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Stop Pleasing, Start Living – Here’s How

It’s time to put your foot down.

Before the pandemic struck, I often used to travel to places like Sri Lanka, where the nature is all-encompassing, the culture is thriving with simplicity, and the locals are endearing. I have travelled to many places alone, from work trips to retreats, and I can say without a doubt that it’s definitely good for the soul. I’d set off on my trip jumping into a taxi headed to the airport, with the ride filled with the usual small talk between me and the driver. Then came the question, “Are you travelling alone?”

I responded in the affirmative, but was immediately aggravated as it seemed like every taxi driver around the world asks the same question, only to find it strange that a woman could possibly travel alone. Then came the next question, “No husband or children?” At that point, I had two choices: I could tell the truth (that I’m not married and I don’t have children, and be judged with further interrogation as to why) or lie for a peaceful journey without being questioned. Whilst this is all done innocently, it’s something I have had to deal with every time I travel. I am sure other solo female travellers have also had the same experience.

I’ve always been happy with my current life status of being unmarried and child-free. And, yet, whenever this happens, I feel not only judged, but alsosomehow incomplete – as if I’m the only one who has opted for this life choice. A small, sinking, hollow feeling arises that I’m different, abnormal even. This is exactly the issue with society. Who says that we all must be married by the age of 30 with two children, a dog, and a house with a white picket fence?

The unconscious bias and judgment can be stifling. Why can’t I just be me? If I feel complete and my life is on track, then that’s what is important for me. We find ourselves living our lives by how society dictates we should, and we get judged if we don’t. Learning to live life on your own terms, let me tell you, takes a lot of courage. Women are known people-pleasers. On coaching calls, I constantly speak to women who are afraid to say ‘no’ out of fear of being disliked or going against the grain. We may fear that our boss won’t respect us or that our friends will disregard us. The worst part of not saying no and pleasing people is that you aren’t being you. You haven’t set boundaries, and you are just saying yes when you really want to say no.

This can cause you to feel frustrated, annoyed, and even resentful, so it’s time to stop pleasing and learn to live life on your own terms – for you, by you, and exactly as you want! Personally, I’ve always been a lone wolf moving against the pack. I’ve always felt different and separate. Despite this, I am always me – authentic. I now work with women to learn to be who they really are. It can be a tough move to live in Dubai, leaving close family and friends, perhaps following your husband’s job and raising the kids. You can lose your identity when you are the wife, mother, carer, and people-pleaser. You may sit and think, “But who am I really? Am I truly living right now? Or am I just pleasing people?”

One book that I highly recommend all women read is Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It talks in detail about this very topic of women being people-pleasers and not living life on their own terms. My favourite quote from the book is, “Being human isn’t difficult because we are doing it wrong, it’s difficult because we are doing right!” Living life on your own terms means getting out of your own way, being vulnerable and courageous, and having a sense of fulfillment from knowing that you are standing in your truth. As the world wakes up to gender equality, it needs more wild and untamed women.

These are my three top tips for you to stop pleasing and start living:

1. Implement Healthy Boundaries

Saying ‘no‘ is a complete sentence. Sure, it can be a little scary at first, but once you start pushing back, you gain more respect and people know that they can’t take advantage of you. Most importantly, you feel back in control and happier that you aren’t people-pleasing.

2. Authenticity Is Key

The world really needs more of you, so never dim your light to please others. There will always be people who don’t like you, and that’s okay. When you are authentically you, you attract the right people and circumstances into your life.

3. Invest in You

You are your best asset. Having a personal development plan is vitally important. You will feel empowered, inspired, and fulfilled if you do.

I always say nothing good comes from comfort zones! If you feel comfortable, perhaps plodding through life, you simply aren’t playing big enough. Decide on what’s holding you back and try to make a change. Is there a side hustle you would like to build? Perhaps a book you would love to write? Just start, no matter how small. Small steps lead to big breakthroughs, and you can learn so much in the process.

Learn more about Emma Burdett and her work empowering women through WILD here.


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Empowering Self: Unveiling Three Essential Strategies to Overcome Self-Doubt

Empowerment Through Confidence

Self-doubt is a common struggle that many people face. It can hold us back from reaching our full potential and achieving our goals. But what exactly is self-doubt, and how can we overcome it? We will explore the concept of self-doubt and unveil three essential strategies to help you overcome it and empower yourself.

Understanding Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. It is the inner voice that tells us we are not good enough, smart enough, or capable enough to achieve our goals. It can manifest in different ways, such as fear of failure, imposter syndrome, or constantly seeking validation from others.

Self-doubt can be triggered by past experiences, societal pressures, or our own inner critic. It can hold us back from taking risks, trying new things, or pursuing our passions. However, it is important to remember that self-doubt is a normal part of the human experience and can be overcome with the right strategies.

The Power of Inner Strength

Inner strength is the ability to trust in oneself and one’s abilities. It is the foundation of self-confidence and resilience. When we have inner strength, we are better equipped to face challenges and overcome self-doubt.

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Our mindset plays a crucial role in how we perceive ourselves and our abilities. A positive mindset involves having a growth mindset, which means believing that our abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning. It also involves reframing negative thoughts into positive ones and focusing on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. Cultivating a positive mindset takes practice, but it can greatly impact how we view ourselves and our potential.

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is often overlooked, but it is essential for building inner strength and maintaining a positive mindset. Self-care involves taking care of our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It can include activities such as exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, or engaging in hobbies. When we prioritise self-care, we are better equipped to handle self-doubt and build our inner strength.


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Strategies to Overcome Self-Doubt

Now that we have a better understanding of self-doubt and its impact, let’s explore three essential strategies to help you overcome self-doubt and empower yourself.

Practice Self-Awareness

Building inner strength takes time and effort, but it is a crucial step in overcoming self-doubt. Here are three strategies to help you cultivate inner strength and empower yourself.

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is a crucial first step in overcoming self-doubt because it allows us to identify when self-doubt is present and how it affects us. To practice self-awareness, try journaling or mindfulness exercises. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and how they contribute to self-doubt. Once you are aware of your self-doubt triggers, you can work on reframing negative thoughts and building your inner strength.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is important for building confidence and overcoming self-doubt. When we set unrealistic goals, we set ourselves up for failure, which can reinforce self-doubt. Instead, set achievable goals that align with your strengths and values. This will help you build momentum and confidence, which can help you overcome self-doubt in the long run.

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

The people we surround ourselves with can greatly impact our self-doubt. If you are constantly surrounded by negative influences, it can be challenging to build inner strength and maintain a positive mindset. Instead, surround yourself with positive influences, such as supportive friends and family, mentors, or positive role models. These individuals can provide encouragement and help you stay motivated on your journey to overcoming self-doubt.

Self-doubt is a common feeling that can hold us back from reaching our full potential. However, with the right strategies, we can overcome self-doubt and empower ourselves to achieve our goals. By cultivating inner strength, maintaining a positive mindset, and practising, we can build the confidence and resilience needed to overcome self-doubt. Remember, self-doubt is a normal part of the human experience, and with determination and perseverance, we can overcome it and reach our full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly can I expect to see results when applying these strategies to overcome self-doubt?

Results in overcoming self-doubt vary, but with consistent application of strategies, individuals often experience positive shifts in mindset and confidence within a few weeks. Patience and commitment are key to cultivating lasting self-empowerment.

Can these strategies be applied to different aspects of life, such as work or personal relationships?

The self-empowerment strategies provided are versatile and can be seamlessly applied to various life aspects, fostering confidence, resilience, and positive transformations in both professional and personal realms.

Are there additional resources or practices that complement these essential strategies for a more comprehensive self-empowerment journey?

Supplement your self-empowerment journey with additional resources like self-help books, workshops, and mindfulness practices. Incorporating holistic approaches enhances the effectiveness of the essential strategies, providing a well-rounded path to sustained self-empowerment.


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