Nice – pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory
They tell you, “Don’t let the world change you.” I say, “Don’t stay the same when the world has shown you that you can’t win that way.” I have always been proud to call myself a “nice girl”. I still am. However, what I have learned over the years is that being nice does not mean allowing myself to be used, disrespected, or run over. Unfortunately, I allowed a lot of that throughout my life, all in the name of being nice. I went above and beyond for people who never treated me the same, didn’t speak up for myself at the times when I really should have, charged less than I was worth, required less than I deserved, and stayed in spaces I didn’t belong in for far too long because I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers or hurt anyone’s feelings. I was being what I defined as nice for everyone else’s benefit while sacrificing my own happiness, confidence, and success. But when you know better, you do better, right?
Assertive – having or showing a confident or forceful personality
I’ve recently made the choice to be more assertive than nice in the situations that require me to be. At this point in my life, I no longer desire to be nice. I desire to be me, the me who values herself and doesn’t care to go along to get along anymore. Particularly when it comes to business and Women by Choice. In business, I have found that many people don’t take “nice” seriously. Although, in my mind, being nice should put you at the top of the list, it often puts you at the bottom because people think they can get over on you and you will be okay with it, or at the very least not say anything about it. I have had graphic design company’s totally miss my deadlines to make sure other customers deadlines were satisfied because I was the soft-spoken customer who would always be understanding and forgiving. I have used my platform to uplift people who repaid me by turning around and competing with me. I’m sure they knew it was wrong, but decided to do it anyway because I gave them the impression that they could do whatever they wanted to me and I’d accept it with a smile on my face. Well, not anymore. It’s a new year and I am a wiser, better, and more confident version of myself.
Do you see how I take responsibility for how I have allowed people to treat me and altered my choices to see the results I will be pleased with? That is what being a woman by choice is all about. I am not mad at the people who treated me unfairly and I have since forgiven myself for allowing them to. I am instead taking what I have seen, learned, and experienced to make better choices so that I can live a happier and more fulfilled life. That doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on my beliefs or values or changing the way that I love. It means that I recognize that there’s not just one way to be and different situations will require me to behave differently.
The truth is, this world is not always nice and if you choose to be nice in spaces where you should be assertive, you will get chewed up and spit out. No matter how nice you are to people, not everyone around you is moving with the best intentions and has your best interest at heart. Don’t be like me and make the mistake of believing that if you are nice to people they won’t be mean to you. Sadly, that won’t always be the case. Pay attention to what people show you, use discernment, and act accordingly. Make your peace, happiness, and success your priority without apology or feeling guilty.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
For more on making choices that will upgrade your life experiences, get your copy of my book, She Wins: The Ultimate Guide for Women to Gain a Winning Mindset and Lead a Winning Lifestyle.