When over-delivering for clients is unhealthy

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from Brionna.

Neagle Code Question

Hi David!

I’m plagued by my fear of disappointing my clients. This is resulting in me over-delivering, and basically being controlled by my clients every whim and demand. Do you have any suggestion on how I can move past this?

Thanks!!

Neagle Code Answer

Hi Brionna!

Thanks so much for your question…and in fact, I get asked this so often that I’m going to republish a response I wrote about a year ago.

The answer is both simple and a journey in itself.

You must learn to love yourself.

The reason you’re afraid of disappointing someone is because you are relying on them to make you feel ok or worthy or good enough or loved (you pick).

At some point in your life you picked up the belief that you had to be something, do something or act a certain way to be loved. If you disappointed someone, either there were dangerous consequences, or they withheld love.

Here’s an example to help you see what I mean:

A child struggles in school. Even though they are giving it their best, they bring home an F on their report card. The child’s parents are disappointed, and instead of helping the child work to figure out why they are struggling, they get upset, angry or even punish the child.

The message is clear to the child that they are not good enough. So they work harder at doing whatever they can to gain the acceptance of their parents, because to them acceptance now equals love.

Fast forward to your situation.

You don’t want to do anything to upset your client because it will cause you to feel that same pain you felt as a child, and so you’re willing to put up with anything or do anything to avoid feeling that way again.

The only way to stop feeling this way is to love yourself and to stop seeking love and acceptance from your clients.

Unconditionally.

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1 comment

  1. Beautiful! I have been a victim of this feeling for a long time. This will help me tremendously to change my actions. However I do need a little more push on how loving myself does not mean not caring for my client’s feelings. Thanks.

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