“Bullies want to abuse you. Instead of allowing that, you can use them as your personal motivators. Power up and let the bully eat your dust.”
Nick Vujicic (Australian motivational speaker)
“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”
Margaret Thatcher (British politician)
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
Thomas J. Watson (American businessman)
I slipped into being a pushover once.
Okay – more than once.
The last time was when I was working a corporate job.
One of the middle managers liked everything done a certain way.
Even when it didn’t make sense.
Or didn’t matter.
He wanted all my PowerPoint presentations to be in Comic Sans font.
Seriously – who uses Comic Sans?
The guy was a moron.
A micromanaging moron.
I put up a fight once, but then he got red in the face during a meeting and yelled at me.
Then he went to his manager and then I had to talk to, like, 5 people about why I didn’t want to use Comic Sans.
It was a huge hassle.
So next time, I just obeyed.
Like a small dog.
Like a terrier.
Or a pug.
From that point on, it got easier and easier to obey.
Look—it’s easy to be a pushover.
Someone with a lot of authority over you tells you what to do…
And you obey.
Then someone with a little less authority over you tells you what to do…
And you obey.
On and on this goes until people with no real authority start pushing you around.
Like your boss’s assistant.
Or whoever is in charge of your PTA meeting.
Or the busybody in your neighborhood who keeps tabs on everyone.
These people have no real power.
They might be popular, or maybe they’ve fooled people into thinking they’re popular, but they have no power.
Yet… you obey?
It’s time for this behavior to stop.
3 Ways To Stand Up For Yourself
You would think that being well-liked was enough.
That being popular and having prestige would render power and bullying unnecessary.
But the opposite is true… with position comes power.
Popular people naturally find both dominance and superiority because other people want to be like them.
They learn early on that they can use this to their advantage.
Even worse is that workplace bullying is supported by the hierarchy of the company organizational chart.
You don’t have to be liked – you just need your square on the chart.
How do you stand up to your manager without losing your job?
These dynamics create insecurity and silence.
In and out of the workplace, life is full of popular people who think they can push you around just because they’re popular.
You’re not on the schoolyard anymore but you’re still surrounded by negative people trying to bully you and make you feel like an outcast.
Maybe it’s a boss who makes you feel stupid in meetings.
Or someone at home who pushes you down and never lets you celebrate your personal victories.
Either way, you’ve been giving these people a free pass for too long.
It’s time to stand up to them.
The longer you stay quiet, the more pathetic you’ll feel.
The more unworthy you’ll feel.
Look—popularity doesn’t make someone right or worthy.
Social proof isn’t justice.
Just because someone is popular, doesn’t mean they are right.
It doesn’t mean they’re worth the effort either.
Popularity can give power and that power can be abused.
It can be used to bully others into submission or servitude.
If you don’t stand up to it, you set a precedent that can lock you in as a weakling and a victim.
The scrawny guy on the beach that gets sand kicked in his face.
Because you allow it.
You teach people how to treat you.
If you let people push you around once, they’ll keep doing it and it’ll get worse.
You might think that “keeping the peace” is the high road – but it’s not.
It’s the way to keep getting stomped on and feeling like crap.
Once you spot a bully, you need to take action.
Don’t like confrontation?
Lay down and stay down.
Being passive and avoiding conflict by giving into your fear of confrontation only makes them more powerful.
Here are three steps on how to stand up for yourself and stop being such a pushover…
1. Identify the bullies in your life.
A bully isn’t just some oversized kid on the playground that towers over you and calls you names.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, at all ages, and uses threats, put-downs, and shame to wield power over you.
You know them because you never feel good around them.
There are many people in your life right now who are draining your energy levels.
You are working very hard to keep these people happy, often without knowing it.
You work hard to keep your boss happy so he or she doesn’t fire you.
You work hard to keep your friends and family content so you don’t have to have difficult conversations.
You compromise on yourself over and over again to avoid uncomfortable conflict.
You walk on eggshells and feel like if you just do more or better, that they’ll be happy with you.
That they’ll praise you or at least stop actively trying to kick you down.
And no matter what you do or how hard you try, it won’t be good enough. Ever.
You’re scurrying around in anxious fits for no reason.
And you feel like garbage.
Why do you keep wasting all of this energy?
Why do you keep trying so hard?
It’s because you want to be liked.
Or, you want someone else who is liked to like you.
The underlying need for acceptance and external validation through popularity is something we’ve all felt.
Deep down, you believe that because someone is well-liked, they must be right and they must be worth the effort.
They must be right because everyone is trying to make them happy, right?
And if you were as popular it would mean that you’d be right also… and happy… and do a better job without being a jerk about it right?
Not so much.
2. Identify where you put your energy.
The only way to break free from this cycle is to start questioning where you’re putting your energy.
Ask yourself some tough questions.
Who do you really care about upsetting?
Should you care as much as you do?
Who do you really work hard to please?
Should you keep working hard to please them?
What would happen if you stopped?
More importantly, why haven’t you stopped?
If you don’t like the answers to these questions, it’s time to change your behavior.
You’re the only one that can set boundaries in your life.
It’s not their job to stop bullying you, it’s your job to stand up for yourself.
What would it be like to stand up for yourself?
What would it be like to say, “Enough!”?
What honest conversations do you need to have with people in your life?
And who do you need to disengage from entirely?
Start noticing how much of your energy goes to dealing with bullies.
Not just energy when you’re around them, but emotional and mental energy thinking or talking about them.
Stop wasting time feeling lousy by giving them power over you.
Again… your behavior is your responsibility.
No amount of complaining or sulking is going to change this for you.
Ask yourself the tough questions and take responsibility for yourself.
Then – take action.
3. Identify your action plan.
It’s time to limit the amount of emotional and mental energy you give to the bullies in your life.
Start noticing your inner tantrums.
When you feel slighted or pushed around and you hold back anger or frustration.
I’m not suggesting you start pounding your chest or flipping tables in the boardroom, but start paying attention to your impulses and how much energy is being wasted by these interactions with bullies.
Then make a logical plan to set limits.
There are people in your life whom you want to impress just because they’re well-liked or have power.
You’re striving for external validation that you should be cultivating on your own.
The way to stop being a people-pleaser is to start pleasing yourself.
Start standing up for yourself.
Start putting yourself first.
Popular people have confidence and charisma… start developing those in yourself.
Popular people have power and influence… start developing those in yourself.
The ones that abuse their power and act like bullies, by shaming you and putting you down, are toxic and you need to summon the courage to get rid of them.
When you start setting limits on bullies and start standing up for yourself, you increase your own power.
You start moving into your life with confidence.
You can continue to chase after people in hopes that they’ll take you home like a lost puppy and you’ll continue to feel weak and helpless…
Or you’ll decide enough is enough and start setting limits and being your own leader.
Stop going home at the end of each day ruminating about your power-hungry boss or your judgmental family member.
Stop seeking external validation in the first place.
Stop letting other people’s opinions be so important to you entirely.
Popularity and power can create an ugly combination and turn people into bullies. They can try and overpower you and kick you down to make you work harder to please them only because they know you’re too weak to stand up to them. Stop compromising your value and second-guessing yourself. Stop seeking external validation from others. Popularity doesn’t mean a person is right. It doesn’t mean they are better than you. Identify the bullies in your life. Notice how they drain your energy and your confidence. Start setting limits and stop comparing yourself to others. Stop being a pushover and stand up for yourself so you can increase your own power and influence.
To learn more about how to stop being such a pushover and to stand up to your bullies in life, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.