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  • Writer's pictureProject Black Girl

T​he Pitfalls of People-Pleasing: How It Can Hurt Your Career and Affect Your Confidence At Work

Updated: Apr 11

 


Women of color working in male-dominated industries often feel pressured to fit in with the majority. It's understandable to want to please others, especially when we struggle with self-confidence and anxiety. However, constantly seeking approval can be harmful to our well-being and career growth.


Acknowledging that people-pleasing can cause us to lose sight of our true selves is essential. We may feel drained and unfulfilled, disconnected from our passions and goals. This is especially true for women of color who may experience trauma responses, such as freezing, fawning, fighting, or fleeing. Understanding these reactions allows us to make better decisions and navigate difficult situations more effectively.


When we prioritize the comfort of others over our own needs, we limit our potential for growth and may experience imposter syndrome. Suppressing our voice can hinder our confidence and progress. However, there are empowering ways to stand up for ourselves and confidently express our ideas at work.


We can educate ourselves on the subject matter, seek out allies and mentors, embrace constructive feedback, and speak up confidently. Setting boundaries when necessary protects our energy and priorities. Sharing our expertise and experiences encourages others to do the same, and identifying workplaces that value diverse perspectives allows for open dialogue and mutual respect. It's important to remember that our unique backgrounds and experiences bring value to the table.


By breaking free from people-pleasing and embracing self-advocacy, we can empower ourselves and create a workplace that celebrates diversity, drives innovation, and fosters growth. As women of color, we have the power to shape our workplaces into a more inclusive and equitable space. Remember, it's not about conforming; it's about being authentic, courageous, and confident. To learn more about how to support women of color in the workplace, visit projectblackgirl.org.

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