If I was a literary figure my tragic flaw would be that I give up too easily. Hopefully without sounding too full of myself I have to tell you that for most of my life I’ve had enough things come easily to me that I haven’t had to work hard for much (I know… I know… I know how it sounds. Really, I do). And as a result, I don’t have much grit.
Grit is that thing that keeps us going. It’s perseverance and stick-to-it-iv-ness. It’s essential to success and conversely related to intelligence (chew on that, eh?). I’m working on becoming more gritty. My six year old son is a model of grit development and I’m following his lead on this one. But, before I go and get so gritty that I can’t even remember not being this I want to impart some of my giving up expertise. So I’m debuting a series of posts, right here, right now about giving up. T
First thing you can go right ahead and give up: People Pleasing.
Earlier this week I did a presentation at a conference. It was a new workshop that I had created specifically for the occasion and I was curious to hear what people thought. So curious, that I dismissed all offers to help clean up and once the last participant was gone gathered up all of the evaluations and hunkered down to read them. Most were good, several were great and then there was one that said I was being preachy, they felt talked “at” instead of “with,” and that my voice lacked passion. OUCH. It stuck with me and may have for the whole night if lower on that pile of evaluations hadn’t been one that said “too much group discussion/activity, more lecture. we came to hear from the expert.”
What could I do but laugh?
It hurts when people don’t like something we’ve done. We tend to jump right into them not liking “us” and that’s where the hurt really starts to grip us. For some reason, their opinion can feel like it’s strong enough to knock us off the foundation of our own self worth. But only if we let it.
If we are intent on the goal of people pleasing then yes, it will be like a wrecking ball plowing into a paper doll balancing on a needle… but let go of the need to please anyone but yourself, and you’re you–your human form–standing on a mountaintop and the opinions of others are like soft breezes brushing by. Do you feel them? Yes. Might one blow some dust in your eye every once in a while? Yes. Do you get blown off that mountain into a valley of doubt and shame? No. You stay where you are, strong footed in the stance of your worth.
Go ahead and give up on people pleasing. And stay tuned for more things to give up on!