‘The Disease To Please’ Can Be A Real Success Killer

Typically, business owners and leaders are immune to this disease that seems to run rampant throughout our contemporary society. And that applies equally to men and women. However, there are many who desire to own their own business or take the next step in their career who are being held back by this disease.

What exactly do I mean by the ‘disease to please’? Perhaps you’ll recognize it if you’re a chronic pleaser, which is the most obvious symptom. Are you always apologizing for your behavior? Do you find yourself talking about your desire to please others?

Other symptoms include always taking on tasks and jobs that will eat up your time while bringing you little to no benefit. Also, if you participate in commiserating with others who love complaining, you are infected with the disease.

Maybe you get enmeshed with colleagues who have a knack for creating dramas, and whom others seem to skillfully avoid. You resolve to keep away from them but end up getting sucked into their toxic orbit.

According to Sally Helgesen in the book she co-authored with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, men and women are both susceptible, however they behave differently when they have the disease to please. She makes the following three points:

  • Rather than talking endlessly about how great they are, as some successful men do, women tend to underplay their achievements. And then hope or expect people will notice what they contribute.
  • Instead of always needing to be right, women are more likely to be undermined by the desire to please others. Or feel the need to always try to be perfect.
  • And rather than refusing to express regret, women often can’t stop apologizing. Even for things that aren’t their fault! (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/so-youre-successful-why-do-you-feel-stuck-dr-marshall-goldsmith/)

Is the disease to please holding you back from achieving your dreams? It may be time to take a closer look and take steps to cure what’s keeping you from your success.

Copyright © 2019 Sandy Olson