I’ve always been a people-pleaser. I can’t say no, I always offer to help, I go out of my way to make people happy. This is especially true in the workplace.
I think I’ve always had this need to prove myself. (Is this the middle-child syndrome talking?) My idea of self-worth is by validation if I’m loved, if I’m liked, if I receive affirmation from others, if I’m accepted.
Is it surprising that my love language is Words of Affirmation?
People say action speaks louder than words. To me, words are equally important.
(People say, words are cheap – they don’t mean anything if they are not backed by action. Well, then I’d say, if words are so cheap, why can’t you just do it then?)
When I make mistakes, I go “That’s so embarrassing, what would people think? Log Kya Kahenge?!” (Watch Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King standup and you’ll get it.)
Why do we care so much about what others think?
But sadly, it has been true for me. I recount many scenarios in my head when I would question if people may find what I say silly, or go DUH?
I put certain people on pedestals – I assume they know what I know. In reality, most of the times they don’t.
Lately I’ve had this epiphany, though.
Here’s what I want you to know:
You are important. You matter.
You’ll never know what other people know or don’t know.
You most likely, always exaggerate and overthink your own problems.
Everyone else is fighting their own battles.
They don’t care about you as much as you think they do. (Sounds sad, but isn’t it liberating?)
Being nice and kind is not a disadvantage.
Setting boundaries for what you believe in is totally ok.
People are generally nice. Nobody is going to be mean, or think negatively about you or what you say.
A lot of times people are just as clueless as you are.
Those who are prepared for meetings, presentations, discussions – would appear more confident. So really, just be more prepared in everything you do.
So, what I’m trying to say is,
Don’t be afraid to speak up. To say what’s on your mind. To let people know your standards. To show emotions towards the people you work with, because you care.
Importantly, to remember that there’s no one else that knows exactly what you know. And for that alone, you are valued. You are unique and important.
And I think most people know this, but doubts creep in because of these stupid worries of ‘what would people think” nonsense.
But I truly believe it now, wholeheartedly.
Don’t put your value in other people’s hands. Happiness is an inside job – if you believe in your own strengths, then that’s what matters.
Take criticism with a pinch of salt. Use it to grow and learn – but at the same time, if it’s something that goes against what you believe in, then that’s just one person’s opinion.
I’ll end this post with a beautiful quote:
I’d gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat.