Hello, I’m Kelly and I’m a recovering people pleaser. I used to be the queen of over-giving and making sure everyone around me was happy. I thrived on everyone telling me how great I was because I was always so available and helpful. I also had a really hard time receiving from others – asking for help was really hard for me.
Part of this was because I thought I was only lovable when I was giving and felt such guilt when I wasn’t. And the other part of it was that I was so scared that if someone around me was unhappy or didn’t agree with me, that it meant I was completely unlovable and would end up alone.
What’s more, when I actually did allow myself to receive, I would become consumed with how I could give back to the person who had given to me. I couldn’t handle the idea that someone might think I wasn’t appreciative. But what was underlying this was that I didn’t think I was worthy of someone just doing something nice for me and trusting the natural give and take flow of a healthy relationship.
It sounds dramatic, I know, but that was the truth of my thinking. The funny thing is that on a conscious level I didn’t really feel this way. But at a deeper level – in my unconscious – I did. And the problem is that it’s often our sub-conscious that runs the show. For me, this deep fear lurking below the surface, was having a field day and controlling my life.
My journey away from people pleasing started with becoming aware of it. One of the biggest changes I made in the beginning was to stop saying yes to things that, in my heart, I really didn’t want to do. I came to realize that doing things this way wasn’t honest and actually served no one – not me or the other party.
Along these same lines, I also stopped basing my decisions on what other people thought or expected of me, and instead began creating my life from a deeper, heart-centered place.
Sometimes what we think is a dark or negative part of ourselves is also very much a part of our light. Even though I stopped people pleasing, this didn’t mean I stopped giving to others. Contributing is part of my nature and when I do, I now know that I allow my soul’s light to shine. The difference is that instead of giving from a place of inner lack, my giving comes from a place of wholeness and authenticity.
Now over to you: have you found ways to overcome people pleasing in your own life? I’d love to hear! Share with me in the comments below…