“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
Do you ever say “yes” to someone when you wanted to say “no”? And do you then feel annoyed that you have done so?
We often strive to please others people, thinking it will make fewer waves and we will be seen to be ‘nice. But other stories may play in our heads then, such as…
- “I can’t be myself. I have to be who they think I should be.”
- “I need to be accepted and liked by other people.”
- “It’s not safe to be bold or assertive.”
- “I feel insecure if other people don’t approve of my actions.”
But ‘people pleasing’ can be a recipe for failure. Even if we please the other person, when we are concealing what we really think and not meeting our own needs, we only gain conditional approval that can be withdrawn if we ever show our true selves. Sooner or later, usually at a very inconvenient time, our façade will be exposed.
But when we are honest about what we really think and feel we radiate a confidence that other people respect, even if they may not like what we have to say at times.
The choices we have. As in all other aspects of our lives, we may choose to:
Struggle to Please Other People. This option will drain our energy and help to destroy our self-esteem and peace of mind. Our fragile friendships will be built on the shaky foundation of lack of authenticity. Or we may…
Be our Authentic Selves. We will build genuine relationships built on honesty and develop the courage to be vulnerable. When we make this choice, we replace fear, inner conflict, and uncertainty with self-love and higher self-esteem.
The more authentic we are, the more we will genuinely and easily connect with other people. We will then enjoy loving, supportive personal and professional relationships.
The first step to achieving this is to manage our ‘inner critic’, the critical internal voice that tries to curb our personal growth with critical comments like, “You’re not good enough,” and “It’s not safe to show people who you really are.”
Here are some ideas to get started…
What does my inner critic say to me when I think of taking an intelligent risk?
What is the first step I want to take toward being more authentic?
“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” – Lao Tzu
By Ron Trustin
Motivating baby boomers to see the world with fresh eyes.