Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Earlier this week I posted a lil meme that seemed to resonate with many of you.
This statement of course, arises from personal experience. Some of the absolute worst mistakes I have made were when I was trying to be for everyone. Punching down in my jokes as a young comedian desperate for laughs and acceptance. Ignoring my needs when I was with a man I wanted to like me. Taking jobs simply because they were offered and I wanted the person offering to what? Like me. “Please like me” was the unconscious mantra of a large portion of my adult life. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Your thoughts create your life.”? Well that thought does not create a very chill life at all.
Being seen, heard, and accepted is a basic human need. But for many of us, especially Creatives, this need can feel overwhelming. All consuming. You need me to drive an hour and a half to Valparaiso, Indiana to improvise for two hours while wearing fishnets and speaking in a Mid-Atlantic accent for $75? WHERE DO I SIGN UP!?!?! Somewhere along the line Creatives got the message that if you don’t do it for pencil shavings, someone else will. And they will get famous for it. Real famous, like Julia Roberts FAMOUS. So ya know, grab your garter belt and don’t dilly dally.
Yet, after we do that five, six, seventy times, what do we find? The Three Ds: Depleted, Demoralized, and Devoid of creativity. Because when we try to be for everyone, we end up abandoning ourselves. So how do we prevent slipping down this shitastic slope? Glad you asked because the Type A part of me made a list!
How To Stop Abandoning Yourself in Four Fairly Challenging Steps!
Recognize: First off, recognize that not everyone is FOR you either. That business owner who says you are so great great great but can you do it for free in exchange for exposure? They are not FOR YOU bb. You know what people who get stuck in the cold die of? EXPOSURE.
Identify: Ask yourself: What am I about? What are my values? What is my mission? Identifying what matters to you can help you sort through the bullshit. When a request comes through the gmail account you can ask yourself: Does this align with me, my values, and my mission?
Transform: Start to tell yourself a different story. At the root of people pleasing behavior is the Negative Core Belief: I am not enough. But here’s the real deal: We are all enough. We are all enough because we are here. Because we exist. Our worth is inherent and untouchable by no one or thing. Start telling yourself that. Write it down in your journal. Post it in your space. Say it out loud in the mirror. Who cares if it feels silly. Life is fucking silly. Enjoy it.
Avoid Resentment: Know that when you try to be for everyone you will do things from a place of resentment. Which Nelson Mandela perfectly stated, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” If you say yes to a job and don’t ask for a contract and then feel ragey about it when it all goes to shit, guess who has to lay their head down at night with that feeling? It won’t be your client bb.
Are there other things you can do? Absolutely. And we’ll be addressing those in the Fall session of Forward, my online coaching group for creatives and freelancers. We start August 11th and meet online every other week for a total of 8 sessions. We also have a lot of fun while we grow. You can learn more and register here. Got questions? Schedule a free 20 minute consultation with me here.
And, if you like this blog post, please be sure to like, share, and subscribe. It’s the compassionate creative thing to do!
*RITA is not a quick fix. She’s a gal that takes time and practice. Try your best and be kind to yourself if you slip down that shittastic slope a few more times. It’s OK. You’re doing your best and that is enough.