The Counselling Shed

Are you stuck in goody two shoes mode? 

April 24th, 2023

My area of counselling expertise is in helping people who believe that they are somehow not enough… not good enough, not clever enough, not pretty enough, not successful enough, and so on, there are many different versions.

The underlying belief of not being enough can affect many areas of our lives – it is often lurking behind depression, anxiety, low self esteem, relationship problems, addictions and so on. 

The topic of this blog however, is about people who know, at some level, that they are not bad enough.

A curious topic perhaps. But the truth is that a lot of people know, at some level, that by not being able to be bad enough throughout their lives, they have somehow got stuck in polite little goody two shoes mode.

And rather paradoxically, not being bad enough, results in them feeling not good enough!

Where is your Wild son?

In the theoretical and experiential 5Rhythms model, in which I am also trained, a number of archetypes are identified. One of the archetypes is that of ‘wild son’. Genders are not relevant here because wild son refers to the energetic quality of being bad-ass.

Wild son is present when someone says, hey I’ve not done this before but let’s give it a shot. Wild son is present in performers who wing it. Wild son is present when taking a leap of faith without knowing where one will land.

When pleasing others has meant repressing your wildness

As we grow up, many of us learn that if we do what our parents, caregivers and/or teachers ask, then we receive approval, love and acceptance – we learn to get our sense of feeling valued by pleasing them.

At some level this is desirable because rather than us experiencing unbounded anarchy, being taught right from wrong, yes and no, teaches us about social norms of behaviour.

But relied on too much, this type of behaviour conditions us to put the needs and expectations of other people above our own needs and the result over time, is that we then lose touch with an authentic sense of who we are.

These days huge pressure is put upon young people to achieve: to work hard, to get top grades, to excel. Again, there is nothing against producing good work, but when one’s sense of worth is derived from getting top marks and/or by pleasing one’s parents or teachers, we can later on, run into tricky (psychological) ground.

The downfall of always pleasing others, is that we end up doing things for people that we don’t actually like; we say yes when our whole body is screaming no, we stick in jobs or relationships that no longer serve us, we settle rather than take risks; we continue with what we know rather than try something new; we stay single or promiscuous rather than risk intimacy, we lose touch with ourselves and wonder if we are going slightly crazy… we feel low, lonely and/or depressed; we wonder if anyone actually cares about us, or sees us.

Do you feel that you are stuck in goody two shoes mode?

Might it be time for you to let a little bad-ass energy into your life. (And I do mean in a creative, life affirming, life enhancing, and vitalising way, rather than in a self-destructive and reckless way).

Maybe this track will provide some inspiration:


East Kent Counselling for people pleasers

Look if any of this has resonated with you then get in touch and let me show you how being a little more bad-ass might be your route to feeling good enough!

M: 07757859650


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