Why did Simone Biles withdrew herself from the US women’s gymnastic team yesterday after one rotation? Anticipated to win the team gold medal, without Biles, the team placed second.
She knew that she was not in the right “headspace,” feeling like something was off. She started to doubt herself and her ability, which is risky since she could seriously injure herself given the high difficulty of her famous moves. And her doubts definitely affected her score in the first rotation. If she stayed and didn’t get her magic back, her low scores could keep the US team from winning any team medals.
“I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself,” Biles said afterward, tearing up. “I came here, and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. So that just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people. (WashingtonPost.com 20210727)
In my book Why did you load the dishwasher like that? 9 Whopping Mistakes that Push Love Away, I talk about The Pleaser as one of the 9 Whopping Mistakes. We please others because we don’t want to disappoint the people we care about. Do you feel like you have to be Superman or Wonder Woman?
Simone knew she was doing this and the pain of pushing through to please others at this point in her life overshadowed her dream of winning more medals if she wasn’t going to be in her genius.
We’re not trying to please a nation, but even when it’s just one person, it can become a burden. We tolerate so much unworkability and create suffering for ourselves and others when we don’t speak up and say what is true – ideally in a kind way.
Even when we win – if we operate from default or fear energy instead of the energy of our true self or love energy – the win is hollow. I believe this is why Simone quit. She knew winning the medals would not be an empty victory if she didn’t feel confident and joyful. it took her great courage to quit. She allowed her team to step up when she created space and they won the silver medal.
If Biles can say “No” to a nation she represent, let that inspire us to say “No!” We can say “No” to pushing ourselves to do more even when we are exhausted (the “work” must go on), to going through the motions when our heart isn’t in it, to pretending everything is okay when it isn’t, and to listening to others instead of ourselves. Biles showed us that our mental attitude is everything. Our beliefs and thoughts shape how we feel, what we do and what we say.
What can we learn from Biles putting herself first and releasing a pattern of pleasing when it was robbing her of her love of gymnastics?
I am learning to listen to my heart, intuition, body and soul. If we pay attention, we get messages – tightness in our chest, a knot in our gut, an instant chill, feeling tired… What happens to you. If you stop to see, you might hear or feel the messages.
If you are inspired by Simon Bile’s courage, where can you say “Yes” to yourself? YOU DESERVE IT!
You probably know this but I want to be sure you understand that if you now want to get out of doing what you promised, there may be consequences if you don’t show up. Sometimes it can cause huge problems and break trust. Be responsible for how you communicate your new attitude.. if you don’t know how to say “Yes” to yourself, you may not know what to do once you have the time.
If you need help, saying “No” to others or saying “Yes” to yourself, I’m here to help you navigate this journey. Sign up for a Brief Chat with Marilyn and we’ll talk and see what’s your next step.