Does this sound familiar? You keep trying to make someone or an organization happy but you only become unhappy in the process. It happens to many of us. Why would we do this? There are some probable reasons:
1. You put their happiness over yours
2. You want to be liked
3. You are a people pleaser who doesn’t know how to say no
4. You cannot prioritize your needs over others
Now, imagine, this happening all the time? It would leave you unfulfilled, enervated and unhappy.
Let me tell you a story from my life. This happened twenty years ago.
One evening, my then boyfriend and now husband, told me that when I met his parents at his home, I could not afford to dress and talk the way I normally did. I wondered what was wrong with my clothes or with the way I spoke. I couldn’t find anything wrong. But I wanted to please him and his family. So I made the effort to change myself. However the meeting was unplanned and so when it happen, I was unfortunately wearing the same old clothes – jeans and a t-shirt – and I was very nervous. I tried to rein in my body language and speak in a more polished way. But despite my best efforts, my underlying self emerged and I spoke in the usual way.
I am one of those people who is incapable of tact and deception. But, to my surprise, the meeting was smooth, even happy. I was surprised. Later, I realized they were equally nervous about meeting me. But that they also liked me a lot!
My husband was wrong in his estimate – about both me and them.
My in laws always liked me.
Then, I realised my colleagues always liked me and so did my bosses.
The point I am trying to make is if you unapologetically be yourself people will end up liking you for who you are and you are also more at peace. There is merit is being yourself as this also sets expectations right in the beginning, for yourself as well as for others.
If you wear a mask and project a different self, the act will burden you and cause you unhappiness as well as stress.
Be yourself, the first time and every time. Learn to say ‘no’ when you feel something is not OK.
I read this quote recently and swear by it now:
“Be yourself. Those who matter, won’t mind. And, those who mind, don’t matter”.
About the Author:
Sandhya Reddy is a leadership & transformation coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.
Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, business coaching, personality development, leadership coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals, get that elusive promotion through a blend of knowledge, action and image-building, enhance influence among the leadership team, be more productive, get more out of one’s team, and be known in the company as an indispensable performer and future leader.