Are you tired of feeling drained and walked all over by people? Do you jump at the opportunity to make someone else happy even if that means making yourself uncomfortable? Do you often wonder why others won’t jump through hoops for you the way you do for them? If you can relate to any of these above questions - you are more than likely a people-pleaser.
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day and stumbled across a post that asked, “What is a common misconception people have of you?” I scrolled through the comments and read the negative and un-true statements folks posted about themselves only to have the self-realization that I didn’t have a clue what other people misconceive about me. Why? Because I don’t care anymore. The woman I was 3 years ago would never have been able to say this about herself, and that’s because I was wrapped up in a people-pleasing, self-destructive frenzy. I paid more attention to keeping the peace in everyone else’s life that I forgot to pay attention to my own. When you are in a people-pleasing mindset, it is so easy to allow a negative comment to leave you feeling rejected and left out. The thing is, when you aren’t practicing self-love, you start to believe the lies that people speak to you and about you. Not only that, but you start to make up lies about yourself to justify your feeling of rejection. What stood out to me most while I was viciously fighting this disease is that I was subservient to others because I had this strong desire of approval. I wanted to be loved and praised by the people in my life, but it wasn’t and isn’t healthy.
Growing up in a split family, and being the oldest, I sought approval heavily. Whether it was at school attempting to fit in with the ‘cool-kids’, working a job for a boss that walked all over me, or in my home life – desperate for my parents to notice me. I found myself apologizing for other people’s actions/words, going out of my way to complete tasks for people that would never appreciate me, and ending up in situations that would later rip my heart out of my chest. I had a hard time telling people no, because I was too wrapped up in making everyone else happy. Everyone, except for myself.
Due to this way of life, it became hard for me to stick up for myself in negative situations. This struggle stemmed from a lack of self-love and security that had been burning inside of me for years. After much soul searching, I realized I had to face some heavy stuff in my past and let it all go, because those things no longer served me and were keeping me from living my BEST life. Many people that deal with these same issues have a history of trauma or toxic relationships – a place in their lives that started this ugly cycle. When your self-esteem has been beaten so far below the ground; it is often hard to even recognize yourself in the mirror. You lose your identity when your sole purpose is to make everyone else’s life easier, because you are neglecting your own desires and needs.
Your MINDSET is what dictates your conversations, mental health, and your daily life. Your mind is one of the most powerful muscles, and just like you need to workout your body, you need to work out your mind too by training it consistently. Have you ever heard someone say, “They lied to themselves so much they started to believe it was true”? What you tell yourself matters. Stop telling yourself you must quiet your voice, because someone else may reject you based off your beliefs. Don’t allow the fear of disappointing, or the criticism of other people to get in the way of your own happiness. It’s just not worth it. It is almost 2020, and it’s time to take your life back and live the life that was designed for YOU.
I want to share my daily affirmations with you that have helped me heal from the people-pleasing disease and ultimately gave my life back:
· I am a natural giver, because God designed me to be that way. However, He did not design me to be a doormat, and it’s necessary to set boundaries in my life.
· It’s okay to say “No” to others if it is going to disrupt my inner peace or leave me feeling empty.
· What other people think of me is none of my business.
· I am not responsible for the way other people feel, the things they say, or their actions. I am only responsible for myself.
· The happiness of others is not my responsibility.
· My self-worth is not based off the opinions or actions of other people.
· I can’t force someone to respect me, but I can refuse to be disrespected.
· People – Pleasing hides the real me and robs me of my authenticity.
· Before I say ‘Yes’ to someone, I must make sure I am not saying ‘No’ to myself.
· I am not living a life of rejection by saying ‘No’ to others, because I am loved and worthy.
If this is something you are dealing with, I challenge you to do a little digging into your soul. At times it will be uncomfortable, because you are facing things that you have stowed away for so long. Although I can’t promise it will be easy, I can promise it will be worth it. You will discover your true self and the people that matter will support you and love you through this transition in your life. If you start this journey and need a friend to hold your hand or to pray for you, please reach out to me. It takes a village sometimes, and I would love nothing more than to be there for you the way others have been there for me. Love yourself, stick up for what is right, and keep pushing on. It’s time to believe in yourself. You’ve got this, friend!