Give up the people pleasing and learn how to be more fearless to access your best life.
By: Fahad Alden, Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Well-being Leader
You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘Nice guys finish last.’
Now, there’s nothing wrong with being kind and empathetic in the right situations, but if you’ve ever been taken advantage of as a result of your niceness, you’ll know that niceness can quickly become people-pleasing.
And do you know what long-term people-pleasing can do? It can get in the way of achieving the career, the relationship, the lifestyle, and the future that you want.
Let me ask you, how do you typically react when a friend or partner betrays you? Let’s say they flake on plans or make hurtful comments about your appearance,. What do you do when this happens? If you’re a people-pleaser, you might often feel the urge to be a bigger person and resort to silence instead of openly addressing the issue.
In this case, because you failed to act fearlessly, you didn’t improve your life. And you’re not alone in this behavior – 63% of American men say they go to great lengths to avoid conflict. But with 50% of people believing they’ve been overlooked for a promotion as a result of being ‘too nice,’ it’s not always the best thing.
So, what’s the solution?
The good news is that there are ways you can become more assertive and fearless and unlock the life you’ve always dreamt of. There’s no easy fix, though. You’ll have to adjust your behavior daily to unlock your true potential.
Let’s dive into how.
Use Assertive Body Language
Only 7% of communication is verbal.
That means your body language and tone of voice dictate the rest of how you communicate with others. After all, they do say actions speak louder than words for a reason.
If your body language suggests you’re timid, anxious, or weak, you can kiss goodbye to that dream promotion or a date with the girl you like. Strong body language suggests inner strength, and that’s exactly what you want to present.
Your stance in the first place to start.
For a dominant stance, hold your back straight and your head up high, with your shoulders and hips facing forward and your chest uncovered. Your arms should hang comfortably by your sides – having your hands clasped in front of you is a defensive posture.
Talking with your hands is a great way to show openness and confidence and build rapport with others. Keep your palms open while you speak and move them around to emphasize important parts of speech.
Getting the right handshake is another must. A strong dominant handshake is offered with the palm turned downward, so the other party has to turn theirs upward to meet it. The handshake should be firm (without being forceful) and give enough personal space so that the move doesn’t come across as too aggressive.
Have a Fearless Mindset
You’ll never come across as authentically fearless if you don’t feel it inside. You have to believe that you’re worth the treatment you deserve. Tell yourself that you deserve the job, the car, the partner, the family, and the career that you want.
The more you believe it, the more others will start to.
Learn When to Say ‘No’
Not wanting to let others down is understandable. But when you fail to say ‘no’ to anything for fear of conflict, you may start to become a pushover – and others will take advantage of that.
Remember, if you’re being asked to do something that would require you to give up too much of yourself, your time, or your money, set a boundary and say no. You’ll gain people’s respect, and you won’t be walked all over anymore.
Question The System
When we accept things for the way we are without pushback, we’re never working to our own agenda – only other people’s. If somebody around you is in a position of authority, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they always know the best way to do things.
The coolest guys out there are prepared to stand up for what they believe in, even if it goes against the status quo.
In the workplace, for example, don’t always assume that because something has been done for a while means it is the right way of handling situations. If you have ideas that you think are better, voice them while being respectful to your colleagues and manager. Standing up for your ideas will get you noticed by all the right people.
Forget Being Likable
Being likable doesn’t have to involve giving others everything they want at your expense. Instead, work on becoming an attractive, confident person who others want to be around for your company, not because they want somebody to take advantage of. If you or people around you are just fake nice, that can oftentimes be manipulation. Right from the start, it hurts the value of genuine compliments or simple chats. You need to be able to push one another and create strong, valuable bonds. Because if one friend loses, everyone loses, but if one friend wins, everyone wins!
On the other hand, if someone’s being rude to you, focus on channeling calm assertive energy. This means be nice but with a firm and reassuring tone. Use phrases like “What is the main issue?” Or “Do we have a problem?”. Address the situation, and don’t let it pile on. At least you will stay true to your own being. Better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you are not.
Ask for Things
Do you know why that guy in your office recently had a pay rise, and you didn’t?
Because he asked for it.
Half the time, we miss out on opportunities just because we fail to ask for what we want.
You know that cool businessman you follow on Instagram and wish you could be just like? Why not drop him a message and ask if you can work as his intern or interview him for your podcast?
That girl you think is cute on your commute to work – why not ask her if she wants to grab a coffee?
The fearless version of you recognizes that the worst that can happen is that people say no. And in the grand scheme of things, that’s really not so scary.
A Fearless Approach – The Key to Unlocking Your Best Life
The truth is, all those things you’ve ever dreamed of are within your reach, and they don’t require you to change who you are to get them. All you need to change is your mindset.
By becoming a more fearless and assertive person, you can keep all your interests and the personality traits that make you, you, but let go of the things that are holding you back.
The time to start is now.
Interested in finding out more about the path to your dream life? Read more of my blogs or come meet with me to discover how!