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

1,022 thoughts on “Giving Your Power Away: Why Being ‘Good’ Doesn’t Work

  1. From being good and polite, and how that never works, to re-claiming your truth and expressing that in full is the way forward too in my experience.

  2. Not giving our power away, being honest, standing for the truth, and no matter what being true to yourself can take courage as the world doesn’t always want this and the backlash can be ugly, it’s really a question of our principles and standards and what kind of life we want to lead – and whether this is more important to us than anything else.

  3. 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.

  4. ‘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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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