Are You Always ‘The Back-Up Plan’ That People Don’t Value Enough?

Posted: July 26, 2015

Are you always ‘The Back-Up plan?’ Someone who is just pushed around and not treated well? Its not just about others – its about how you value and treat yourself as well.

Why do we fall short of what we thought we should get from a relationship or from something we badly wanted? So many times, we feel pushed around, when people whom we treat as a priority, treat us as ‘options’. Have you wondered why? There can be many reasons, but the most important question that we need to ask ourselves is, do we value ourselves, for others to value us?

People will mostly treat you the way you treat your own self. Perhaps this applies more to women than men. Many of us display our low self-confidence subtly, in almost everyday things. Here is how we do it.

Not feeling good enough

When we constantly feel that we are not good enough for someone or something, or that others are surely better than us, we start behaving like that, either through subtle actions or predominant moves. We think we are smart enough to hide it but guess what, our body language and behaviour can become our biggest enemies. It somehow always reflects in our actions. This gives a strong cue to others to react in the same way. So if you always believe that you are not good enough, then you should not expect respect, job promotions, new opportunities or responsibilities. Then may be you should be a back up plan.

Avoiding the first mover’s advantage

There are times when all of us get some or the other opportunity big or small,  served on a platter to us. At that time, we consciously avoid making the first move only because we feel there is someone better out there who’ll grab it or, if we take it up we will not do justice to the opportunity. Even when it comes to starting relationships especially with the opposite gender, we believe that it is he who should make the first move. Indirectly, we are indicating that we are not confident enough to approach the person head on. We have no appetite to take risks and we fear rejection. We want somebody else to do it for us. Then we deserve to be the back up plan, isn’t it? Because the one who approaches first has the first mover’s advantage.

Playing the underdog

We, especially women often feel embarrassed discussing our achievements. We underplay ourselves a lot. Its as if self-praise equates to arrogance for us. In our endeavour to be more giving and modest, we run into a shell. Selling is not a bad word – we have to sell something everyday. We sell the importance of nutrition to our kids, we sell our projects and assignments to clients, we sell our resume to employers, then why shouldn’t we sell our opinions, our goodwill and our achievements? Selling is not bad, selling is a way of life. Remember, if you hide behind a veil and play an underdog, the world will swipe you off your feet leaving you stranded. So talk about the good work that you do, it always helps in building a strong image. Obviously, the trick is not to overdo anything.

Not setting the right expectations

Yes, this is a huge mistake we make. We sometimes assume others would magically understand what we think and want and in that anticipation, we mostly end up feeling disappointed and unloved. In real life, that not only baffles others around us, but also makes us constantly feel unpleasant about ourselves.

Whether it is our job, business, marriage or general relationships, we must set expectations well in advance and tweak them mutually and eventually. This not only simplifies our dealings with others, but clears our own thought process. Remember you can set expectations only when you have clarity of thought. So start taking your own decisions, own up to things, state what you want clearly and how you want things to be. This will not only de-clutter your mind, but you will be taken more seriously by others. This is the secret of not being taken for granted.

Prioritize things in life

If you ever sit down and try to join the dots, you will begin to notice a pattern. May be deep down somewhere you have not prioritized things for yourself. Okay, you might not notice this cause and effect relationship immediately, but it will come to your notice over a period of time. Many of us make no efforts to prioritize things we like and people we want to associate themselves with. This practice eventually leads to mayhem.

If you don’t prioritize things, you will never know whats your first best. Then you will settle for the second or the third best. This seemingly small compromise at first, will start showing its devilish side when you lose passion and love for things, people and above all yourself. You will blame your ill-fate and life. And in no time, people will begin to realize that you are in fact not the one, and then my friend you know what will happen? You will become ‘The back-up plan.’

Sad Indian woman image via Shutterstock

Shreya Dhingra is a certified Image Communication Coach practicing since 5 years. She works with

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