Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Exhaustion of People-Pleasing

by Debbie Ford

~~  There is an affliction quietly and insidiously affecting us that crosses all lines of age, gender and race. It began when we were young and learned that in order to fit in with our families we had to ignore our own needs, stay silent, follow along, and give away our power. As adults this syndrome continues to rob us of our ability to ask directly for what we need and want and drives us to violate ourselves and our own integrity. When we're in its grips, we contort ourselves to fit in, to belong, and to ensure our status as a "good person". In a moment of desperation and powerlessness, we forsake ourselves in order to avoid confrontation and the mere possibility of rejection.

This is the disease of trying to be liked, being nice, seeking acceptance, and trying to please others as a strategy - as a way to feel safe in the world and worthy in our own skin. What is even more important to recognize is that seeking the approval of others is a way to avoid how deeply we disapprove of ourselves. The feared rejection of another is actually an outward reflection of how we have already rejected certain aspects of ourselves.

In all of the books I write, the talks I give and the trainings I lead, I encourage people to acknowledge the cost of their limiting beliefs and behaviors. When it comes to people-pleasing, the cost is so pervasive and damaging that I want to draw special attention to it this week. The moment we try to please another and abandon our own truth for theirs, we essentially hand our power to them, violate our own integrity, cut ourselves off from our inner wisdom, and - at least for a while - disconnect from our ability to love and nurture ourselves. [I know this so well, because I've done it a million times!] We may do this with our children, spouses, employers, friends and society at large. When being a "good girl" or a "good boy" becomes a way of life, we can be sure that exhaustion will accumulate, resentments will build, desperation and neediness will increase, and we'll travel deeper into the land of victim consciousness.

Transformational Action Steps

  1. This week, look to see how you might engage in people-pleasing and contemplate what the cost is in your own life, especially in the area of your self-respect...all the while keeping in mind that transformation begins when you tell yourself the truth.
  2. Take a moment to sit quietly, take a slow deep breath, and check in with yourself. Think of a relationship or situation in your life that is particularly challenging for you right now, and ask yourself the following Right Question as it applies to this situation:

    Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another?

    Take a few minutes to jot down whatever arises. For greater clarity on how people-pleasing may be undermining you in this situation, utilize the following additional questions:

    • How am I giving up my power to this person or situation?
    • What am I afraid of losing?
    • What would I need to know in order to have the courage to be straight with this person or in this situation?
  3. Disappoint somebody this week. Give yourself the gift of saying "no" when you mean it this week.
As you practice being completely straight with yourself, notice the miracles unfolding in your communications with those around you.

With love and blessings,


Debbie Ford - Create the Life You Love.  
If you'd like to learn more about Debbie go to:  www.debbieford.com
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Heroes and Mentors

by Seth Godin 

~~ Mentors provide bespoke guidance. They take a personal interest in you. It's customized, rare and expensive.

Heroes live their lives in public, broadcasting their model to anyone who cares to look.
The internet has created a long tail of heroes. There are tens of thousands of musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, social leaders, politicians (okay, maybe not thousands of these), coders and colleagues to find and emulate. WWHD. What would my hero do?

I find heroes everywhere I look. I find people who speak to me over my shoulder, virtual muses, who encourage me to solve a problem or deal with a situation the way they would. This is thrilling news, because there are so many heroes, so freely available, whenever we need them.

For all the people out there using the fact that Jeff Bezos (or Jacqueline Novogratz or Husain Abdullah or Chris Anderson or Anne Jackson) won't be their mentor as an excuse for inaction, there are a dozen who realize that their example is enough.

Like a custom made suit, a mentor is a fine thing to have if you can find or afford it. But for the rest of us, heroes will have to do.

To read additional blogs by Seth Godin visit:  http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Believe In You

Vince Lombardi said it best:  "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge but rather in a lack of will."  ~~ 

My husband would be the first person to tell you I'm not much of a sports fan so it's rather strange for me to be quoting a sports legend like Vince Lombardi but I recently watched a very short movie at Simple Things about a speech by Coach Lombardi titled: 'What it takes to be number 1'

The movie features quotes and excerpts from that speech about how a person's "will" not their strength or their knowledge, but their sheer will is what fuels that deep down desire to give their all to what they're doing - to be the best you can be - to not quit when the going gets tough.  He never accepted less than any player's best effort on or off the field. 

Vince Lombardi was one of the greatest football coaches in history who brilliantly brought out the best in his players, who in turn loved and respected him as he led the Green Bay Packers to win a lot of games and championships. 

Coach Lombardi knew that anyone can gain the knowledge they need; they can build the strength they need but when it comes down to the last minutes of the game it will always be a person's "will", their belief in themselves, that causes them to reach deep within and give it their all.  

My friends, everything we do in life requires education, knowledge or strength to be good but it's when you reach deep inside and latch on to your will to succeed that you too can become the best you can be.   So go for it!  Be the winner you were meant to be.  Believe In You.

Live Everyday and Laugh Often.

- NK

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