“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