We’re always looking for things to start doing–something that’ll help us make more progress in our lives: “I’m gonna start eating more healthy”, “I’m gonna start reading more books”, or “I’m gonna start going back to the gym.”

As much as the “starts” are important, so are the “stops”.

Often times, we make excuses for all the goals we fail to accomplish. So what do we have to stop doing to help ourselves succeed more?

Below is a list of three things I’m “stopping”.

1. Stop trying to please everyone.

Imagine living a life where you constantly are second-guessing what you’re saying and doing and are perpetually stressed about someone’s disapproval of you.

Growing up, I was basically the walking definition of ‘people-pleaser’ and I had zero idea. I’d be the “peace maker” of my friend groups. I was just being kind and sweet, right? Uh, no Sylvia, you were just probably desperate to be liked.

10 Signs You're a Chronic People Pleaser—and How to Stop - Jo ...

The desire to please is a disease.

If you want to please everyone, you end up pleasing NO ONE.

Trying to please everyone is tied into the fear of failure and fear of rejection.

Confident, secure people don’t need to seek external validation to nourish their sense of self. They will do something for others because they truly want to and not just for the sake of being liked by others. They also don’t fear rejection if they happen to disagree with someone.

How many times have you been afraid to give someone constructive feedback because “aw, I don’t want that person to hate me or not like me”?

It took me so long to realize that by being a people pleaser, I was being passive vs. assertive or aggressive. I avoided stating my opinions because I didn’t want to hurt others. My self-worth was so dependent on what others would think of me.

My Leadership & Team building class these past 13 weeks made me see that my authentic self belongs to the assertive category. It took time for me to realize that by being assertive, I was not being rude.

The only person I’m pleasing right now is myself.

I’m being the real me, standing up for myself (and for others when I deem something’s wrong and they can’t stand up for themselves), saying no where I need, and state my opinions, while still being respectful of others.

Not everyone will like or love the real me, and that’s more than okay.

When you stop seeking the approval of others, you’ll realize that you never needed it in the first place.


2. Stop self-doubting.

“You would be great if you had a podcast, Sylvia.”

Some friends told me that a while ago and as happy as that made me, I instantly thought “nah, what? A podcast? There’s SO MANY great podcasts out there. Me create a podcast? Do I know enough to create one? Who would listen??”

If Self-Discipline Feels Difficult, Then You're Doing It Wrong ...

That’s the ugly self-doubt monster speaking. Self-doubt creeps up to us super easily.

We fall into the comparison trap and feel inferior to others because we compare someone else’s highlight reel to ourselves and end up feeling less than.

No one started any game at level 10. No one started a book on chapter five. No one started swimming 30 feet into an ocean. We all started as a beginner.

You're so busy doubting yourself while other people are ...

It’s a mindset shift I’ll be making here. Instead of doubting whether we are good enough for something, why don’t we doubt our doubt?

What if you were ready for that bigger job? What if you had everything it takes to be an entrepreneur and build that business? What if you were more than capable and worthy to pursue that goal?

To help with self-doubt, I’m being even more picky about who I spend my time with. I’m surrounding myself with those who lift me up, inspire me, and challenge me.

If you’re spending time with people who belittle you to make themselves feel better, you’ll lose your self-confidence and allow yourself to end up becoming like them.

Everyone interaction you have affects your mood and how you view yourself, so better to have a circle of those who trust you, believe in you, and push you to become better.

3. Stop complaining.

A complaint is when you talk negatively about something or someone without proposing a fix for the problem.

Bad complaint: “Dang, I went to the supermarket to grab some groceries and ended up standing in line for 45 minutes behind this rude lady, so annoying and what a waste of time!!”

Effective complaint: “Dang, I went to the supermarket to grab some groceries and ended up standing in line for 45 minutes behind this rude lady. From now on, I’ll go to the supermarket in the mornings before 10am to avoid the crowd.”

Keep Calm and Stop Complaining. - Austin Startups

Complaining is a sign that something needs to change.

I realize that I complain when I feel trapped in not being able to solve a problem.

I’ve realized how keeping practicing gratitude and keeping a gratitude journal helps a ton.

Other ways I’m going to shake my thoughts up is to:

  • use the “but-positive” technique. If I complain about my commute to work, I might instead say, “my commute sucks, but I’m grateful that I have a full-time and fulfilling job.”
  • replace “have to” with “get to”: “I get to create a PowerPoint deck.”

No one likes to be labeled as a complainer.

No one likes an unfiltered complainer that blames everyone else and ruminates on negative experiences.

Don't Whine and Complain | Orlando Espinosa

What are some things you’re stopping or trying to stop doing? How will you do that/hold yourself accountable?

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justviasyl
Aspiring to be a woman comfortable and happy mentally, physically and professionally, JustviaSyl highlights Sylvia's personal and professional development journey through tips, thoughts, and stories in hopes of bringing more positive energy into the world and encouraging us to keep learning, laughing, growing, relaxing and reflecting to become the best versions of ourselves and live a life we're remarkably proud of. To get in touch or work together, send a note to justviasyl@gmail.com

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Andrew Warnock
Andrew Warnock
5 months ago

Woah you really got me thinking what do I need to change, and when better to start then now with all this free time. Definitely going to think on this and you can test me later on what I want to stop doing, but all in all a good read keep it up Sylvia.

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 months ago

This is amazing. And your right!!! I’m my biggest critic and I pleased everyone else. This got me thinking of stopping all this and concentrate more on myself.

Samantha
Samantha
5 months ago

This was incredible! Truly an eye opened for those that need it. And a subtle reminder to make some changes whether mentally or even physically to be a better version of you!

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