“What is necessary, fundamentally, is that the son or daughter take on, responsibly and ethically, the weight of his or her own decision, which in fact amounts to a key moment in forging on the developing of the individual’s autonomy.” Paulo Freire
We usually know what is in our best interest, but we may find ourselves behaving in ways that contradict this idea. I imagine you already know that. Of course, we sometimes deepen our misery when we live to please others because we fear rejection, not being liked, and avoiding judgment. So, we care too much about what other people think about us. Indeed, we’ll never please everyone; if we do, we will likely demonstrate many people-pleasing behaviors to avoid conflict.
One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to recognize and break our people-pleasing habit. We sometimes rationalize our people-pleasing ways as being kind and considerate. However, people-pleasing behaviors come with hard life lessons. One of the consequences of people-pleasing is indecision. Our decisions should rely on what we consider reasonable for ourselves and not to make other people happy. Every decision we make impacts us differently than those we attempt to please.
To live fully, we do not want to live needing constant reassurance or someone else to motivate us to take the initiative or act in our interest. Therefore, we must learn to trust our judgment and be open to adjusting how we think and feel with the more life experience we gain. We lose ourselves when we walk in lockstep with ideas that are not ours because someone wants to live vicariously through us.
We can benefit from someone understanding what we are trying to accomplish for ourselves. Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky shares the concept of the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO); this person who, under their expertise, can guide our development as a mentor does for their mentees. Find an MKO who is knowledgeable and reliable and will support our agency.
An NKO can provide great insight. Still, we must learn to back ourselves even when what we want goes against conventional wisdom. It is our responsibility to act in our interest. Therefore, we are responsible for changing the habits that get in the way of our progress. Indeed, the NKO we choose should guide us but not do for us what we can do for ourselves. Our learning is an active process; therefore, we cannot passively wait for things to happen.
Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.