One day while I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to do to keep a client happy and how to get another client to pay a bill that was passed due, I came to the end of my rope and my mind opened up and everything became clear. Not to mention, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders as I finally made the decision to stop trying to make everybody happy. I never realized it, but somewhere along my journey in life and business, I became a people pleaser . . . whaaaaat?
Sad but true, there I was putting myself under much stress and turmoil, in order to not ‘rock-the-boat’ and maintain my ‘people pleasing reputation’. But that day I opened my eyes and saw myself, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I’m running a business…not a daycare and sometimes, I have to make decisions and take action based on what’s best for the business and not what’s best for the relationship or what will keep me in a clients good graces.
The realization came when I got up close and personal with my business and financial situation and saw that my ‘keep-the-peace’ attitude was not serving me or my business. If I was going to be successful, I was going to have to get used to putting on a suit of armour, making difficult decisions and having some tough conversations.
I had to become fearless against any possible negative reaction and be ready to suffer the consequences which could include losing the client and having them drag my good name through the mud, but it was something I was willing to do because I wanted to be taken seriously as a business woman; I no longer wanted to be seen as the ‘get-along’ girl and I wanted to establish a new reputation as a business woman who is direct and unapologetic about the way she runs her business.
So what steps did I take to get over people pleasing and a need to be liked by everybody?
Accept that you can’t please everybody
They say you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Where you might be pleasing one, you’re most likely displeasing another (usually yourself) and you can almost drive yourself mad trying to be all things to all people. At some point you have to accept that you’re not going to make everybody happy and you’ll be fighting a losing battle if you do.
Accept yourself and be YOU
Nothing earns you more respect than being your true and authentic self. Unfortunately, not everybody is going to like you for it, but they will respect you for being who you are and not backing down from that and as a bonus, you will be teaching people how to treat you. It’s not always easy for me to tell clients a certain project will take longer than they want or that I need their payment ASAP, but that’s just the nature of my business; I accept it and those who work with me have to accept it or take their business elsewhere.
Put yourself first
The truth is you can never make everyone in your life happy and if you are, then chances are you are quite unhappy. Juggling and adjusting a number of attitudes, behaviours and persona’s, not to mention trying to meet everyone’s expectations is exhausting and can take a toll on your mental health. Instead, put yourself first and think about what you need to do to make yourself happy. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is put yourself first. You will see your way through any situation more clearly when you put yourself and your needs first and be willing to sacrifice ‘being liked’ for being happy.
Are you a recovering people pleaser? How did you come to turn your people-pleasing ways around.