Do you use love as an excuse to stay stuck? Would you gladly trade your high heels for a pair of glass slippers? Do you believe that life will be better once you find The One?
Then you may be trapped in the Cinderella mindset. Deep down, you think no matter how bad things get in your life, eventually your Prince will come along and you’ll get your happily ever after. But the Cinderella fairytale sets us up for disappointment and failure when it doesn’t work out exactly the way we expect.
Cinderella is not living her best life right now, but is waiting for someone else to give her a better life.
I know because I’ve been Cinderella.
The modern day Cinder Girl may be hard to spot, because she’s not stuck at home sweeping ashes out of the fireplace. Or, she’s not lounging on the couch all day eating cake and binge watching “Once Upon A Time.”
Here are some women who may be stuck in the Cinderella mindset:
- She’s got a job, although she probably hates it, but it’s fine because eventually some rich dude is going to come along and wipe out her debts — and then she can quit.
- She’s a Cinder Mama who does everything for her family (even thought they are capable of doing a lot for themselves). She’s exhausted all the time believing she has to “do it all.”
- She constantly feels underappreciated at work or at home, but as a “good girl” she doesn’t say something or do anything about it.
- She feels neglected in her marriage, but being the “good wife” she tolerates it.
- She’s pursuing her dreams but probably not as purposeful as she should, knowing one day, her prince will come along, they’ll get married, and then she can go for her dreams comfortably and safely.
- She’s a strong workingwoman, but when her husband’s away on business, she feels incredibly alone and can’t sleep at night until he comes home.
- She’s doing everything to make others happy, abandoning her own happiness.
Additionally, some Cinder Girls start off as strong, independent women; but fall into the fairy tale trap when they get into a relationship and need and dependence sets in. Before she knows it, she’s relying on others for her happiness instead of creating it herself.
That’s the Cinderella I became.
Years ago, I worked on “Xena: Warrior Princess,” voicing these kickass gladiator women who battled the most vengeful villains and always won. But I was far from kicking ass in my own life. Instead, when my prince came along, I became the ultimate Cinderella, attending to his needs and abandoning my own. It didn’t happen overnight, but gradually, until I didn’t know who I was anymore. When my prince eventually jumped ship, I was lost in the woods and didn’t know how to get out.
Looking back on my marriage, I fell into the Cinderella trap wholeheartedly. By recognizing this after my breakup I was able to turn it around, change my limiting beliefs, and redefine my life. Sure, it was scary. Those woods can be pretty dark and frightening, but I did it and it was liberating. I broke free, reclaiming my life and career, becoming the Warrior Princess I was always meant to be. My ex-prince did me a big favor.
Get Ready To Rock, Princess
Here are three great ways to go from Princess Cinderella to Warrior Princess:
1. Lower expectations of others and expect more from you.
Start by looking more realistically at who you are and what you really want. By doing so, you’ll gain command of a more awesome life.
2. Get out of the “love will conquer all” myth and begin conquering your own life.
Let go of any self-limiting beliefs and get moving on accomplishing your own dreams. Take steps every day to get you closer to what you desire. Do whatever it takes to reach your goals. If you do, you are more likely to achieve happiness.
3. Do more for you.
Our love and value has to come from within, not from others. So take time out for some tender lovin’ self-care. Journal, meditate (five to fifteen minutes is all you need), or go for a walk. Whatever nourishes and replenishes you. By taking care of you first, you’ll be happier, more balanced, and have more love to give to others.
Your true joy and happiness have nothing to do with circumstances. They are entirely up to you and what you create.
So get clear, get active, and get out there Miss Princess Awesome. You can have your cake and eat it too. Believe in yourself. Pursue your passions. Create a new fairy tale – one where Cinderella gets her dream life and gets her prince.
© Debra Rogers. Did You A Favor, Inc. 2013