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How to Stop People Pleasing - Gain Your Confidence Back & Feel More In-Control!

People pleasing, my worst nightmare and greatest gift to finding myself. People pleasing is abandoning yourself to ensure everybody else is ok instead of checking in with yourself to see if you are ok. An example of People Pleasing could be forcing yourself to study law to become a lawyer because that’s what your parents hoped for and/or it can be simply displayed as agreeing to order pizza with your friends when a healthier option is really what you want.

I remember back in 2016, I was selected to speak alongside Lisa Nichols (what an honor!) and during our talk, I shared that people pleasing was one of my biggest challenges to overcome in life, she stopped me and said “let’s take a poll right now and see how many people pleasers are in the crowd right now.” She asked and I would say that 95% of the audience raised their hands. There is an epidemic of people pleasers on the earth and the repercussions are HUGE. Not only do we have an epidemic of people not wanting to stand up for themselves and what they believe in, we have the bullies and the egotistical manipulators taking advantage of that imbalance. WTH?!

Are you a people pleaser?

1. Do you agree with others for fear of conflict? Or act, for others to feel happy?

2. Is saying no or setting boundaries a challenge for you?

3. Do you comply with the demands of others in order to feel safe?

4. Do you catch yourself doing things you may not want to do to get approval or even love from others?

5. Do you help people out and you secretly feel more resentful than fulfilled?

6. Do you pretend you are doing alright, when you’re actually hurting and/or confused inside?

7. Do you do things out of true desire or because you feel obligated and/or guilty?

Get your journal book out, because this blog is going to help you gain greater awareness and bust down unhealthy behavioral patterns you may have, for you to free yourself from the people pleasing chains.

Journal prompt:

Q: For every above statement you said yes to, what is the impact of choosing to please? Elaborate on the impact on yourself and then the impact on others.

Q: Imagine if you were to say no, set boundaries or be truthful. How would you benefit? How would others benefit?

Facts about being a people pleaser

· People pleasing behaviour is usually created from past experiences/trauma in early childhood. Some experts use the word fawning to explain where this type of behaviour comes from. The trauma could come from your parents or caregivers criticizing you, shutting you down, or having forced unreasonable expectations on you and practiced unfair ways of disciplining you. People-pleasing has been a way to cope with danger or the abuse of power. However, it’s a learned behaviour that can be unprogrammed.

· People pleasers have a hard time being themselves and have learned to be a chameleon

· People pleasers believe they have no option but to mould themselves to the expectations of others

· People pleasers build resentment and may display passive-aggressive behaviour

· People pleasers have a hard time expressing their needs and true desires and their lack of clear communication leaves others confused and blind-sided

· People pleasers withhold information, like their opinion, and pretend to agree with the majority

· People pleasers can be overly accommodating and overly polite

Here is the harsh reality; when people pleasing, we are lying. We are not lying to take advantage of another, nonetheless, we are holding back truth. Our true self.

  • People who set boundaries gain respect. Boundaries tell people that your time is valuable, that you’re someone that can’t be walked over. If you always say yes, you will be taken for granted.

  • Practicing self-integrity and saying no to things that do not resonate with you will build your self-worth and self-confidence.

  • When you avoid people pleasing, you empower others to find their own solution. Yes, this is a BIG one.

  • Realize that no matter what you do or what you say, there will be some people that will still judge you and not understand your needs.

Needing the approval of others is exhausting. You may not be able to uncover all of the “whys” of being a people pleaser, but you certainly can reverse the behaviour. DO NOT go in victim mode, instead CELEBRATE that you are beginning your journey to being FREE. Free to be your authentic self!

What can you do to free yourself from the people pleasing chains? Here are a few ideas.

· Start small. When you don’t agree with someone, instead of agreeing with them, just let them talk. Keep doing that until you get the courage to share your opinion.

· Before giving an automatic/enthusiastic ‘yes’ to an invitation, stall for time. Say something like “That sounds great. Can I get back to you tomorrow after I check my calendar?” Take the time you need to evaluate if you really want to go. Do not ignore the invitation, take the courage to get back to the person and be truthful about your response.

· Self-discover! Take the time to journal on what YOU like, what YOUR priorities are and what YOU want and what YOU don’t want. From there it will be easier and clearer to set your boundaries. Working with a life coach is a great way to self-explore.

· Explore Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a modality to change negative thinking patterns.

· Meditate, practice Qigong, get out in nature to calm your nervous system, so you can come back to your natural innate state.

Journal prompt:

Q: Where are some places in your life or with who do you feel you could begin setting boundaries?

Q: What positive statement (or mantra) could you use to encourage you along the way?

For example:

· I’m allowed to say no.

· My needs are as important as anybody else’s needs

· When I care for myself, I can be my best for others

· I take the time to discover what is important to me

· I acknowledge and honour my limits

· I am responsible for my health and happiness, not others

· I focus on my desires instead of seeking approval from others

You can be pleasant without being a people pleaser. You can say no without being a b-i-t-c-h. You can ask for what you want, without expectations. Set yourself free, free to be YOU.

Having been one of the biggest people pleasers ever and dedicating my professional life to helping others be authentic in themselves, I am here for you. I will continue to provide you with support on your transformational journey!

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