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  • Simone Jacob


For many years the theme of my life has been "to be everybodys darling". I wanted to be loved by everyone, never offend anyone, never disappoint anyone, always be the reliable, perfect one. In short, the one that “works” for everyone. I completely overlooked the fact that I'm not a car, not a machine, but a human being.

It was only over the years and a few self-experience seminars later that I understood that "everybody's darling" quickly became "everybody's dork!".

And not only that! No matter how hard I try, I can't please everyone anyway. There will always be someone who doesn't like something about me. One likes my nose, the next doesn't. Objectively, however, my nose always remains the same. Sympathy is more than 1 + 1 = 2. It consists of chemistry, personal preferences and the current sensitivities of two people.

I decided to say NO more often. In the beginning I had to really program myself for it. I had forgotten or perhaps never learned to listen to myself and to feel what I actually want. The YES slipped out too quickly and easily. Many years of habit and conditioning on the nice girl. I avoided criticism and conflicts.

I am not alone with this strategy. I share them with millions of other women. A typical female drama. Girls are encouraged from an early age to be nice, accommodating, conform, through subtle signs and praise.

That enchants the male world. This is how women supposedly get what they want. Just sometimes not. Because with our nice smile we unfortunately always end up in a dead end. While we are still contorting our facial muscles, man has already extended his elbows, made plans and announcements. While we dabble behind with a nice smile, he has long since conquered the territory and established himself as the leader.

Not that men do it with bad intentions. From birth, they grow into a different role than girls. Later, when enough adrenaline runs through her veins and her voice deepens, her assertiveness increases as well. It's not their problem that we make ourselves small. It's up to us to make ourselves big.

Voice and language play an important role here. Compared to men, women tend to save with clear formulations. Too bad, because the way of presentation is more important for perception than the content.

Instead of saying “I think so”, “I would like” or simply “No, I want it to be different”, women like to say “maybe you could”, “sure what I say is nonsense, but…”, “I I just mean somehow….”. We fool around and make life difficult for ourselves.

For as long as I can remember my childhood heroine has been Pippi Longstocking. The uncouth, impetuous girl whose motto is: "I make the world how I like it". I wanted to be like that too. All I needed was one thing: the courage to make myself unpopular. YES, I would alienate friends and co-workers. Yes, I would lose people, but I would also gain new ones. Because through my clarity, my attitude, I became more authentic, more predictable, more honest, more tangible.

I had to practice that. Sometimes I was so scared of saying NO that I almost had to aggressively spit out the four letters to even get it out of my mouth. It was always difficult for me to refuse someone's wish, but I kept practicing and was happy about small successes.

We are only in balance when our thinking and feeling match our actions. Then we are powerful and authentic and can live our potential. So, dare to say “NO”. There's a lot to gain. YOU! Because as the saying goes, "good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere."
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