I went from being a people-pleaser to embracing who I am regardless of what others think. I know I've been described as 'difficult', but that's okay if it means I'm being true to myself.

 

I encourage you to find the courage to be bitched about.

It will change your life.

 

What do I mean by this?

I'm talking about acting in a way that's true to who you are and because it might not fit in with what other people want it could lead to others thinking badly of you and potentially even talking about you to others.

 

Remember this:

You CAN always say no.

You CAN always change your mind.

You CAN always go back on your word.

 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve committed to or who you’re going to ‘let down’ or hurt, you can always change your mind. That’s your prerogative.

 

The Cost

What’s important to understand is that everything in life has a cost. Everything.

For example, let’s say you had a choice of going on two incredible holidays. One is a week on safari in Africa and one is a trip to New York with your girlfriends. Unfortunately, they’re at the same time so you’ll have to make a decision about which you want more. You’ll therefore miss out on one of the experiences - there is always a cost.

Every time you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. 

If you take this idea out into the world you can apply it to everything. 

 

People Pleasing

This means that every bit of energy that you spend pleasing others, doing what’s expected etc, is energy taken away from you and your happiness. 

This extra time could be spent reading, painting, singing, dancing, doing yoga, having a massage, cooking, or even training in a new career!

 

Low Self-Worth

Fundamentally, people-pleasing is a low self-esteem issue. If you put others wants, needs or expectations above your own you’re valuing their wellbeing over yours.

When my clients are people-pleasing I’ll gently ask: Why is that person’s wellbeing more important than yours?

And of course, the answer they always come to is that it isn’t. 

 

Then they'll usually offer some BUTS...

  • I don’t want to let anyone down.

  • I don’t want people to think badly of me.

  • I said I’d do it and I don’t want to go back on my word.

  • Everyone’s expecting me to do this what will they think?

 

And my answer to all of those is: WHO CARES?

The power in this truth is intangible.

 

What's going to happen if someone thinks badly of you?

Nothing.

Someone will think badly of you.

That's it.

End of story.

 

Caring Less

One of the most simple and transformational attitudes one can cultivate in life is just giving less of a fu*k about what others think.

Find the courage to be unlikable. 

I encourage you to find the courage to be bitched about.

You’ll never look back.

 

Perspective

Let’s use the example of doing work you no longer want to, but maybe you’ve made a verbal commitment to someone:

In a kind and respectful way and say something like...

“I’ve had some time to carefully reflect on this situation and I’ve realised that it’s no longer working for me anymore. I know I made a commitment to helping you but it’s impacting on my wellbeing and I can’t compromise on that so after reassessing I can't do this work anymore. Thank you for the opportunity, I really appreciate it."

Any human being with self-awareness and empathy will understand. If they don't understand then perhaps they're not someone you want to have in your life anyway?

 

You ARE worth it.

You’re worth saying no.

You’re worth changing your mind.

You’re worth putting yourself first.

You’re worth prioritising your wellbeing.

 

Entitlement

And let’s take this one step further - you’re ENTITLED to say no, and/or change your mind!

Society doesn’t like women feeling entitled to anything, internalised patriarchy may even contribute to this feeling weird for you.

Don’t let it. You’re entitled to make choices based on whatever the hell you want, with no apologies.

 

Integrity

I consider myself a woman of great integrity - in fact, it’s one of my core values. I walk the talk and I honour my commitments - both to myself and others, whenever I can. 

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t let people down, I have. I've agreed to things I shouldn't have and have had to go back on my word.

That's part of life. Life is fluid, it's constantly changing so what's right for us one day, might not be right for us the next.

It rarely happens nowadays because I know myself so intimately that I know when something is right for me, and when it isn’t.

If it does happen again I'll be okay with correcting the situation and asserting myself because I'm ok about potentially being bitched about, it's liberating AF.

 

Roundup

Every time you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else, so you want to be super sure that what you're saying yes to makes you happy. If it doesn't, say no, with no apologies, and know that you're on the right path - it's YOUR path. 

 

Do you want to look back on your life and realise that you lived it for other people?

 

To find out how to increase your self-esteem quickly, click here, or to find out more about Life Coaching click here.

About me

Hannah Anstee portrait

Hannah Anstee is a former British Wellness Journalist turned Women’s Midlife & Wellbeing Coach.

You may know her from her work as Beauty Editor at YOGA Magazine or her contributions to The Independent or Psychologies Magazine.

Hannah uses a kind and candid approach to help women rewrite their stories.