Quite a few years back, I read an interesting Aesop fable about a man, his son and their donkey. The short of it goes like this. The 3 were journeying through town minding their own business, but kept experiencing insults and judgments due to their travel arrangements. First all traveled on foot until the man and boy were insulted for not riding on the donkey, then the son rode on the donkey until a group of old men judged him for being lazy, then the man rode until a group of ladies judged him for making the boy walk. Well, after so many tries of attempting to get it right, the man didn't know what to do so he decided that he and his son should just tie the donkey up and carry it on a pole. This by far caused the biggest uproar and to add insult to injury, the donkey goes wild, breaks free and falls off the bridge and drowns!---What in the world?!...By the end of the story the moral became soberly clear that when we try to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one. There's nothing wrong with us being agreeable people, but if we do the things we do for the wrong reasons like seeking approval or to avoid rejection, then we're going about things all wrong and need to pump our brakes and make an attitude change before we proceed with our lives! If you can remotely relate to this topic and find yourself regularly jumping through hoops for people, it's time to STOP and read these 7 tips that can help you be free to live your life and end the vicious cycle of people pleasing once and for all.
1. Know your limits and make them known
If you want a happy and productive life, setting boundaries with balance has to be a huge part of it. Even though you are super person, you are not Superman and can't be everything to everybody! So study yourself and your circumstances, be realistic and stay in your lane, know what you can and can not do and let that truth be made known when needed to avoid spreading yourself thin.
2. Understand that 'No' is an option
In a fantasy world, everyone would get what they want, but since this is the real world, you have to exercise the right to use the word 'no' in your vocabulary (within reason). It's a bonus when others can understand and respect your decision, but if they don't, don't make it your problem.
3. Be confident!
You are valuable! This is a God-given privilege, not earned through people's opinions of you. So remove the idea of earning validation through works from your mind and take your time to know your true worth to determine what is and is not acceptable behavior for you. This will be an anchor to help you weigh your thoughts, responses and actions to other's requests.
4. Don't be scared!
I admit, some people are more intimidating than others, and not everyone is going to be on board with the new you, but don't allow fear to determine the outcome of your decisions. Just because the feelings may come doesn't mean you are weak and have to succumb to them. Stand firm and keep standing.
5. Avoid pushy people!
If you find yourself surrounded by people who refuse to take 'no' for an answer, lose them immediately!!! Pushy people are like sharks, if you're not careful, they will eat you alive! No matter how much you may try to change, you will keep finding yourself in that black hole of people pleasing again and again without a real chance of seeing the light of day.
6. It's your life, so live it!
God did not create you to be a carbon copy of someone else. So find your individual purpose and path in your life and live it to the full with no regrets.
7. Don't stop!
On your path to successfully ending people pleasing, you may run into some hurdles. So if you trip and fall, immediately get back up and keep moving in the right direction. You CAN do it!
In this post, I only used 7 tips because I just so happen to like that number, but I definitely want to open up the floor of discussion for more pointers from you. So feel free to share, share, share and come back for more interesting posts to come.
Until next time, I'm still enjoying the journey, Didi Hayden