I read this question from another coach. It really made me pause to think. Do I have my own back?
The answer used to be “No”. Whenever something went wrong or someone was unhappy, I would be the first to take the blame. I would get down on myself and think, “Oh no! I should have done better”, even if it wasn’t my fault.
“You’re not happy about the way that person talked to you? I should have stepped in and stopped them from talking that way.” or “You don’t like the way that project turned out? I should have made sure the person working on it did it the right way.”
Why was I taking responsibility for everyone else and everyone else’s feelings? That is not my responsibility. I should be taking care of myself and my feelings. I need to protect my own energy.
I was such a people pleaser because I was clinging to the love and approval of others. It came from trauma as a child. I thought if I did everything right, I would make sure people loved me and wanted to be around. Of course, that never works out. Divorce and family issues have taught me that you will never be able to do everything right enough. There will always be someone unhappy. Clinging and people pleasing only make it worse.
Sometimes I did mess up. Sometimes I should have stepped in. But I’m human and what I really need to pay attention to is, “Did I do my best? Do I care about the outcome?” If no, then fess up. If yes, then have my own back. I shouldn’t let others run over me and make me feel less than. I deserve my own support above anyone else.
I had a really awful counselor for a brief time, but he really did give me one good piece of advice. He said that other people’s feelings and their relationship with each other is not my business. Harsh, right? But, what he meant was, I can’t control how anyone else will feel. I can’t control how everyone else gets along. What I can control is me. Am I doing my best? Do I care? If no, then fess up and apologize. If yes, then have my own back. Stand up for myself and what I know is right. Love others in a kind and caring way. Protect my boundaries. If that is not enough for them, then they have the right to walk away.
Have your own back, even when you mess up.