In today's episode I am going to talk about how to disappoint people at work and be OK with it!
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Show notes and the transcript can be found here: https://michellekevill.com/podcast
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Hello, everyone, I hope you're well. And if not, I got you at least you are here. My name is Michelle Kevill. And I help high achieving women feel passionate about their job or yet, and I'm coming at you with a cold. So please bear with me here, I may sound a little nasally I'm doing okay, but it's not the cold I always get in winter, it's for my overseas listeners, it's winter here in Australia, it's quite cold, doesn't really snow where I am, but it can get quite cold. And now I have a cold. And I'm really feeling it today. But we are feeling feelings, I'm doing some, you know, self care, taking it easy. And I did want to record a podcast episode for y'all today. And in today's episode, I'm talking about how to disappoint people and be okay with it. Because it is such a big thing. For a lot of you a lot of some of my listeners, a lot of just like a few of my clients. And I want to touch on how this is very subjective when it comes to disappointing people, and are ultimately when you are always putting someone else's needs above your own. The only person you are truly disappointing is yourself. And because you likely have been so used to doing that turn like it's like a defense mechanism for you to not disappoint others to make everyone happy. You just keep operating in this rhythm. And you don't even notice it. It's not until like shit is literally hitting the fan, you are completely overwhelmed that you were like, oh my god, like and you're like most the time happens is you sitting there and you're like, Oh my God, this job is too much. It expects too much from me. And it's a little bit of both. Yeah, sure. Like they're talking to a whole heap of people they have like clearly different types of jobs. And some of it is you. So that is you feeling the need to always do more, to always take on more at the drop of a hat. And this fear of disappointing your manager, disappointing your colleagues, there's a lot of guilt and shame that really comes up with that. And for a lot of people, they don't even notice that it's happening. For a lot of you, you're sitting there, like lots of stuff is happening. Your boss is just giving you work, you're accepting it, you're taking it on, because that's what you should do. And you want to help others and you want to help the team and you want to help your colleagues. And slowly but surely, you're doing it at the expense of your own, like health, you're sitting there thinking, Oh my God, this job is too much. It's then cutting away into like a personal time, you're burning out even further, for a lot of you don't question this, you just feel like this is what you should do. You should always be going above and beyond. And I'm not saying that we shouldn't do that. But we should also do that and recognize when we're doing it at the expense of ourselves. And for a lot of you, you're not realizing that you're getting stuck in this loop or trap. And they're deep down is this fear of like you're worried, you know, What will others think of you like that's your job as part of a team is to make people happy. And if you make your manager happy, then you get promoted, etc, yada, yada, yada. And a lot of you just take that as face value, you're not kind of questioning it and going any further and you're blaming it on external things. Like the job is just too much. And you're wondering why other people are handling it better? Well, why everyone is different, but other people are also likely communicating their boundaries. Some of them are being open and honest around what they can and can't do. And sidenote, if you're judging those people for being able to do that, and judging them as like a lazy and just oh my god, like currently they can act like that. Are you deep down a little bit jealous that they have the capability to do that? Just put it out there. Some of you are going to be like, Excuse me, certainly people in this episode, we were like, I feel called out and I'm like, Yup, that's that's the point, calling you out on your brain bullshit here. I get it. I really do get it as a person who used to do this probably three years ago. It's hard. It is so incredibly hard to not want to like play. I don't even know if like pleasing is the right word. Of course, it makes sense that you know, you're going to like do the work in the team. I think I've said this before what happens a lot of the time, especially when you transition from like school and uni to work for for some people, not for everyone is that at work and even Union School is a structure to things and there's a level you can kind of handle and things are kind of set out for you. But there's always work to do at work and you have to be the one that is communicating and being open around your capacity and what you can and can't do. And I don't think I was ever really taught. And then for years I just went on operating like this and I never ever communicated back on what I could or couldn't do. I just took it on. And then I set the new standard. That's the problem, which is oh yeah, Michelle can just like do all this work and get it done like really well and secretly I'm like, burning out and dying on the inside. And I used to always say to my partner, it's, I have to do this, it's the job, I blamed it on the job, because that was my defense mechanism, that's the way I survived was by like, doing things to make people not even make people happy, like, what I really went down into it date, and it's gonna be different for everyone. For me, it was just to prove that I was good enough, it was just to keep up that mask, facade, whatever you want to call it, to really get that recognition from others, you know, like helping others out where they are, etc. And I couldn't see the pattern that I was putting myself into. And then I just assumed that this was the job, and then everyone else could handle it. And they could do it really well. And better than me, led to me thinking that something was inherently very wrong with me. And then I just wasn't cut out for corporate. But actual fact, I just needed to communicate openly and honestly, what I couldn't couldn't do, or if you do have to do all the things being communicated sorry, communicating, what level you can do it at with everything you have on like, okay, I can do this thing. But is it gonna be 100% accurate? Or is it gonna be 50% accurate, and your brain is constantly going to blame it on something externally. Because this is such a deep rooted fear for it is something that has been operating or protecting you for so long. And likely, for a lot of you, it's going to bring up like, well, I don't wanna get fired. Like, I'll get fired, then 100%. Like, I hear this all the time, that is the biggest fear. And I tell people, the same thing all the time, I want you to go with your brain for a second, go with that, if you got fired, then what we do, what would you do? And then keep going from there, then what would you do then? What would you do? Keep going till the very like, end? You know? And then from that endpoint, pick yourself up? Like, what would you do from like there? Would you I don't know, you're at your parents house, couchsurfing, whatever, like, what would you what would your next steps be to pull yourself back out? Now for some of you that can sound like why the hell would I go all the way there, there is a real truth in going all the way there because your brain is bringing you out something that sounds like death to you. Like, like it literally invokes such fear. But if you actually pragmatically look at it, it's more of a logistical thing that could happen. It's not something that is going to deadbeat kill you as such, the next steps are really looking deep as to where you learn this pattern of behavior. You have a pattern of always being there for people, like a lot of you are the most compassionate loving people out there and like, go above and beyond to help people were How did this keep you safe growing up, because that's what it is. That's why your brain is doing it right now. And the problem is, it just does not work with corporate, it doesn't because the work is never ending, you can apply it to same things, you could apply it to like your house even Right. Like, if I like I do care, but if I put my self worth on my house, like I used to my job, then oh my god, it would be never ending I'd always constantly be like, well, this needs cleaning, this needs fixing, etc. And I know for some of you, you do that as well, it's never ending and it's never gonna be enough. That's the thing that keeps you in scarcity, because scarcity is what has protected you so far. But it's what's causing this overwhelm. This burnout is like extreme exhaustion on the weekends, which by the way, you should check out my free four week program worryfree Ricans with me, where I will coach you to master the skills that I have even obtained, to really enjoy and be present for your weekends instead of like crying on your Sunday afternoon being like, I don't want to go back to work. Check it out. Link in the show notes. We're moving onwards. So then to be okay with like real deep disappointment and to actually start setting up boundaries and like, here's the things I tell all my clients, right. I'm not saying you say no to you're very, very, super three times removed senior person on an analysis that might be too much for you right now. But can you say no to a colleague when they ask you for help or not? Like say No, right? I?
The reason I say no, is because for a lot of you. It's not even it's not even actually saying no, all you're doing is communicating. This is my capacity. Please speak to someone so or something like that. And in your mind that you're saying no, because in my mind years ago, that was saying, No, I used to feel so bad. You start with baby steps. You start with creating safety or for yourself to disappoint people. And that's the thing, guys, you're not actually disappointing people. Like you wouldn't be so how many times have you done the same thing to someone? And they've had to like, quote unquote, push back, and you've just been fine about it. And they haven't even pushed back. They just say, oh, sorry, I can't help with this because of blah, blah, blah, speak to so and so. Do you care? Rarely, you're just like, oh yeah, they got a lot going on, like, seriously, but you were so afraid to do it for yourself and you think like, oh my god, were they thinking like they're gonna be so disappointed with me. I was like, no, they're not actually that obsessed with you. I don't mean that in a mean way, but we humans are so self centered, because of course, we want to keep ourselves alive. And we think that other people are thinking about us so much more than we actually think. And they're not, they're actually just thinking about themselves. Think about how much you think about yourself all the time, especially if you're like, overwhelmed and anxious and like freaking out all the time about work, you're thinking about you, in this scenario, guess what so many other people at work are doing the same fucking thing and just thinking about themselves, we're all just thinking about ourselves, freaking the fuck out. It's fine. I guarantee you, they're not judging you. And if they are judging you, that's okay. It's not your job to change their mind, or some of you are gonna be like what I've said this to clients, they've literally just been like, Hey, hang on a minute, I am feeling very cold out right now. It's okay, people are allowed to be disappointed with you. And sometimes it's good, that people, managers etc, are disappointed in you. And it's actually better for them. It is so much better for any company, when you are communicating your boundaries, when you are being open when they are being disappointed, because then what happens is you start to produce even better quality work. That is what happened to me. In the early days, I had to disappoint people, I did not like it, did not enjoy it. But when I disappointed people, and I slowed the fuck down, I started to learn a whole heap really quickly. And I started to get some really good ideas, and really good ways to change like processes, etc. And I got promoted two times in a year. Like, it's like, obviously, that's, you know, everyone's situation is different. But the reason I say that is, that would have never happened. If I didn't, at the start, let people be disappointed. And just be open and honest with where I was at. And here's the thing that requires a level of vulnerability. And people are too fucking scared to do that at work. Because I think they need to be stoic. And they're all the time and these calculated robots that just like show up. And that's not true. That is not true at all. That's not to say that people won't get disappointed with you. So to say, because I know there'll be some of you right now listening. It's like, Oh, my God, you're living in a fairyland. Every year, I know, every corporation is different. But do you want to really keep living this way? Is this, this is how you really want to live. Of course, it's going to feel scary to do this. So I'm saying test the waters. And start off slowly start off with little things. And what you're saying isn't actually saying no, it's took me years to learn. I was never saying no, I've probably never said no, in my life at work. I've just been open and honest with what's happening and being like, hey, this needs to shift etc. And it is so funny, because every now and again, I get someone like on Tiktok. Whose work because if you don't know how to do that, and I'm like, there are Yeah, there are people who don't know how to do that my guy like there are a lot of people that don't know how to do that. They're typically been socialized as women, like I have been told their whole lives that you have to please and make other people happy. If you don't at home with your husband and your kids, you're very likely doing it at work as well. I told you guys, I told you a few episodes ago, this is the New Rochelle, I call you out on your brain bullshit. I'm gonna give you the same metaphor that I've been giving so many of my clients, I think I talked about it a few episodes ago, when it comes to work. What you're doing is when you're not communicating your boundaries, you're not being open, etc, vulnerable, whatever you want to call it, you are letting people pile on these invisible chopping backs. And you are carrying them around with you. And then what's happening is people are seeing you like she's got no shopping bags or anything like that. Because they're invisible. Just go with my metaphor here. And they're like, Hey, here's another shopping bag, and you're just taking it on. And then you would just have like 20,000 shopping bags, like not actually 20 houses, you know what I mean? And then what's happening is you're showing up at work with these shopping bags. So stoic handling is doing amazingly. But then you're going home and crying, dropping these shopping bags being like, oh my god, I have too many shopping bags. So you're not making it visible to other people, the shopping bags that you have, you're not saying that actually, I have like 10 on like five on each arm right now. I can swap one around if you want. Or I can like quickly put these down now and take them up. I kind of get where I'm going with this right with the metaphor here. Like you need to be able to be doing that. And it's such an important skill that I feel is lacking for every one but especially women, especially people who were there with a goody two shoes. They were the ones who did so well at school that got all the straight A's that like just did well. And I was that kid. I wasn't necessarily getting straight A's but teachers love me. I did all the homework and never gotten detention. I got one group detention once like I was just like I just do the work and go through life whatever. Like you go to corporate Islamic school or university and like So many people are going throughout their career for years, I'm talking like even decades operating like this, and not even realizing it. And it's just killing you. And it's stopping you from producing even better quality work, which I know for some of you listening right now, like what the hell? What do you mean, and you should listen to some of my previous episodes where I talk about this, I think it's how to do more in less time without losing your shit, I talked about it a little bit there. It is crazy. When you slow down, you actually absorb information, and you learn new things. And you let yourself slow down, how much faster you can run, because you can't be running a marathon with 20 shopping bags, maybe you could with one, and then you get stronger over time. And then you can carry more shopping packs. I'm really going with like a strength shopping bag metaphor here. And here's what I like to do with this. So the next time this happens, I again, I Oh, before I touch on that as well, before I touch on my like my cover of like everything you need to do now, you really need to be okay with disappointing people, because here's the thing, you will never know if you disappointed them. When you say no. But you need to allow those feelings to be there. You need to allow the guilt, the shame, the fear to all come up, you need to notice those physical sensations in your body, you must do that that is so important. You need to get used to those feelings. What's happening is you've been operating in this defense mechanism for so long. To avoid those feelings. You need to get used to them. So you take baby steps, right? You might say no to a colleague or something like that, and you work your way up. That is what you do. This is why I have my podcast because feelings are the most important part of this. And so many of you skip over this, I get it. I do too, sometimes. But it's just it's like, it's the reason why I started this podcast how to deal with big fucking feelings. Because a lot of you, especially those who are more advanced and really are into the coaching concepts that I teach, y'all aren't doing this enough, calling you out to be fair and calling myself out. Because I do this as well myself, I get it. It's one of those things where I'm sorry, but you can't out think the human experience, no amount of coaching is going to get rid of bad experiences that happened to you, it's going to get rid of fear, shame or guilt. But what it is going to do is teach you how to navigate them. Without you crying in the corner, completely losing your shit, you're going to not react to that those bad emotions, you're going to let them move through you so that you can move on and you can keep going and you can get to those good parts again, but when you're just resisting the human experience, which is just life and emotions, it just makes it a whole ton worse. And trust me as a person who used to always do this and then freak out about freaking out. Like really check out embracing the emotional roller coaster how to not be okay being okay because I talk to you in depth about this and what like recently happened to me like emotionally and how it really is just not reacting to when you feel shit and just accepting the fact that you feel shit. Like I could make my cold right now 1000 times worse, I could ruminate on how because I did I had so much more things that I wanted to do today, when it comes to my business. And also like I've wedding stuff to plan as well, if you didn't know we're getting married. And it's not gonna happen exactly how I planned it. And I'm just not finding it. I'm like, I'm sick, my body is sick. It is what it is. That's life. Okay, we'll just we'll just we'll just do what we can. And what I wanted to do. And the main thing was going to podcast episode out, write some posts, a little bit of admin, and just fucking sit in front of the TV. And I can sit there and make the experience shift myself and berate myself and tell myself Sorry, I'm such a bad person, I should be doing more etc. Like you likely do when you protect when you sometimes have had to say no. Or guess what, here's
what I mean. When I say at the end of the day, you will always be disappointing yourself, here are your options. You say yes to the thing. And then you vent and complain about it around how you kind of hate your job and you can't do it or you say no to the thing. And then you vent and complain and you feel emotional and guilty and anxious and freak out about it. Either way, you're at the start, you're gonna feel like shit. So at least you're the one where it's not. You're not disappointing yourself. You just have to deal with some bad emotions. That's all choose that option. If both options are shit, choose the lesser shit option is what I'm saying here. Guys, that is all I have time for for today. I hope you have a lovely day and I will see you in the next episode. Bye