Do you have trouble saying “No”? Do you tend to give in to your friends’, kids’, boss’s, and even coworkers’ requests? Do you constantly do whatever anyone asks of you without any thought for yourself?
Are you too nice?
What we’re here to discuss today is how to learn to consider what you want out of life. Most of us “nice” people tend to give in to others no matter what—we succumb to our kids’ wishes because we love them; we succumb to our friends wishes because “that’s what friends are for”; we succumb to our boss’s wishes because you want to be a “team player.”
For people who can’t handle anyone being upset with them, there is only one MVP question that needs to be asked: What do I want?
Now, I call this the MVP question because it’s one that has to be asked repeatedly and often—you can’t just ask it once and expect to have all the answers, forever.
The problem is that nice people tend to be so disconnected from their own desires that their concept of what they want is completely external. We constantly ask others what they think or what they need from us or what they would do in a given situation, and we pilfer that motivation as our own. It’s a nasty pattern of behavior that totally dominates our mindset.
Hence, for nice people, this question (What do I want?) must be asked from moment to moment until we first learn what it is we really want and then set a new, healthier, pattern of thought.
“But how can I just ignore what other people need from me?!”
Fact: acknowledging your own desires does not make you a bad person.
I’m not telling you to completely forget about other people—I’m simply suggesting that you consider yourself before capitulating reflexively to every random request. Even if you don’t end up following your own desires, the important part is to just ask the question.
What do I want?
- The boss says he wants me to work late . . . ok, what do I want?
- The kids need me to drive them somewhere to meet friends . . . ok, what do I want?
- My friend needs me to help her move on a Sunday . . . ok, what do I want?
Let’s say that there is a weekend when you need an hour or two to relax by yourself after a long week: maybe you let your friend know that you can help out for an hour or two, but then you need to leave to get things done; maybe you let the kids know that you can drop them off, but they’ll have to arrange a ride home with a friend.
There is always a solution if you’re willing to do a little problem solving.
But what about work?! Of course, it would be absurd not to do everything the boss wants, right?
This comes up in my Mastermind groups all the time. We do amazing work and make giant strides in our ability to say “No,” but then we come to the big obstacle: saying “No” at work.
Eventually, though, with the support of the group and me, our Mastermind members always give it a try . . . and guess what happens when they do? To begin with, they don’t get fired—rather, they begin to enjoy a completely new dynamic with their bosses and coworkers. Everyone at work begins to treat them with respect; their peers begin asking for things instead of demanding them; their ability to problem solve gets them noticed and helps others to see them as leaders.
It may not be obvious to you right now, but this is a powerful shift in your behavior that will make people take notice.
Not only will it make your life far more enjoyable, it will also show others that you have the ability to make decisions for yourself, rather than seeking guidance from what others want.
This is the kind of growth that takes courage and hard work, so if you feel as though you’d like more guidance and support than you’re getting through this online format, please check out my program Confidence University. This program is the culmination of over fifteen years of studying, working with others, and helping people all over the world to radically transform their confidence in every area of their lives. Each concept has been distilled down to its most effective step-by-step process so that you can reap the benefits as quickly as possible. For more information, or to dive right in, just visit ConfidenceUniversity.com today!
In the meantime though, I urge you to join in the conversation by sharing your thoughts, questions, and experiences below. What do you want in life? How have you been denying yourself, and how can you begin to better serve your own needs moving forward? I love to hear from you, and I know we all learn more when we learn from each other.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.