How to Overcome People Pleasing
People-pleasing has deep roots, and we all do it to some extent.
For some, people-pleasing behavior might be creating mild discomfort in their life, and for others, it can be debilitating.
The action of people-pleasing is coming from your brain attempting to keep you safe.
Deep down, we’re looking for validation from others to tell us we’re okay, enough, lovable.
But that external validation is like a sieve that constantly leaks and needs to be filled continually. It’s a trap, and it’s exhausting.
Validation of our worthiness is an inside job.
And it’s the first and most crucial step to overcome people-pleasing.
Worthiness is not based on what we do but on who we are.
Or, more specifically, on the fact that we simply are.
What makes a baby worthy of life and love?
What does that baby do to create worthiness?
When does that baby stop becoming worthy?
Logically, the answers to these questions must apply to you as well.
You are worthy just because you are.
Let that sink in.
Practice believing and feeling it.
If you could never do another thing for anyone else ever again, you are still worthy of life and love.
This belief is the foundation for your relationship with yourself.
And your relationship with yourself is the foundation for your life.
Learn to love, like, validate and respect yourself.
Don’t give that responsibility away to others.
Trust is an essential component of any healthy relationship and especially for our relationship with ourselves. You can build trust with yourself by,
Consistently taking care of you - physically, mentally, spiritually.
Consistently having your own back.
Consistently speaking kindly to yourself.
Consistently considering your needs as well as others when making decisions.
Consistently validating yourself.
You must do these things to overcome people-pleasing from a place of love and peace.
Secondly, there are some practical strategies we can implement when dealing with other people’s expectations of us.
When someone asks you to do something:
Remember, you always have a choice.
Pause and say you need to think about it if you aren’t sure.
Breathe. Slow, deep breaths signal safety to your nervous system.
When we are calm, we make much better decisions.
Ask yourself, do you want to do this? Yes or no. Why? Do you like your reasons?
Are you doing it because you genuinely want to or because you’re more concerned about what someone will think of you?
Are you being motivated by guilt or desire? Fear or love?
Are you saving the day but not letting others experience the consequences of their actions? Is that loving?
Are you trying to protect someone else’s feelings? Is that your responsibility?
Remember, when you are saying yes to something you don’t want to do, you are saying no to you and maybe to your loved ones.
Then make a decision.
Respond with kindness.
There are lots of ways to say no without being rude or lying.
This will not feel good at first. Your brain is convinced you will be in danger.
It’s your job to calm it down and make it feel safe.
Breathe slowly and talk to it kindly, slowly, lowly.
The only way to stop the habit of people-pleasing and to create internal safety is to intentionally and purposefully decide what you do and do not want to do.
You will retrain your brain by practicing this over and over.
You will feel uncomfortable, but you will not die, and neither will the person you think you are disappointing.
Everyone will survive and probably grow in authenticity and integrity.
And the more you do this, you will show your brain that you are safe, and the easier it will become.
And finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing things for others that you might not feel like doing. That’s called being a responsible person.
But, are you deciding consciously?
Do you like your reasons?
And, are you doing it from love or fear?
As children, external validation is survival-based.
As adults, it isn’t, but our programming can make it feel like it is.
So be kind to yourself. Intentionally build a loving relationship with yourself as you embark on this precious journey toward loving your life.
You are so worth it, and so is this beautiful world that is waiting for the real you to show up.