I was with one of my long term coaching clients last week. She is a mover and shaker, runs a massive operations department for an important organisation. And she was having an epiphany. She was relaying some amazing things that had happened to her in the past month since we…
Stop doing this one thing and watch what happens
Let’s cut straight to it. I want to ask you to do one thing this week, consciously and intentionally, and watch what happens.
Are you ready for it? This could be quite possibly be the most revolutionary thing you can do for your career.
Here it is:
Stop letting your desire to be liked drive your behaviour. In fact, get over your desire to be liked. Period.
It has various flavours, this ‘being liked’ phenomenon. It’s a plague that shows up in so many ways, in so many women (men don’t generally seem to have this issue, go figure).
At first you might dismiss this thought as not applying to you. But just take a minute here.
Get real with yourself and think about how often your actions are preceded with a thought about being liked, and how your behaviour changes in response.
Think about these scenarios:
Pleasing people. Seeking approval. Hedging what you say in meetings. Making a statement like you’re asking a question. Seeking out peoples feedback in advance so you don’t cause conflict. Making sure you don’t disagree with your boss (like, not ever). Being the peace keeper in the board meeting. Saying all the right things in the presentation. Doing favours. Getting the coffee. Saying yes to everything. The list goes on, and on, and on.
The impacts of needing and wanting to be liked can be subtle. But they are also profound.
The simple truth is that you cannot show up, speak up and rise up in ways that serve you, if you are consciously or unconsciously needing to be liked. It’s just not possible.
So what would it be like for you this week, to just show up as you. Your thoughts. Your opinions. Taking the actions you want to take. Letting your voice be heard. Being real and authentic. Taking the pressure off yourself to have to be or think or say or do anything other than what is real and true.
A revolutionary concept? Bold and badass? Freaking scary?
Maybe. Probably even. But feel the relief in that thought, that who you are, just as you are, is enough. That you don’t have to try and make people like you. That it’s perfectly ok, fine and reasonable (and perhaps even necessary) to piss people off occasionally. That work is not a popularity contest unless you make it one, and you can finally choose not to buy into that bullshit. That you give yourself permission to just show up and get on with your work in the world, and let that work and who you really are, speak for itself.
So here is your permission slip. This week, you don’t have to make anyone like you. You don’t have to please anyone other than yourself. You can just be bold, be brave and be you.
Quieten down the stories in your head that say you can’t and that the world will end if you stop pleasing people. It’s just for one week. You won’t die. And you might just find little windows of liberation that could change, well, everything.
Breathe into that. Feel the freedom. Your only job this week is to be you in all your authentic, opinionated, sassy glory.
Just for one week. Go be you. And watch what happens.
Until next time
You’ve got this
P.S Know a friend who needs this message right now? Be a sister and share it. And if you need more strategies to create the career that you can truly show up in authentically, then make sure you come over and check out The Career Toolkit, the only program you need to create the career you truly love.