In order to live a life that’s better than before breast cancer, we have to stop doing the things that left us feeling exhausted, stressed, and compromised before breast cancer.
In this week’s episode of The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach Podcast, we’ll talk about all the ways that our conditioning to be “good girls” stops us from honoring our healthy boundaries, practicing self-compassion, and prioritizing our emotional well-being.
Where does this thought come from?
Why do we need to be “good girls”?
What is the cost to our wellness, and how do we reframe our understanding of what being a “good girl” means?
Referred to in this episode:
Read the full transcript below:
Laura Lummer 00:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hello, and welcome to episode 236 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. And I have a question for you. Something for you to think about. Are you a good girl? Do you want to be a good girl? Do you need to be a good girl? And what's the option? If you're not a good girl? If you're not a good girl, or you're just a bad girl? I mean, it kind of seems like those are the only options right? I've never heard of an in between girl and on the fence girl. Like you're a good girl or a bad girl. Right? Now, let me give you a little bit of background about why I asked that question because that was kind of out of the blue. So as I talked about, on the last episode, this past weekend, my husband and I spent a few days with some friends in Georgia, we had an amazing trip, we went to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We had such a good time. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. So peaceful, so lovely. And our friends are so lovely in such gracious hosts. And we just had an absolutely amazing time. And as I shared also, when I talked about how having a healthy lifestyle can be hard on the last episode to 35, I had a lot of my own thoughts about what it meant for me to be a good guest right to be the good girl to not be the one who's like making everybody go out of their way for me and doing things to accommodate this special diet that Laura's on. And I didn't want that to be my story. But it was just a story in my head. Right? Nobody else maybe they had that story in their head. I don't know. But nobody told me they did. It was my own story. And I bring that up now because while we were traveling while I was on the plane, I was rereading the book The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. And I love travel for that reason, I love having a lot of time to just sit undisturbed and get to read a book. It's really lovely. But as I was reading this book, there were a few things that I'm going to share with you in a minute that I read that just went Ah, oh my god, highlight that underline that. Remember talk about this. Now in my coaching programs in my coaching membership, we talk a lot about healthy boundaries, I talk a lot about healthy boundaries here on the show. And it's for a good reason. Because we struggled so much with these subconscious beliefs of being a good girl. And what does that typically mean? What does a good girl typically do? She typically does whatever the collective consciousness says, equals a good girl. And it's typically at the cost of something to her right at the cost of something at the cost of our comfort at the cost of our well being, at the cost of our time of our stress levels of something like that, of putting ourselves in a position that we really don't want to be in. Because something in our mind says, I don't want them to think I'm not a good girl, right? Or something along those lines. You may not think that exact phrase, but something to do with that. So when it comes to deciding what your healthy boundaries are, and then learning how to stand by them to have your own back, as you uphold your healthy boundaries in your personal and professional lives, with different people close to you and not close to you, and all the thoughts you have around them. It's so important because this long term conditioning this deep programming we have will fight you along the way. And sometimes you don't even know that's what's happening. Sometimes you just have like this punch in the gut kind of feeling. And so you do something that violates a healthy boundary. And it's only later when you stop and give it some thought that you realize. Somebody said something and it triggered me, right? Somebody said something. It made me think that oh, my dad used to say that. Like oh, my dad just said Oh, you think you're so special or you have to be the special one. Right? So then somebody else says Oh, do you need some something special? Oh, no, no, no, no, I don't need something special. Right when yes we do. In fact, it makes me think about when I try Hold for work. I don't like to share a room. And oftentimes, I worked for nonprofit for the last 13 years of my corporate work life. And when I would travel to conferences, most of the time, it was shared rooms. And if it wasn't, there was an extra charge. And I always paid that charge out of my pocket. Because I knew the way I like my morning routine. I knew the way I liked my evening routine. And I know, here's another good girl belief that if I'm sharing the room with someone, I don't want to disturb them. And so I'll be thinking, what if I snore? What if I toss and turn? What if I can't sleep? What if I have the light on too long? To read my book? Am I disturbing this person? I know I'll do that, right? I know, my mind will go to how can I create a situation so this other person is not uncomfortable? In which is impossible, but I'll think it anyway. And so I don't want to share a room, I will have my own room. And that's one of my boundaries. And I always did that when I was traveling. And one time I went to a conference, this was for my own business when I was starting my coaching business. And I really wanted to go to this, it was like a training and a conference like a retreat, it was more like a retreat. And they said there were only shared rooms, there were no individual rooms. And so I gotta tell you, it brought up a tremendous amount of hesitation I did, I didn't want to share a room, I don't like to do that. I mean, of course, I'll do it with somebody in my family, like a sister or one of my kids, you know, but not with someone that I don't know. Well, I really wanted to go to this retreat, and I thought, you're just gonna have to get through it, you're just gonna have to do this, and you're just gonna have to get through it. And let's talk about what happens when we don't stick to our boundaries. I did it. And I got to that retreat. And when the person who was greeting us walked me to my room, she said, here's where you're staying with. And she named the other person. And looking at this room, and I'm pretty sure my chin hit the ground. Because I can see the other person is already there. Her suitcases already there, stuff is already sitting out. But there's only one bed. There's one queen size bed. And there's two people in this room. So I'm not only sharing a room, friends, I'm sharing a bed with another human being I have never met in my life.
Laura Lummer 07:39
Let's just say that didn't work out. Well. I was not comfortable. I was not okay with it. I was of course I said something. But I'm at the retreat. I paid for the retreat. And there were no other rooms available. And I was not okay with the fact that they didn't say ahead of time, that there's a big difference when you shared room and share a bed. Right? And whatever. I mean, that's just the situation, right? So they're like, Okay, sorry, I thought you understood. Well, I didn't understand because it was never said. So here are you are you gonna stay you're gonna go? Well, the first night I stayed. And I didn't sleep a wink. Because all the thoughts I shared with you a minute ago, were going through my head and I couldn't sleep because I didn't want to disturb this other person, or like what like rollover and flip my leg over their head, what the heck, who does something like that. And so fortunately, I had a friend that lived not far from where this retreat was. And the second day, I packed up my bag and said, Cool, I'll be here for the retreat activities during the day, but I'm leaving at night. And I went and I stayed with my friend in a spare room in our guest room during that time. And during that whole four day retreat, right. And I typically find that when we don't support our own boundaries, and I, I've heard stories of this, I listen to podcasts about this, I've read books about this, I'm sure it's not a newsflash to anybody. But what happens is we go against our boundary. And inevitably, we find ourselves in an uncomfortable position. And then we become resentful. We can become resentful towards the people maybe who created that position. Like for instance, the people who were praying together to retreat and didn't give me some of what I feel was really vital information. Or also just towards myself for tenure. Here I am, I put myself in this position. I should have just gotten a hotel it should have just said, Oh, if you only have shared rooms, I won't be staying on at the facility. Right? I will stay outside the facility and drive over. But I didn't and that's okay. I figured it out. I learned my lesson. But I think that that's a really great example of things that can happen when we don't uphold our boundaries. And then we're we find ourselves in an environment in a situation with people where we just feel sick to our stomach and we're thinking How the hell do I get out of this right? Why is that important? because that feeling that punch in the gut, that is not a good feeling. That is not a feeling that supports our health, that supports our wellness that supports our mental and emotional wellness. That is not something that's a part of a healthy lifestyle. healthy boundaries are something that are part of a healthy lifestyle, and examining the thoughts we have behind why we uphold them, and why we don't uphold them are critical. So I'm going to circle back I shared with you I was reading the book, The Biology of Belief, by Bruce Lipton, and it's a fascinating book goes into a lot of science, but it's a lot about energy, and how our thoughts and the energy that come from our thoughts affect us at a cellular level is absolutely fascinating book. That kind of information, that kind of thought work that he talks about in the book really aligns with what I talk about in my coaching programs, because a key factor in why we do what we do, why we think we have to be a good girl, why we violate our boundaries, is because of long term conditioning, conditioning that's in our subconscious mind, that we are often not even aware of, as I said a minute ago, sometimes we'll find ourselves in a situation. And we feel emotionally or physically, physically, the sensations are like I am uncomfortable. I don't like this. And we're there and we're feeling it before we even realize what we're thinking, what is triggering those emotions or those feelings, and I want to share this with you. Because as I read this, I thought, oh my gosh, I want to make sure and talk about this on a podcast because it's so powerful. That in his book Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton shares about a study done in 2005, by the Getty massive. And in this excerpt it says that there's a quote, neuroscience has now established that the conscious mind runs the show, at best, only 5% of the time. It turns out that the program's acquired by the subconscious, mind shaped 95% or more of our life experiences. And then I think this is even more important part. It goes on to say our lives are essentially a printout of our subconscious programs, behaviors that were fundamentally acquired from others, our parents, our family, and community. Before we were six years old. Think about that for a sec. Now, I'm 59 years old. And think about all the things that influenced the choices that I make in my life. Like, for instance, will I sacrifice what I believe supports my own health around what I eat, because I'm on vacation at someone else's house, and I want to be the good girl, will I let a boundary down in some place in my life, so that I go a weekend without sleep? So that I'm not the disrupter. And I'm the good girl. Those are thoughts that come from childhood. So will I choose to live at the age of 59, from the thoughts of a six year old? The thoughts that were taught to me when I was in my most developmental stage from being born to five or six years old, that I don't even realize, drive me to do some of the things I do. Now we talk about this a lot a lot in my coaching, because it is so frigging powerful. Now, do we build on those thoughts? Absolutely. Do life experiences change things? Absolutely. But sometimes it's in those moments where you find yourself going. I want to say this, but I'm just not that you may now that you're listening to this thing. I'm just trying to be a good girl.
Laura Lummer 14:01
I don't want to look rude. I don't want to be the bad girl. I don't want to question someone's authority. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have with people going through breast cancer treatment, who wants something for themselves or do not want something for themselves. But do not feel comfortable questioning a physician do not feel comfortable because they're afraid of what the physician might think of them. Right? This is where we're going back to I just want to be the good girl. And that comes at the cost of something to you. That's why it's so important. So does this mean never have manners? Never Be courteous, never be thoughtful? It absolutely does not. I'm speaking specifically to the situation where you're not going to do something that you know you need, or you know you don't want and you feel like you're gonna throw up or choke Look, because the throat is so tight or your chest is so tight or your stomach is in knots when you're doing it, because you've been conditioned to think I just want to be the good girl. And it's can be super challenging. You know, as I talked about my experience, and something so easy as you know what food choices will be made with good friends, this was all my programming, and how I thought I might appear and how I didn't want to appear. Now, did I choose to push through that I did, but it was uncomfortable, physical, physically uncomfortable sensations were happening in my body, right? Well, I was making these choices. And some, like, teasing comments were made. And it's okay, you know, people are just having fun. But I had to work through my own feelings of discomfort. One of the thoughts that I love one of the concepts that I love about self coaching, you know, when you're in this place where you're feeling uncomfortable, and you notice what your thought is, and you start to examine that and you're asking yourself, like, does that thought serve me? Something I think is so important to always think about and to consider is you are choosing that thought every single time, right? So if I felt uncomfortable, or if my throat felt constricted, because my gracious host was making something that I had to say no to. And my thoughts were, that's impolite. Good girls don't do that. Don't be rude. And I can feel the constriction, I can feel my conscious of saying, I don't want to do that. And my subconscious self saying, be a go girl. Right. And I had to really intentionally push through that. So can you do it? Can we change that programming? We absolutely can. And does it feel yucky sometimes in the process? And is it challenging? It absolutely is. I'm not gonna lie. It absolutely is. So the question becomes, when it's the good girl, choice, when it's the choice of, ah, I know, I don't want that. I know, I have a boundary there. I know that I want that. But I don't want to say anything and look like you know, some kind of a prima donna, and we're feeling sick about it. That's when we have to say, can I deal with this uncomfortable emotion, can I just allow myself to know this is going to be uncomfortable, and not take being uncomfortable as the sign Oh, I should just give in and do it. Right? It's uncomfortable. Because back here, back in the back of your mind that programming, that conditioning from your childhood, from your community, from your culture, from whatever it might be, is telling you don't look this way. Don't appear to be this kind of a person. But you're not that kind of a person. Right? If you already know that, and you're concerned about it, let me tell you, if you're concerned about whether or not you look like a nice person that tells me you're a nice person, otherwise you wouldn't give a shit. You won't even be worried about it. So you can just embrace the fact that you are a nice person, but you have needs and it's okay. You have expectations for yourself. And it's okay to have those. So when we find ourselves in that position, we've got to just allow ourselves, to process that discomfort to be in that discomfort to trust ourselves. To know, I know I'm doing what's right for me, and not at the cost of someone else. But at the potential that someone may have a thought about you that you would like them not to have, which you have no control over anyway. So can you stay in that discomfort? Can you breathe through it? Can you allow it? Because each time you do and you stand up for yourself and say there's something here in between good girl and bad girl, right? There's something here, there's strong independent person, there's person who is a self compassionate girl, right? There's a person who has healthy boundaries. There's a person who cares for themselves and for others. And it's not just black and white, good girl, bad girl. So can we believe that about ourselves and reframe this idea of good girl so that being the good girl no longer means the girl who puts herself out at the expense of herself, right that does something at the expense of herself and her own well being? Can we change that thought to being a good girl is the person who does something when it's not easy to do for the benefit of herself? Right? For the better The fit of her well being, her wholeness, her happiness and her healthiness? can we reframe those beliefs? And that subconscious programming? about what it means to be a good girl? Right? Can we just get rid of that damn term altogether? But it's in their right in their deep is deep? I mean, how many times throughout your life have you heard that this is good girls don't do that good girls do this good girl, oh my God, so many things from what we say to when we smile to what we wear to when we speak. And I love that excerpt that I shared with you from The Biology of Belief, because I want to just encourage you remember that those thoughts that are in your head that deprogramming that you're not even consciously aware of in the moment, didn't really come from you, someone else put that in you. And you can be a good girl now with your own thoughts. All right, with the thoughts that support your health, your wellness, that reduce your stress levels, and that support your body's ability to heal. Because that punch in the stomach feeling that my throat is closed, I don't think I can breathe feeling. My friend. Those are physical symptoms of chemical reactions that are happening in your body happening in your body that are not supporting your wellness. All right. So what are the strategies? Notice it, breathe through it. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable, believe and trust in yourself that you know what you're doing is for your wellness, it is not at the expense of someone else, and it's no longer going to be at the expense of yourself. Alright, I will talk to you again next week and until then, be very good to yourself. Take care
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