"Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner." -Lao Tzu
Why is it that so many of us have struggled with or continue to struggle with people pleasing? We know it's not healthy, it’s mentally draining, we tell ourselves that it shouldn't matter, but we stay stuck in the cycle of trying to make everyone around us happy...
A quick news flash (or just another reminder for those of you, like me, who have heard this a million times...), that people pleasing is an impossible, exhausting, and daunting endeavor.
So let's define it to make sure we're all on the same page!
People Pleasing: A people pleaser is someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from themselves. People pleasers often act the way they do because of their insecurities and lack of self-esteem.
Now don't get me wrong, the "someone who tries hard to make people happy" doesn't sound so bad...and I'm all about helping people & supporting people in finding happiness & living a truly fulfilling life....BUT...not if it's from an ingenuine place or at the expense of your own health & happiness.
So let's break this down a bit...
It feels really good to be liked, loved, recognized, or praised by those around us. Right? For many of us, this feeling goes way back to our childhood. We were (most of the time) unintentionally groomed from a young age to seek approval for our actions & with that approval, we felt validated, heard & seen. This became ingrained in us & unfortunately has caused so many of us to identify our "People Pleasing" tendencies, while at the same time wondering how the hell we can escape it!
People pleasing causes stress, anxiety, & an overall feeling of hopelessness & exhaustion. We often pull out every trick in the book to make everyone happy, while continuing to fail time and time again at our mission. Why is this?
Well, first of all, we CANNOT control other people. We CANNOT control their thoughts. We CANNOT control their feelings. We CANNOT control their beliefs, preferences, likes/dislikes...and the list goes on and on. The more we engage in this battle, the more exhausted & frustrated we become. It is a never ending mission that will cause us to spin out time & time again.
The good news is...we CAN break free from people pleasing. We are in control of our own lives. We can decide to make the changes necessary to put an end to the mentally exhausting cycle of people pleasing that so many of us have spent way too much time engaging in. And do you want even better news? We can still be kind, loving & genuine-hearted human beings while doing so.
Here are 5 simple steps to help get you on the path to freeing yourself from the treacherous cycle known as "People Pleasing":
Saying "No" is okay.
Be Genuine in Your Thoughts, Words & Actions
Know Your Limits & Set Boundaries
Work to Strengthen Your Self-Confidence & Self-Acceptance
Incorporate a grounding exercise each morning & set your intentions for each day
We have full control of our lives & as soon as we step into that power, the sky’s the limit.
"It's not your job to like me - it's mine." -Byron Katie
PEACE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.