Slip into trying to keep other people happy

And now, I will set myself on fire just to keep you warm

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Tyson said it best.

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Which is a holy mantra for the boxing world, but also helpful metaphor for the real world.

Because there are always invisible forces working against us. Peer pressure, power structures, tribal gravity, social influence, family guilt, group dynamics, to name a few.

And despite our most honorable efforts to stand by our values, the reality is, people may see our boundaries as a challenge and an invitation to push our buttons.

For example, I’ve been sober my entire life. Not for medical or moral reasons, I just never found intoxication to be all that interesting. And no judgments for people who partake, either. Knock yourself out.

What’s amazing is, the moment certain people learn about my history of abstinence, it suddenly becomes their personal life mission to get me wasted. They will not rest until the dysfunction of my sobriety is alleviated.

Which aggravated me when I was young, but now, I just think it’s adorable. How sweet of them to want to make me their little project.

But something I’ve learned from a lifetime of sobriety is, I don’t have to do something just because somebody expects it of me. People’s expectations are their problem.

Of course, that can be a difficult stance to take. Especially on special occasions when we allow ourselves to be guilted into repeated pleas to make exceptions.

Instead of holding our ground, we set ourselves on fire to keep everyone warm.

Instead of paying ourselves first, we mindlessly collapse our agendas and priorities and values in the name of make others happy.

Instead of taking a pass on that fourth slice of pie, we announce to ourselves, oh my god, right here, right now, it has suddenly occurred to me that I only live once. Where’s the whipped cream?

Each of these responses checks the people pleasing box in our brains, but they also shatter our integrity at the same time.

The secret, then, is to anticipate failure in advance. To visualize these boundary violating moments when we’re in a calm, cool state. And that way, we can execute when the pressure is on and the punches comes flying.

When are you most likely to slip into trying to keep other people happy and forego your own needs?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of

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