Full transparency here. For a long time, ahem, actually, my whole existence in this current lifetime, I've been a people-pleaser. I'd say 'yes' when I really didn't want to, I'd hold back on expressing what I was really thinking, I'd cater to everyone else's needs around me so that I wouldn't disrupt anything, I'd say 'sorry', I took jobs that forced me to be agreeable and a people-pleaser but I was miserable in them and I felt responsible for other people's feelings. I wasn't being real, I wasn't being myself and I wasn't living in integrity. I felt uncomfortable voicing my opinion or speaking up because I felt like my thoughts and feelings weren't valued enough to be voiced.
The TRUTH is- I didn't know how to put myself first and didn't feel comfortable doing so until I had someone else's approval (hi validation..). I didn't know what self-care was. And I'm not talking about the self-care that includes journaling, taking baths, meditating etc.. I'm talking about uncomfortable self-care like getting out of relationships that aren't serving you and being OK with it, saying 'no' + being honest about it, learning that you don't need to give people an explanation, having conversations that don't always feel good, being firm from a loving place, embracing vulnerability and taking ownership.
This has been a deep-rooted trait that I couldn't get ahold of. The little girl in me would bubble to the surface and want to hide away when I had to speak up. She wanted to go upstairs to her room and play where she didn't need to deal with any of this. If I pretend like it's not happening right now, it'll go away, right?
Internally, I felt like I was screaming but no one heard me. I was making life a lot harder for myself. I couldn't actually get close to living my truth and doing the things that I knew I wanted to bring into my life until I got serious and faced this blockage.
What did I do? To start, I asked myself what my life would look like if I wasn't a people-pleaser? Then I slowly started taking some small steps.. I stopped before responding to messages to give myself time to think if what I was saying was aligned with how I was feeling, if I didn't want to do something I would say 'no' and be completely honest about it, I stopped feeling the need to give an explanation to others, I left the people-pleasing jobs behind me and I thanked them for the life lessons because I deeply believe there are life lessons in each experience. Most of all, I committed myself to using my voice. I use it through this platform, I use it in exchanges with other people, I use it through music and I have made a commitment to myself to continue to use it.
This is still something that comes up. I've said this previously, but this takes acknowledging and practice to work through this. For me, it means checking-in with myself, getting the support that I need, being honest about where I'm at and understanding that this has been a lifelong pattern so it's going to take time.
So let me ask you.. If you've found yourself feeling these words and it speaks to you, what does life without being a people-pleaser look like? And how are you living in integrity with yourself?
Sometimes when we want to change something, we set these high expectations for ourselves and soon become disappointed when those expectations aren't met. What if we decided for today to just take 1 step towards your goal. Take 1 step to cutting out the people-pleasing trait or whatever it is that you're working towards. See how that feels.
Loving you and all of you,