Your heart pounds. Your stomach flips, and your palms start to sweat. Your friend is staring at you, waiting expectantly for an answer. And they want you to say yes. Every cell in your body is screaming, “NO. I DON’T WANT TO. I CAN’T TODAY.” But instead, you swallow, nod and say, “Yes, of course, I’ll do it. Thanks!”
What just happened? Why didn’t you say no? Didn’t you promise yourself this would never happen again? Why did you crumble?
You’re not alone. Everyone tries to please the people around us. It’s natural. We want to be liked, respected and admired. We also learn at a young age that we’re rewarded when we please authority figures like parents or teachers.
And if you’re a woman? You’re taught that being nice and sweet is expected. Plus, it feels good– when we make someone happy, it solidifies the belief that we’re honourable people which encourages us to keep doing it.
People-pleasing isn’t bad. In some situations, it’s necessary. When two opposing opinions are at odds for too long, it’s valuable for one person to please the other. It’s an effective strategy to quash conflict. However, people-pleasing can become unhealthy. It can become habit-forming and addictive. Plus, if you dream of setting yourself free with a business of your own, people-pleasing can sabotage all of your goals.
Do you say yes when you don’t want to? Does the idea of conflict make you sick? Does criticism send you running for hills? Do your friends tell you to stop saying sorry all the time?
Then you’re probably losing more than you think as a people-pleaser:
Losing Your Way
When you transition from someone who occasionally pleases people to a people-pleaser you lose yourself. Your spirit is crushed every time you say yes or no when you really can’t or don’t want to. You don’t have established boundaries, leading you to pursue the goals and wishes of others instead of your own. Suddenly you don’t know what path you’re on anymore. And as an entrepreneur, it’s important to know where you’re going so you’re personally rewarded and professionally successful. Nobody can lead you on your path– only you have this power.
Losing Your Self-Esteem
When you’re a people-pleaser, you end up suppressing your true emotions to accommodate others. Every time you put yourself last you tell yourself that you’re not worthy of your desires.
Though you want to say no to your friend, you can’t… and resentment, anger and rage take hold. Bottling up these emotions eventually damages your self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem. Plus, you lose faith in your ability to take control of your business and life.
Losing Your Dreams
It’s okay to be nice. But extreme people-pleasing can have devastating effects. It robs you of your dreams and the courage to follow your heart. You might be scared to try something new because you don’t believe you’ll say no if the opportunity is not right. So many women stop themselves from achieving the success they deserve because they’ve lost faith in themselves. And this is truly heartbreaking…
How To Stop People-Pleasing So You Can Create The Fabulous Life You Want
People-pleasing comes from a need to avoid bad feelings. At some point in life, you’ve learned that making others happy is more valuable than your own happiness and self-worth. And you can’t have it both ways.
Because it isn’t true! You’ll garner more respect when you establish your limits, your boundaries, your needs and desires.
Especially if you’re launching your own business. If you’re ready to stop people-pleasing, try these tips to unleash the assertive warrior within:
- Take responsibility for your success and happiness: You’re the only person in this world who is responsible for your success or failure. Take one step every day towards your goal, understanding that no one owes you anything. If you need help starting or launching a business, find an expert to show you the way.
- Practice assertiveness: Every day, practice saying no. Start in the mirror, then experiment in places where the other person doesn’t know you. Say no to the grocery cashier when she asks you to donate to an organization you don’t believe in, say no when someone asks you to take a flyer. As you say no to strangers, you’ll gain the confidence to say no in high-pressure situations more easily.
- Share your (real) opinion without fear: If you want the freedom to work and live however you want as an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to start voicing your true feelings– even if it causes conflict. Start small with a group of entrepreneurs like you who know exactly what you’re going through (like my free Facebook Group here). As you share your thoughts you’ll feel stronger and more capable than ever before!
- Honour your truth: Even if you believe that your opinion may hurt other people’s feelings you need to understand this: Your actions and reactions are about yourself. Their actions and reactions are about them. We learn and grow as mirrors to each other. If you don’t express your truth and hide the real you, you’re not helping anyone. Worst of all? You’re hurting yourself.
- Trust people and humanity generally: Trust that you can find a win-win solution. Even if it seems like a “me versus you” situation, trust that you can find a middle ground together. You can learn how to negotiate for what you want.
- Own It: Once you know your opinion and your decision isn’t popular, own it. It may feel bad at the moment, but in hindsight you’ll realise it was the best decision. You have impacted those people forever because you’ve shown them a new path. And they may make better decisions in the future (because of you!)
- Don’t expect the approval of others: Your path is yours to walk. What others think of your journey or how you get there is no one’s business but yours. You are the expert of your life. No one else is!
It’s time to attract the abundance you want from life– but it’ll only happen when putting yourself and your goals first. It doesn’t make you selfish or self-centered– it allows you to build your confidence and inner-strength so you’re empowered to create the life you want.
Once you feel ready, I’d love to hear from you! Schedule a FREE Strategy Call with me here so we can shortcut your rise to success with an online business. There’s no obligation, no hard sell, and no criticism to make you feel bad at all. Whether we speak today or next year, remember– you’re in exactly the right place you need to be right now. When it’s time to soar you’ll know.
Business Success Coach to Global Women Entrepreneurs
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