I just said NO!
A good friend called and asked me to serve on the board of a charity. It’s a charity I happily give my time and money to, but I still said NO. I felt terrible, but this is a HUGE improvement. I used to lose sleep over these sorts of NOs. Or worse, say yes when I knew it wasn’t the right choice.
I’m a recovering people-pleaser.
People-pleasing is a disease. It makes everyone around you feel better, but in the end, the person who ends up suffering is you.
According to Miriam Webster, people pleaser has two definitions:
someone or something that pleases or wants to please people
a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires
The first definition sounds pleasant, but it usually leads to the second.
Have you seen Taylor Swift’s documentary “Miss Americana?” It’s a behind the scenes look at the life of a pop icon.
I became a fan of her music when my daughter started listening to her, but I never understood the back story. One thing that stood out to me was her reaction to the Kanye West incident when he busted onto the stage during her VMA awards speech.
This was a turning point for Taylor. She had always reveled in the joy and applause of her adoring fans. The boos and audience disapproval as Kanye walked off stage felt like daggers. How could she not know they booed for Kayne?
This is people-pleasing on a grand scale. Prioritizing external validation (or the cheers from her adoring fans).
Your people-pleasing symptoms may look like this:
So how did Taylor and those of us who haven’t spent time on the Billboard charts find a cure?
They’ve learned to put themselves FIRST! And you can, too, when you realize there’s no way to make everyone happy anyway.
This was a hard reality for me to accept because I was a chronic people pleaser. I still have to fight the urge to say yes to every request to volunteer for something at my kid’s school or serve on a charity board.
When you’ve embraced life after busy, you’re excited to roll out of bed each day.
There’s no room for people-pleasing as a successful mompreneur. It will be scary but you will have to find your voice. Express yourself. Say NO! Walk away from all those school board positions without breaking a sweat.
If Kayne jumps on your stage and grabs your mic, you’re ready to stand tall with the confidence that his antics are ridiculous. Those BOOs aren't meant for you, babe.
I’m going to leave ya with some Taylor lyrics:
“You’re the only one of YOU. Baby, that’s the fun of YOU!”
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.