People-pleasing is one of the oldest tactics in the book. It’s ingrained into most people, especially women, because society tells us that being nice is how to move forward. They suck up to our bosses, partners, and co-workers, hoping that they’ll view us favorably and pay us back for our kindness.
To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being kind to others. In fact, I’d love to live in a world where everyone treated each other with respect. That’s just basic human decency.
However, being a people-pleaser has its downsides. Many people-pleasers are too afraid to say “no” to things even when they should. They often feel responsible for other people’s feelings, apologize too much, and don’t want to rock the boat.
What if there was a middle ground? What if you could still be on people’s good side without sacrificing your voice, integrity, or priorities?
Just ask someone like Ingrid Arna, an entrepreneur with a million-dollar online business. She made her first million after only 18 months without the help of any additional capital. Now, she’s teaching other women to do the same.
She was a people-pleaser once. Now she’s an empowered business woman running an internet empire.
“In a global culture of uncertainty and crisis, women are finding opportunity, and I want to show you exactly what steps you need to take to get your generous piece of the pie without falling back into old patterns of self-sacrifice,” said Arna.
I sat down with Arna to ask how she ditched people-pleasing to become the wildly successful entrepreneur she is today. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Get out of “good girl” mode.
“The #1 responsibility we have as divine feminine leaders is to create a space where more women rise to lead,” said Arna. “As long as we’re stuck in ‘good girl’ mode though, we’ll be too busy proving ourselves to lead.”
As a budding entrepreneur, Arna was very much a people-pleaser in her early years. She took calls from clients while lying in a hospital bed shortly after giving birth. Making her clients happy was her top priority, even if it meant sacrificing her time, freedom, and sanity.
“The end of the struggle and overgiving came when I did something radical: I took a stand for myself, my family, and my life,” she said.
She reprioritized her business and didn’t allow it to take over her personal life anymore. Client calls could wait until the next day. She needed to spend time with her family and newborn baby, not her business, which would still be the same tomorrow.
Arna realized that she no longer wanted to be a “good girl.” Instead, she wanted to be a “grit girl”— someone with boundless determination, passion, and strength who would always get the job done.
“You need to ensure that when you invest in your business, that the return is inevitable and that growth is predictable,” said Arna. “The only way you get there is with GRIT and determination.”
2. Be courageous.
Many people-pleasers are very meek because they don’t want to upset anyone or rock the boat too much. They’ll shy away from sharing their opinions, asking for what they want.
Instead of shying away, you should let your voice be heard. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or need. Be confident enough to speak up when necessary.
“I see so many women shy away from opportunities and connecting with people who are ‘further along’ in business than them out of shame for where they’re at,” said Arna. “Woman, if you aren’t willing to get in the company of the best in business and listen to what they have to say, you’re never going to break through and create a business with a financial and social legacy.”
It’s these kinds of self-sabotaging thoughts that hold people back. They’re too afraid to do all the essential things in business, such as networking, speaking up, and asking for promotions. They strive to fit in rather than stand out.
“My most successful clients are the ones who stand up and use their voice to move millions—moving people and dollars—in their businesses,” said Arna. “Fierce strategy and monetizing the heck out of your message are paramount.”
3. Put the right systems into place.
Corporate culture needs a re-haul. We’re too obsessed with putting in 50+ hours a week, as if that’s something to be proud of, and trying to prove to our boss that we work harder than everyone else. People will grind away and dedicate their entire lives to their jobs to get promoted or receive a pay bump.
We need to build healthy, pleasurable workspaces that take care of ourselves as entrepreneurs, our employees, leave room for family, prioritize mental and emotional health, and include people of every race, gender, and religion.
“Getting the right systems and structures in place in your business though is 100% the way to go,” said Arna. “Operating your entire company at a level where you have the time and cash to do whatever the heck you want and whenever you want with those you love as you serve deeply means a WIN all around.”
Happy employees are indeed more productive. Nearly every dollar spent on employee wellness will pay itself back several times. Employees who are stressed about their finances, health, family, or other concerns won’t be able to concentrate on their work, which will result in subpar quality. Plus, workers who love their company will do everything in their power to help it succeed.
“Look at the culture you’re creating in your company and what needs to shift to honor women’s mental, hormonal, and emotional health in the workplace,” said Arna. “We’re not made to be clones of corporate men.”
4. Pursue Your Goals With Tunnel Vision.
It’s simple: the more time you spend pursuing your goals, the sooner you’ll accomplish them, providing you don’t experience burnout.
“If you want to obliterate the obstacles standing between you and a multimillion-dollar empire, you have to streamline and simplify your business while absolutely ignoring everything else,” said Arna.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice for someone to become the best in their field. In his book Outliers, he cites examples ranging from Bill Gates to The Beatles as people who practiced relentlessly until they became unparalleled masters.
While the exact number is up for debate, there’s one undeniable thing: focusing on your goals will help you accomplish what you want out of life.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but consider how much time you’re wasting on things that don’t serve you. These items could range from housework to tedious manual labor.
For example, Arna automated most of her company’s sales process. She knew that she was spending way too much time chasing after customers and attempting to convert them. Through automation, Arna and her team have way more free time to pursue the goals which genuinely matter to the business without sacrificing income.
Trying to do too much, for too many, leads to burnout. It’s nearly impossible to have enough “free” time to do everything you want in your personal and business life. Don’t be afraid to automate, delegate, or dismiss tasks insists Ingrid.
“My team and I know that overcomplicating and overcompensating are the trademarks of a recovering people pleaser (been there, done that), and we know how to avoid them at all costs,” said Arna. “And we’re not talking about overgiving and baking a few dozen cookies for your kids’ fundraiser: we’re talking about serious CEO-sized sacrifices that land you burnt out and broken down in a hospital bed. No amount of money can ever buy your health or happiness.”
What Women Need to Know…
Being a people-pleaser has its perks, but too many women sacrifice their ambition, voice, and worth to appeal to others.
Arna’s journey proved that it’s possible to help others and yourself at the same time. It requires discipline, courage, and hard work, but is well worth the effort. Giving up people-pleasing means you can live a life that’s true to yourself and reach your dreams.
It’s time to speak your truth, embrace courage, and make the strides needed to live life to its fullest. You are the master of your destiny, and it’s your time to shine.
You can find Ingrid and her game-changing movement online at www.ingridarna.com