Most people probably agree that women in the US have more options today than ever, but what if that gets translated into thinking one needs to do everything? Perfectly. Gifted girls grow up to be gifted women and that label often has a stigma attached to it. For one, people make the assumption that life is easy for them and everything is under control. The reality is that high-achieving, driven women often struggle with perfectionism, fear of failure, or feeling like a fraud, and may hide their talents rather than risk being wrong or to avoid making others uncomfortable. Or, they might take on a multitude of responsibilities and self-care takes a back seat. Whether it’s the media, the work environment, family “rules”, or their own self-talk, women and girls often walk around with “should’s” in their heads that can cause stress and anxiety. For example, “I should continue being a lawyer even though I’m miserable.”
Therapy can be a safe place to discuss these feelings in a non-judgmental setting and can be viewed as an investment in ones self through goal-setting, skill building, and finding ways to change behaviors or ways of being that are no longer in line with who one is today. Developing these skills in the teen years can help lay the foundation for self-care and standing up for ones self in a healthy way whether on the job, at school, or in relationships.