“You never have to convince anyone of anything, ever” ~ Deepak Chopra
Before you read any further, I want you to take one minute to close your eyes and reflect on how common is it for you to try to convince others, whether it be that you are doing the right thing or that someone else is doing the wrong thing. How often do you make a decision and need to make sure that as many people as possible are in agreement with you? How much energy do you find yourself expending all in the name of convincing or pleading your case?
You know how it goes. You talk to your friends, co-workers, family members, etc. going on and on how you came to the decision that you did and with the statements like, “I mean, I am totally right”; “This was absolutely the right choice, don’t you think?”
The convincing can also appear as the flip side of the equation, such as “Can you believe he/she didn’t agree with me”; “Can you believe the other person would do that?”
Now that you have taken a moment to assess the time and energy you spend convincing others, the next question is, WHY do you feel compelled to convince others that the choices you are making for yourself are right?
Oftentimes this need to convince others you are doing the right thing comes from fear of rejection or being seen as incapable or unable to make your own decisions and stand your ground. All of these fears fall under the umbrella of the FEAR OF FAILURE.
All of us have a fear of failure to one degree or another. The meaning you assign to the perceived failure dictates how you experience it. If you are afraid of still being perceived as the spoiled child who never had to make a decision for herself, you might parlay that into being a grown woman and needing to continually convince people of your decisions and “winning” their approval. This seems to come from the need to be seen as independent, but actually stems from insecurity. Knowing the root of the need to convince provides you the space to re-frame.
Fear of failure has one thing in common with all of our other fears: it is a feeling and not a fact. This is a powerful realization. You can change your mind and feelings about failure. You can re-frame your fear of failure experience from terrifying to normal by seeing it as an unavoidable stop on the road of life, if you are actually going to go anywhere.
I want you to try a meditation this week reflecting on the opening quote from Deepak Chopra. As you begin your meditation, ask yourself: how do I feel, what do I need, and what do I want. As you answer those questions, acknowledge that whatever the answers are, they are totally valid with no need to justify or defend them, even if other people in your life disagree with your choices. Close the meditation by saying, “what I need and want is totally valid” and repeat this mantra throughout the day (write it down and put it somewhere where you often look, like your computer monitor or bathroom mirror, if that helps).
When you are living your life’s purpose (dharma), you have nothing to prove because you know you are doing the right thing, for you. This is living in your truth and not judging what anyone else’s truth is. You are mindful, use precise language, know there’s enough for everyone, and show characteristics of being clear, vital, strong, and balanced.
Your truth will change and evolve as you do. When I stopped trying to convince others in my life, I gained space to fully marinate on what was authentically resonating me. I learned the value of truly agreeing to disagree and the importance of drawing clear boundaries when being offered un-asked for advice or criticism. (Sorry Mom, but soooo NOT helpful!)
I am interested to hear if you are a defender of your decisions and what next right action you are willing to take to quietly stand in your truth. How can you channel that energy into something more positive that will align you with living your truth, happily and with confidence? Maybe you have already stepped into your truth with confidence and do not need to convince. How did you arrive there? Share your experiences for others in our Live Fearless and Free community to benefit.
I hope you have an amazing week, and, as always, take care of you.
Love love love
This article just spoke to me so much that I lowkey don’t even feel like explaining my feeling. #respect. #thankyou
Wow , timing for me to find this particular page !! I spend such a huge part of my life convincing others and worrying about what others think of me. I never quite realize the truth of why. I am so tired and frustrated by the end of every day, and sometimes I just hide from the world. With reading this article and becoming clear to me, I am going to try to turn it around as I need some rest from others opinions. I just need to ponder and meditate on it , to figure out how I can deal with the situations as they arise….
Thank you for this aha moment !!
That is so AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your moment right here with us. Rest, relax and release your attachment to your desire to get approval from others. Only you need to approve of you and your choices since you are the only one who has to live it! YAY YOU!
love love love
I’m a fan, GOOD WORK!
I’ve been getting better at this the more I am aware that I do it. I had realised that not only was I often trying to explain or justify my decisions, but also would ‘state’ my decision in a tone of doubt, sometimes even lifting my voice at the end of the sentence like it was a question not a fact.
A quote that Gabby Bernstein often uses that I adore is ‘in my defenselessness my safety lies’. I was always trying to defend myself and that just created more doubt. So now I don’t even bother.
As an example, I’ve just started a new part time job and after a couple of days decided that I’d like to change from morning to afternoon shifts. The ‘old’ me would have given countless reasons to my employer for ‘why’ i should be granted this change in order to ‘convince’ them. Instead, I literally just asked ‘can i change to afternoons?’ and got a yes. No questions asked, clean and clear communication. Felt easy, not caught up in my head, no projections.
The best thing has been being free of all the thoughts/reasons/doubts! Thank you Terri for bringing this important point up xx
i am always so happy to read your insightful and helpful comments here. thank you so much for sharing your healing journey with us <3
I am new to your group and very grateful for your insight and guidance. I feel powerfully connected to the message and believe in the fact that stumbling upon your site was no accident. Do you have any advice to give on how to raise powerfully fearless kids while working out your own path to truth and freedom? I have two beautiful daughters that are age 2 & 4 who have unfortunately been exposed to the ups and downs of two parents locking horns over the last five years – basically their entire lives. I always thought I was fighting for them but literally today realized that I’m not teaching them anything by wasting my energy on the fighting when I should be using it towards freeing myself and letting go. I am afraid of the damage it has caused as far as their individual development, I worry that the neurological damage is already done. I want to help them as I help myself and it’s very interesting to me to practice new methods like affirmations that can fire up new pathways in the brain. I so strongly desire to show them the loving ways to deal w conflicts and upsets and guide them towards realizing their own truths. I’m taking notes…give me all you’ve got – I’m ready to work!!!
Behave the way you want your daughters to behave. As you learn healthy conflict resolution so will yo teach them. They are young and children are flexible and resilient. Find a good therapist who can support your new path. i am here cheering you on! There is also tons of good literature out there on how to raise emotionally healthy kids. check this link http://www.emotionallyhealthychildren.org/
This was speaking right to me today! Thank you, thank you!
So happy this post came at the right and perfect time for you!
I love this tip! The right lessons always come at the right time, don’t they? I was just thinking and journaling about this.
I recently had surgery and my mother and I don’t get along, mostly because of her alcoholic behavior. I realized with the help of a mentor that inviting her into my healing space in my tiny studio apartment would not be conducive to my recovery, and I decided it would be best to limit her time with me to just dropping me off from the hospital. This is something that many people have had a hard time with, saying things like “but she’s your mother!” – including the nurse in the recovery room! I really had to surrender to not convincing them, since it was a waste of valuable energy that I need for myself in this healing time. I know that I am doing what I need to do to take good care of myself. Yet I still see that urge pop up and just yesterday I caught myself doing it again.
Another situation I was writing about was how to tell the different between getting your feelings out about something and trying to get approval. For example, I recently went through a “friend breakup” and my former friend said some really hurtful things to me that made me feel upset, angry, and hurt. I needed to get those feelings out by talking to people about what had happened. But how much is too much? When does it turn into seeking approval somehow by appearing to be the “right” person in the situation? I don’t feel a need to badmouth her, but I need to get out my frustration so I can move into forgiving her and moving forward.
sounds like you are on the right path to self love and approval. choose a close pal and share your feelings about what happened with the x-friend. write a letter to that person totally unedited and then burn it someplace safe to help release it from your experience. keep up the good work it will pay off xo
I do this all the time… I always need aproval. it’s ridiculous but I have failed a lot and people in my family always remind me of that failure.. this tip resegnated with me… are you teaching at omega insttitute this summer? I love that place…
glad the tip resonated-time to take care of you. too slammed to do omega this summer but thinking i might next summer. i love that place too-will keep you posted right here on the site. thanks for being with us <3
I used to be a silver lining kind of girl. I was happy and didn’t seek approval of others. Now it seems I’m rarely happy and constantly seeking approval. I’m not sure when all this changed but I need to find my happy self again and not live in that fear of failure shadow. I think it might be time for counciling. Thanks for all your positives.
Good for you! A good therapist can help you get your happiness back and you deserve happiness <3