The absolute number one way to fail is by trying to please everyone.
Trying to please everyone is a zero sum game. It’s like whack a mole...you please one person, up pops another person to please, you please them and then circle back to the first one because now you can't do what you said you were going to do in the first place. Then, another one pops up out of nowhere, you go deal with that one, saying "Yes" all along the way when what you really want to say is "NO"...It’s a vicious cycle that keeps chipping away pieces of your soul, your goals, your vision, your happiness, your priorities and your ability to execute and function optimally.
The answer is YOU.
You are responsible for how you act, react and everything around you. You are not responsible for anything else but you. Your attitude is your choice! Trying to please others at the expense of yourself is your choice.
Recently, I was asked why I haven’t been seen here/there/at this party or event...In the past I probably would've made up some excuse or worse; I would've actually been there and been unhappy, but now my answer is simply "I chose not to go". By the end of the week I’m usually all talked out. I want some me time, some family time.
This is not about being anti-social. It's not about not liking anybody or trying to stand out or fit in...It's simply about choices and priorities. Do what works best for you. I'm finding that by doing things that I'm passionate about and that make me happy and not putting myself in situations where I'm uncomfortable, or disinterested that I'm making better choices for me than I've made in a while.
I had a pretty perfect Sunday last week and I'm looking forward to making more of these types of days - woke up, had my coffee, did my breath work, read a few blogs and magazines, went to gym, took a sauna/ice bath, picked up Auden and had lunch with him, went to the range and fired off a few rounds, took the dog to the park, drove carpool for Harper and his friends, went to dinner with Kate, watched a movie and was asleep by around 10pm.
Your ideal day could be very different from mine...That's the point. It's yours. You may even meet some resistance as you change. Very likely you will. Most likely, it'll be from the one's you needed to break away from anyway.
Two statements I read that I really liked are:
You don't have to be sorry for being you.
You'll never reach your greatest potential if you're trying to be all things to all people.
"For many, the eagerness to please stems from self-worth issues. They hope saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked.
Other people-pleasers have a history of maltreatment. And somewhere along the way they decided their best hope for better treatment was to try and please the people who mistreated them. Over time, people pleasing became a way of life.
Many people-pleasers confuse pleasing people with kindness. When discussing their reluctance to turn down someone’s request for a favor, they say things like, “I don’t want to be selfish,” or “I just want to be a good person.” Consequently, they allow others to take advantage of them." (Amy Moran - Forbes)
Here are 10 things you can work on to improve yourself, still help others and stop trying to please everyone: 1) Stop making assumptions! You really have no idea what is going on in someone else's life.
2) STFU - Shut The Fuck Up! Yup...Stop talking, start listening. It's simply amazing what happens.
3) Add value - Very different from trying to "Please". If you can't add value, don't do it.
4) Give without expectation - Also very different from trying to "Please". You can be giving and generous without losing yourself. Without the element of expectation of getting something in return, you don't leave yourself open to disappointment.
5) Let things happen naturally - this one is harder...Have patience.
6) NO is a perfectly acceptable answer. Just say NO. It works.
7) Ask for an opportunity - Rather than try to please by doing something you don't want to do, ask for an opportunity to do something you DO want to do. You end up pleasing both you and them!
8) Put in the work - Doing good work feels good period. You don't need any further validation from anyone.
9) Be authentic - Anytime you compromise your authenticity, nobody ends up pleased.
10) Be a good partner - This does not mean to just give in, be a pleaser, change your values...Be loyal, transparent, honest and work thru the issues.
Another factor in the people pleasing area is that we simply don't have the time.
It throws everything else out of balance. There's a concept known as The Four Burners Theory. I'm including a link to the full Theory/article below but here's the gist of it:
Imagine that your life is represented by a stove with four burners on it. Each burner symbolizes one major quadrant of your life.
The first burner represents your family.The second burner is your friends.The third burner is your health.The fourth burner is your work.
The Four Burners Theory says that “in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two." There's more to it, but it gets into focus, balance, priorities and what it doesn't allow for is trying to please others? Go read the full article - I think you'll get something out of it.
Look, this is tough stuff. None of it is easy. We're all built differently and have our own idiosyncrasies and what makes us tick; comparisons, comfort, denial, self pity, self worth, pleasing, ego, confidence, support, desire to be liked, success, failure, mindset, demeanor...