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His Dream or Mine?

When I first started coaching professionally, I found a mentor who could guide me.  He had traveled this path before and was willing to share the struggles and triumphs so I could learn from his example.

He is very successful and I admire what he has achieved. 

Early in our working relationship I secretly wrote on my vision board – Become a member of his faculty.

At the time, he did not have a staff.  He worked alone.  I had no idea if he would ever create a team of coaches under his umbrella, but if he did, I wanted to be one of them. 

Three years later, the opportunity to join his team arrived.  He was creating a coaching academy and wanted me to be a founding member of his faculty.  I was excited.  I looked at my vision board and couldn’t believe it.  My commitment and patience had paid off.

As the months passed, and my mentor kept promising me he was deep in creation of his organization, my personal coaching business was beginning to take shape.  I was finding my own stride and creating my own audience.  The more time passed, the less desire I had to leave what I was building to work under another person.

I realized I had a decision to make - stick with my original vision and the verbal promise I made to join my mentor’s team, or create a new vision and continue pursuing my own path.

My natural tendency is to stick with a commitment, even at the expense of my own happiness.  As a recovering people pleaser, I want to go along to get along.  I was used to putting my wants and needs aside to help others achieve their dreams and goals.

Was this a test?  Yes.  It was a test to see how committed I was to my own dreams and goals.  It was a challenge to practice what I preach. 

After much contemplation, I realized that my vision had changed.  I had become a different person since I had written - Become a member of his faculty.  I developed my own voice and had my own ideas of the kind of change I wanted to create with my work.  If I joined his team, my work would inevitably take a back seat.

It was time to decide – Commit to bringing his dream to life or commit to bringing my own dream to life.

Saying NO to him was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. 

I was saying no to an easier journey, letting him take all the risk and just following along as a faculty member.  I was saying no to a vision that came to fruition.  I was saying no to that part of me that says I made a promise, and I should stick with it.

But by saying NO to him I was saying YES to myself. 

I was taking a risk I felt would eventually pay off.  I was creating a new vision for myself.  I was making a commitment to my dreams and sticking with my SELF.

Those of us who are givers, high achievers, and people pleasers are generous to a fault.  It’s so easy for us to put ourselves on the back burner to help others.  We must work hard to put ourselves first, to CHOOSE ourselves. 

Becoming thoughtfully selfish is the only way we will be, do and have everything we desire.  We must learn to clarify our personal priorities, create healthy boundaries, and say NO with confidence.

How can you choose yourself today? 

What do you need to stop doing so you can put yourself first?


Hey there, I’m a confidence coach helping stressed-out people pleasers clarify personal priorities, create healthy boundaries, and say NO with confidence.  If you like this, you can grab my most popular free resource, The People Pleaser's Toolkit, and read more helpful posts at: www.naomiyaw.com.