Columnist wants you to challenge your “disease to please”

By: Kendra Thorstenson Columnist

 Don’t laugh, because I am embarrassed to admit this now, but a few weeks ago I had one of the worst days ever. I had the kind of day where I called my mom bawling because I was having a mental breakdown. (I know how embarrassing, I am not even a freshman this year, I am a sophomore.) I could not make up my mind on what I thought were some really hard decisions. I can now laugh, (and I suppose you can too) but at the time it was traumatic. I called my mom and she reassured me that whatever I chose, it would be okay. But I was so scared to make a decision. What if I made the wrong one? This fear had me paralyzed. How could I be sure that I was making the right decision? What was the right decision?

Is it a struggle for you to make decisions? Do they make you feel overwhelmed because you don’t want to make the wrong decision? Are you constantly trying to please people? I have recently recognized that this is a problem of mine.

Making decisions has always been a struggle for me and I have found that it is because I have the “disease to please.” Does this sound like you? If so, why do we try to please everyone? I think it is because we don’t like to let people down, we like to say yes, saying no is hard and lastly, we don’t like conflict. How can you stop this?

First, know they will understand. Life is busy and if you don’t ever say no, you are going to end up rushing through life and miss out on living an enjoyable, peaceful life. Imagine if you said no to the things you really wanted to say no to. Then, you wouldn’t have to dread going to them, or complain about them. So what is it for you? What do you need to say no to? Saying no will open up your schedule and make time for doing things that you like to do and want to say yes to. Stop trying to be superman or superwoman. Enough is enough, know your limits.

Second, realize that ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are very powerful words. How are you using them? Do you agree to things out of desire or duty? The things you choose to be a part of should be things you love to do. Think to yourself before you agree and sign up for something, “Will you enjoy this or will it be something you’re going to dread?” If it is the latter, maybe it is not something you should say yes to. I am currently reading the book, “The Best Yes” by Lysa Turkerst and I love that she emphasizes the need to give it your all in everything you say yes to. She explains, “How I use the words yes and no determine how I set my schedule. How I set my schedule determines how I live my life. How I live my life determines how I spend my soul.” Wow, if that is not proof enough of how powerful our yes and no can be, I don’t think anything will get your attention.

I challenge you to stop and think for a minute to evaluate your life right now. You may think you’re living this great vibrant life full of activity and business, but are you really enjoying it? Are you happy? Or are you rushing through life, barely finding the energy to get through the day? Stop this overwhelming feeling by simply using the words yes and no wisely.

Third, stop trying to agree and say the perfect answer. Just be honest. This is something that is difficult for me to do, because I do not like conflict. However, I have found that by being honest it can really strengthen friendships. We are all different and we’re not meant to agree on everything, so stop trying to please everyone all the time

The challenge I leave with you today is to get rid of this “disease to please.” Say no to the things you dread. Say yes to the things you love. And lastly, express your opinion.

I would hate for me to leave you guys all hanging with what happen with my breakdown. Well let me tell you, I decided to do what I love, not what others want me to do. I said no to a few things and that opened up my schedule for me to say yes to things that I love. Now, I cannot guarantee that I won’t have any more breakdowns, but I found there is freedom by getting rid of the “disease to please.”

Kendra Thorstenson is an advertising major. She can be reached at kendra. [email protected]. edu.