The Subtle Art Of NOT Being Everybody’s Darling
The following is a guest post from Sven Moragues.
It stinks to high heaven, right?
You live the continual frustration of giving your best to almost anyone but yourself.
Deep inside, you’re burning. You are in a maelstrom of daily tasks that have nothing to do with you.
You meet other people’s needs and forget your own. You are a slave in the hands of other people’s interests.
And the glass of frustration and angst gets filled drop by drop, until the day it overflows…
You Live The Life Of Others
In today’s Society, we feel forced to play many roles that get ingrained into our daily routines.
That’s because from childhood on, we learn that we must obey. That we have to be responsible. That we have to get married. That we have to get a mortgage. That we need a worthy career. That we have to blah blah blah…
And each of these roles includes a series of obligations.
In the morning you take on the role of a worker, with your duties and your responsibilities.
Your boss asks you a favor to get the month ahead. You, trying to please him, say “Yes.”
In the evening you have to be a parent, taking care of your kids.
When there is free time, you are a son or daughter yourself, caring about your parents. When the planets align, you adapt to the role of being a good partner or friend.
And before you realize that (again) you didn’t have a minute to yourself today, you fall into bed like a sack of potatoes.
You have entered the circle of pleasing everyone.
Because you mirror your own frustrations on others, you make others responsible for your weaknesses and potentially jeopardize your relationships.
All these obligations are self-imposed.
You have generated an irrational fear of what people think of you, and you are doomed to live the life others want.
Why do you have to be at work at 8 am (if the official starting time is 9 am)?
Why do you have to save money to go to the Caribbean (if you hate getting toasted on the beach)?
Why do you have to take care of your friend’s children (if you cannot stand those illiterate brats)?
You Have To Set Limits
You are just afraid to set limits on others.
Instead of saying out loud, “I’ll live the life I want!”, you get anxious or even have panic attacks when you think about saying “No.”
Now…it’s time to take control.
You can learn to set limits for others. You can get out of jail and be free of any external obligations.
Don’t panic. It can be easier than you think, if that is, you do the work.
Assertiveness is the key.
Assertiveness is both the goal and the path at the same time.
It is the way to free yourself from being a people-pleaser.
It’s the ultimate goal to which you should aspire. To become confident in most situations in your life.
Use Assertiveness Daily
Make assertiveness part of your communication. By doing so, you will be in an excellent position to design the life you desire.
It’s not always an easy road, as there are many areas we need to cover.
For instance, it is possible that we will become assertive in our circle of friends but not in our work. Or vice versa.
Learn to use this style of communication in most situations in your life, without stressing out yourself too much
Now…you don’t have to stop being who you truly are. Neither do you have to convert yourself into a selfish arsehole.
But I suggest you start by accepting your fears are unreal emotions so you can be the person you want to be.
So…Ready for taking action?
Then let’s go.
Learn To Set Limits
Most new situations that take us out of our comfort zone produce anxiety.
If you remember your first day at work or your first day of school, you know what I’m talking about.
And that’s natural, as your body prepares for action. If you’re not used to setting limits, it is normal that you feel fear.
Your mind will tell you “I can’t” and you get nervous; your physiology will skyrocket. Your legs start shaking. Your muscles tense. Your heart starts racing, and your breathing becomes faster and more shallow.
It’s your body getting activated to take action via the flight or fight response.
But you know what? Those are just feelings and thoughts.
Sometimes the brain is like a wild horse we have to tame. We have to stop responding to certain emotions or situations that don’t suit us.
Time For Action
Stop for a minute now (yep, right now while you read this). Breathe slowly and jump into the ice-cold water by doing the following exercise:
Make a list of 5 situations in which you would like to say no, or you would like to set limits.
Sort them by difficulty.
Close your eyes and set yourself inside the most painful scene.
Practice saying “No” for the chosen situation.
Ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen when saying No?”
Ok, I shall wait here, go and do the work.
Done the exercise? Cool. How did it feel? You can respond in the comments below.
You need to eradicate certain childhood beliefs
When we were kids, saying “No” was a No-go. They taught us that saying “No” turned us into bad-mannered children.
Today, as mature people, we still hold on to many of our childhood beliefs.
Our unconscious minds still associates saying “No” with being irresponsible or selfish. And it still produces the fear of being unlikeable.
Tim turns down 4 out of 5 people who send him guest posts either because they are not a good fit or poorly written.
Do you think he concerns himself with what the author thinks of him? Of course not, because he understands that’s none of his business.
As you now know the problem’s origin, here’s a little mind hack that works:
The Mind Hack
Next time you want to choose ‘Yes’ instead of ‘No’, say to yourself: “STFU…you’re just a toxic legacy from my childhood.”
And if you say it with enough conviction and enough times, hocus-pocus…the little monster disappears. Because you take away its power.
Don’t give a fuck about what other people think about you.
If your life depends on other people’s approval, you will never feel free.
Always asking for, and relying upon other people’s opinions isn’t searching for good advice. The message you send to your unconscious here is, “Their view about me is more important than what I think about myself.”
That makes you say ‘Yes’ when your mind wants to say ‘No’.
Another way to help fix the problem is utilizing the power of meditation.
Committing to daily meditation will allow you to discover that all your fears, limiting beliefs, and self-doubts are only superficial.
And you will find a deeper place of trust and self-worth while you get to know who you are.
This will allow you to say ‘No’ with confidence and calmness. Without worrying about what the opponent will think about you.
If you are a newbie or skeptic, check out Tim’s introduction to meditation.
Train Your Body
Did you ever wonder why people who exercise often appear firm and secure in their decisions?
It’s because they are.
If your body is weak and flabby, chances are it’s the same with your decisions. You also unknowingly send a signal to other people that you are easy to convince to say “Yes.”
Your posture is an unconscious spoiler that tells your opponent you’re easy prey.
They can sense that you’re not able to decline their request.
Exercising is one of the most powerful tools for getting confident and firm. (It’s a shame that psychologists don’t suggest exercising as an aspect of treatment.)
Your mind is just one part of the game. Your posture is another. Both are linked to each other.
The Exercise Effect
I’m talking about physical psychology. The “Exercise Effect.”
Strong triceps and biceps, a formed trapezius and abdomen, send the message to your brain that you’re powerful.
It helps kill fear. It helps kill doubts. And it helps kill the unpleasant habit of being a people-pleaser.
A smart solution may be hiring a personal trainer who knows this stuff.
Tell him or her what your two or three main objectives are in life, and a good trainer will help get you where you want to be.
Here are a few examples of how your body parts can influence your emotions and behavior:
Biceps = Capability
Triceps = Stress Release
Trapezius = Willpower
Chest = Dominance
Abdomen = Your Emotion Control Center (Gut-Brain)
Training the above body parts will help you if your mind isn’t strong enough (yet). Your mind will follow, don’t worry.
The result will be that others will be less likely to try to take advantage of you in any form.
Commit To Living With Self Respect And Live The Life You Deserve
Put limits on all those who take advantage of you.
You must be master of your own time, and you have the right to do with your life whatever it is you want to do.
You have the right to fail, you have the right to make your own decisions, no matter whether they are logical to anyone else.
The above steps are a good start to change your life’s quality.
Now go and transform yourself from being a people-pleaser to respecting and loving yourself and being in a position to say ‘Yes’ because you want to, not because you feel you ought to..
Sven Moragues’ mission is to help separated dads untangle the mental setbacks that keep them stuck in unhappy life situations. Click here to grab his free ebook. You’ll soon be back in harmony with yourself and the world around you. The best part? You will no longer be at the mercy of others. Go and transform your life at once! Well, at least after you have left a comment adding your thoughts.