was devastating because I tried so hard to please. Didn’t they know, I gave up being me for this!

It was not sustainable for me to live being good long term, as there is a lot of pent up anger that can build in the body by not living in a way which is authentically you.

In my teenage years I became extremely rebellious and flipped the household for a few years with my antics, but eventually, when that didn’t bring me any joy, I returned to the good girl extending my repertoire to the good student, the good worker, the good friend, the good girlfriend, the good wife and the good mother. Life became about getting it ‘right’ and following what society said to believe, and how to be.

Instead of holding my love for myself and knowing I was enough, I chose to seek approval and tenderness from other people. And seeking is truly the word, for it led me far and wide, continually missing the point – that love can only be nurtured within myself, something that I was reminded of when I came to Universal Medicine.

I might have been ‘good’ but I was deeply unhappy because I wasn’t living honestly. I also refused to deal with any tension that I felt in my relationships.

Being good meant that I had to continuously not feel what I actually did feel, because if I allowed myself to acknowledge my feelings, then I would be pressed with the responsibility to address relationship issues and this had the potential for conflict. This wasn’t what a good girl does, and more to the point, this wasn’t what I was prepared to do.

Giving My Power Away At Work

At the organisation where I work there are consequences for people who have a voice, and so this was the perfect playground as it gave me an excuse to hide and be good. In doing so, I made the choice to give my power away to others, I said “Yes” instead of saying “No”, I allowed myself to be overworked and mistreated, and held back from saying what I really wanted to say.

I had no idea until now, how much anger and sadness was within me for having made this choice to be good. I was quite reactional, and hurts were easily triggered, but these hurts were there because I had chosen to hide my true self.

As I began to head down the path and leave ‘good’ behind and started to embrace a way that was more true to me, I was plagued by fear and thoughts that wanted me to stay comfortable in my familiar ways.

Thoughts like – How could I express how I truly felt when I had no positional power in the organization? How could I point out that it felt awful to be treated as less and for my contributions to be dismissed? How could I say that I was not spoken to as a person? How could I point out in an organisation that puts intelligence on a pedestal that the textbooks were not giving us the answers to life – we just had to look around and see how harshly we were treating each other.

Despite such thoughts, I began to honour myself and allow love to be expressed in the activities, and tasks, that made up my day. I became far more open and honest, and would say what I felt without holding back and pretending to be good.

This was the start of a process of re-claiming my power, a power that comes from knowing myself and honouring myself deeply. The more love for myself I allowed, the less I was driven for an outcome or the need to please and be recognised. More importantly, I chose not to settle for attention or mediocrity, as love was my new benchmark.

This was not an overnight fix to a life of hiding, but it was about not letting things be buried because they were too hard to deal with.

When I expressed from my heart with love, many responded warmly to my openness, and we began to share in a way which was much more intimate and affectionate. Managers started conversations with me about issues in the workplace and they became curious as to my views on workplace relationship issues.

Not everyone, of course, responded so well and reacted as the ‘good girl’ mask dropped away. Some became uncomfortable, because being ‘me’ and honouring myself meant that I was different from how they once knew me to be and, of course, I was far more responsible.

When tension developed, and sometimes it did, as long as I stayed connected to myself and held the power of my loving ways, I found I could stand strong in the truth of what I was feeling play out before me, not in any emotional sense where blame and accusations are made, but just listening and feeling what was going on under the words, and staying open and allowing myself to be vulnerable. Sometimes we would come to a place that felt true for us both, and sometimes we did not.

A Loving Reflection Of Claiming Your Power

Like an angel showing me the way, this week I had the opportunity to observe a woman claiming her power in full. As I observed her interact and present to the audience, I could feel her inner strength, her self-reflection, her ability to see right through any power game or irresponsibility.

She was articulate, expressed in a way where there was love and not an ounce of judgment of another, she did not run from conflict but stood solid in herself, open and willing to resolve whatever the problem or matter was that was before her. I was completely inspired and in awe.

I realise now that every time I chose to be good rather than live true to myself, I gave away my power to be love. Claiming back my power has nothing to do with being good or about control, it’s about being me and bringing forth the amazing strength and knowingness that resides within, that emanates from the body and expresses from the inner heart.

The path I once chose – to be good and polite, instead of honest and self-honoring, did not serve me well, and I know absolutely that the only difference between myself and this inspiring woman was that she had made different choices – the choice to stand for Truth, the choice to put relationships first and the choice to lovingly back herself all the way. This woman had re-claimed her power, and now I feel it is time for me to do it too.

In appreciation to Serge Benhayon for the amazing reflections of true power, a power that comes from love, that emanates and reflects absolute responsibility and integrity… and, of course, to this gorgeous woman for offering a reflection, a gorgeous reminder of the power that lay within us all.

By MAS, Australia

Further Reading:
Self-Appreciation and Acceptance Bring True Presence
How Amazing it Feels to Be Myself
Truth – Expressing In Full

1,076 thoughts on “Giving Your Power Away: Why Being ‘Good’ Doesn’t Work

  1. Giving my power away = Overriding what I know to be true. Which means that my power hasn’t gone anywhere but has a layer on top of it I give more energy to…

  2. I too have played the ‘good’ and ‘nice’ cards most of my life and hence with this I have hidden and ‘felt safe’ from the reactions of others. It does take a while to break this habit and though I have come a long way, I am still learning to be honest and just say things as they are rather than trying to be nice about something in orde to not ruffle someone else’s feathers.

  3. Trading our true power for ‘being nice and liked’ is not such a good trade off when you really look at what you get (the short end of the stick)! But we still can so easily get sucked into this deal! Crazy really when you think about it!

  4. Allowing ourselves to feel our power but also to be seen in our power can be a challenge in our society because of how others may react to this, and how sensitive we can be to their reactions. And yet, it is what we are here to offer those around us (and ourselves) and hence remind us all of what we are all capable of.

  5. This is a great point you make MAS
    “How could I point out in an organisation that puts intelligence on a pedestal that the textbooks were not giving us the answers to life – we just had to look around and see how harshly we were treating each other.”
    I don’t feel we are on masse quite there yet with this understanding but the evidence is all around us we are just turning a blind eye to the abuse.

  6. Thank you for your honesty MAS. I have also played the good girl but for me it was not so much anger – although there was that – but resentment that built up inside….resentment born of frustration .Any and every emotion is harmful both to the one expressing it and the one to whom it is directed and the impact of this spreads far and wide energetically. So brilliant that we can see this and let the process of clearing out that energy from the body begin and also, be more aware not to let it build up again.

  7. I have come to realise that when we hold back it is incredibly irritating for others around us. We can feel like a victim but actually we are creating the complication we are moaning about!

    1. So well said Lucy – the moment we hold back on our full expression, there is this irritation and annoyance as we know that something has not been said, done or delivered in full. And then so often, as you have said, we can not seek to take the responsibility for our lack of expression and instead create a drama or issue around it. What crazy games we are geniuses at playing!

      1. Total geniuses – or should I say total wayward geniuses because there is nothing smart about causing drama for another when we are not willing to deal with our own emotional baggage.

  8. I gave my power away very early on in life to avoid feeling jealousy. You don’t realise that adults can be jealous of you as a baby or young child but it makes sense. If there is more love and care for you than the partner there will be resentment and jealousy. One parent can feel left out, resentful and jealous of the relationship the other parent has with the child, that may have previously been exclusively between the parents. I agree that giving your power away is not worth it. I have realised that when I chose this, I cut off my connection to divinity – exactly where true power comes from.

  9. It is so easy to think that by being good we are left alone by challenges in life. We might not be super challenged or have opposing view situations but life gets really flat and we are not truly left alone either because there will always arise more challenges situations if we don’t learn to deal with them. I found learning to deal with these challenging situations is the only way of making life less challenging.

    1. Yes I would agree with this, playing good doesn’t actually make anything go away, you just strangle your natural expression which makes it more complicated when you unleash your true self!!!

  10. Something we could all certainly utilise more is our “ability to see right through any power game or irresponsibility”. To say that only a few people have this skill to see through lies isn’t true, as for many of us we have some kind of standard of honesty or truth and we are aware when someone is speaking words that do not make sense to this.

  11. Good, nice and quiet all feel small and feeble when compared to being connected to my essence. That doesn’t feel small at all but very solid, still and powerful against any emotions or disharmony that might be around.

  12. Its horrible to read, but very common and likewise I too have given up being me for ‘this’ in the past, accepted less than love as I have felt so empty that its poorly second cousin (acceptance) has been settled on as enough.

  13. I can very much relate to what has been written here as growing up things could get quite hairy and stressful at times so, adjusting to the situation so as not to get noticed was the preferred tactic of protection and made sense at that time. But what we don’t realise is that this tactic of protection is a trick and can play out for the rest of our lives, and can become an ingrained behaviour of which we can dwell in for our whole life.

  14. We cannot move on from being the ‘good girl’ until we realise how much relish it and crave it from the irresponsibility it offers. Only then can we begin to feel just how harm-full it really is and how much we no longer want to choose it.

    1. Yes when we are being good to be good we are hiding from the world and living in our own illusion and living off the comfort this offers.

  15. ‘the choice to stand for Truth, the choice to put relationships first and the choice to lovingly back herself all the way.’ I love these three qualities all bunched together here. Together they build a powerful pyramid and a strong healing vibration.

  16. “I might have been ‘good’ but I was deeply unhappy because I wasn’t living honestly.” This shows clearly how much our bodies love us and how much they know/live/are the truth. Because they dont let us get away with it, it is a deep calling for us to live honestly and our truth. The best friend we could ever have.

  17. I can feel that the pattern of being good to fit in and not make waves/ stay hidden is much older than this life for me. We learn to play it safe to be left alone, whilst not realising how imprisoning this is for ourselves and everyone else. I know how awful and unnatural ‘good’ feels in my body now and how it does not allow me to feel and be the real me.

  18. “I wanted to be seen by my parents and I wanted their affection, so I found a way where I knew I could make this happen.” This is at the core of so much ‘good’ and in fact ‘bad’ behaviour.

    1. Conflict and arguments at home are like torture for children who will blame themselves for it and think they have done something wrong. From there they will do anything to ‘make it better’, try to stay under the radar and frequently resort to a persona of being nice, not making any waves and generally fitting in.

  19. I want to keep coming back to read this blog because each time I do I am reminded of how familiar it is to fall for the game of life that has us so hoodwinked. Inspiring women who don’t play small are vital reflections in our lives.

  20. You expose being ‘good’ very well. I have made being ‘good’ also my badge of honor and I can see now how that does not work. I always wondered why I would be more frustrated and reactive lately and this is because being ‘good’ is just something you cannot keep doing for a long time without getting frustrated by not being your true self.

  21. This is a timely read for me as it feels like I am experiencing the consequences of my being good or whatever I perceived as desirable/expected/fitting. It’s so insidious because I was so good at it, it gave me an appearance and momentum of ‘getting along’ and I didn’t realise how much I was holding back and there was so much not expressed that has been accumulating over time. And my first attempt to deconstruct this mountain came as a burst of huge reaction to something that would have passed as ok previously. Feeling through what was beneath it all, the hurt, the preconception, the judgment and the sympathy and all, what I am feeling is we can never get away with not being our true selves.

  22. When we make life about committing to love and truth everything changes and that in itself is so very, very much more rewarding beyond words than anything else. It is not about imposing on anyone else but our vibration changes. Some people love it and some react and don’t like it at all – but regardless of how people respond or react we have the love that we have been seeking because we are that, we are all that and in our choice we have connected to that!

  23. Yes, I was a good little girl but the pendulum swung and as a teenage I was far from ‘good’ and then it swung back as I became a mother and when my children hit their teenage years I swung away from ‘good’ again . . . . all very embarrassing, I might add! A much more stable existence begun through my coming across Universal Medicine and at last that pendulum stopped swinging.

    1. Ha ha, yeah whether we are playing the ‘goodie’ or ‘baddie’ both are in reaction. We all truly want to be loved and respected for who we are, though if we are not true to ourselves it is just a different game with the same outcome.

      1. Yes so true Victoria and the outcome is always going to add up to some form of identification.

      2. I have played both the extreme goody and the extreme baddie. Both roles served the same purpose, they had the effect of getting people to back off and keep their distance. People might think that being nice invites people in but it doesn’t, it ensures they stay away as nothing real is being shown and so there is no true invitation to get closer.

  24. It is such a common thing for children (and adults) to give their power away ie stop being their true selves in order to get attention. Some do it by being good like you describe and others do the same thing by being “bad” and there are many other ways. However, all ways have one thing in common – they don’t work. Attention is not love and will never satisfy, and being anything other than our true selves will always leave us somewhere between unsettlement and devastation.

  25. Bit by bit, step by step we can choose to truly live from how we feel too, drop the pretenses and in so doing restore not only ourselves, but offer a benchmark for others to do the same.

  26. “I might have been ‘good’ but I was deeply unhappy because I wasn’t living honestly. I also refused to deal with any tension that I felt in my relationships.”
    I know this way of living very well and what is so very concerning is that many others do too. The reality is that this life choice can be changed.

    1. Yes and we should be asking the question about how many people are living deeply unhappy or lost but are not prepared to change in case they become unpopular.

  27. There is a lot of control in nice, polite and good. I have also used this form of control to avoid conflict, keep people happy (off my back) and fly under the radar. This continued quite strongly as a default pattern until I met someone who this didn’t work for. Although confronting at the time, it was a blessing as it made me see how manipulative being nice is and how it’s all for ourselves, disguised as being for others.

  28. I know for years I fell for the trap of ‘good’ as I wanted to please others and to be liked, it is exhausting when we constantly give our power away and reduce ourselves in this way. So beautiful MAS to hear of your turnaround and claiming your power and truth, the reflection of this lived in the world is very much needed so others can also re-claim themselves in this way.

  29. I am now appreciating that it is only by staying connected and fully present with ourselves that we build a steadiness within that supports us through life, without this connection we automatically give our power away and leave ourselves at the mercy of life.

  30. Good can seem like the answer for a while. But when it starts to fail you, as all false ways of being inevitably do, it leaves you feeling rather jaded and resentful. I have chosen good as a default for some time in my relationships with people and it sells me and them short. What is perhaps worse was my trying to be good with God. I am ever thankful to Universal Medicine, who supported me to reclaim my equal divinity with God and know him within me. He is who I am.

  31. “re-claiming my power, a power that comes from knowing myself and honouring myself deeply” Love is all powerful.

  32. “How could I express how I truly felt when I had no positional power in the organization?” – I have just recently noticed just how much this type of self-doubting inner dialogue can handicap us and is actually false when we allow what we are feeling to be expressed without reservation. When I began to call out things I observed in my work that were either unsafe, inconsiderate, or downright abusive, it was at first not an easy thing to do as I became vulnerable to severe criticism and sometimes even retaliation and games being played from the people who were not willing to accept the level of responsibility and integrity I was offering. But in the end, the Truth of what we express will always outlast the games, and it certainly has in my case where others that had witnessed the same abuse came together and then spoke up as well. We are so powerful when we get out of our own way.

  33. By doing good we open ourselves to the judgment of others. By being true we are untouchable by judgment or opinion.

  34. Being good substitutes for not being true and loving. The recognition that comes from doing good not just seeks attention from others but tries to fill the emptiness of missing oneself, one´s integrity and inner truth.

  35. “I realise now that every time I chose to be good rather than live true to myself, I gave away my power to be love. Claiming back my power has nothing to do with being good or about control, it’s about being me and bringing forth the amazing strength and knowingness that resides within, that emanates from the body and expresses from the inner heart.” This is so inspiring and what i am realising for myself in so many ways and is a beautiful knowing to life our life.

  36. Such a mix reading this, joy to read a fellow human being stepping out of what is not them and learning to live more of them, and sadness for how many stories (including my own) there are similar to this. How many people out there are living ‘good’ lives, and I saw how clearly that being ‘good’ is not really a ‘good’ thing. And I loved the line about watching that other woman who was not afraid to step away from the problem/responsibility in front of her. Inspiring.

  37. Being good can never work as one cannot be good for very long before they are bad again as good and bad are simply two sides of the same coin.

  38. When we grow up we find our niche; our way to be in the world. It remains with us and we hold on to it. It is our go-to place that helps us in a two fold way. It helps us when we feel troubled. It also helps us to avoid venturing into the open air of just feeling that inside of us we have everything we need.

  39. Learning to build a steadiness through connecting to and feeling how I was in my body has enabled me to be more confident in expressing more honestly and trusting my feelings rather than blindly giving my power away thinking someone else knows better.

  40. ‘to be good and polite, instead of honest and self-honoring, did not serve me well’ So many people and it seems, especially women, fall for the easy, or so it seems, route, of giving our power away but this only leaves residues of resentment in the body over time which can even lead to bitterness and a really ugly relating with ourselves and the world. To begin to turn this around is a very healing stance and in healing our relationship with ourselves we consequently heal our relationship with others. Honesty and self honouring is a great way to start.

  41. I can very much relate to your blog MAS. I know there are many ways we give our power away but it is never too late to re-claim our power and live who we are. It is liberating and empowering once we realise what we have been choosing and learn to make choices that truly supports us and others to live in our power.

    1. We have to permanently be giving our power away in order for us not to consciously know that we are the Livingness of God because The Livingness of God is literally who we all are.

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