When I think back on the moments in my life when I felt unhappy and had the most anxiety it was when I was a chronic people-pleaser.
It’s taken a long time to be able to call myself a “recovering people-pleaser”.
I began to notice when I was people-pleasing around certain people because when these people were in my presence I would begin to feel my heart racing. I would literally feel anxious at the thought of being around these people! Ultimately, this was my body’s way of trying to tell me something.
So I began to examine these feelings and what I discovered is that I felt this way around the people who benefitted from me being a people-pleaser. You know, the people who love overstepping their boundaries because they know you won’t be able to say no.
I would say yes to these people out of fear.
Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the other person angry. Fear of being perceived as not nice, or giving, and essentially fear of not being loved.
Eventually, my yes to these people would become feelings of resentment. However, it wasn’t these people who did anything wrong. After all, I was the one who said yes.
In all honesty, I was resentful because I was dishonoring myself!
So I began saying no. No to the people I was afraid to say no to and no to certain work opportunities and events.
But HOW on earth did I begin to do this? How did I go from chronic people-pleaser to honoring myself?
First and foremost, I grew tired of feeling this way so I stepped up my SELF-LOVE game.
I began to make self-care a priority. I began exercising and moving for my mind, health, and well-being.
Secondly, I got clear on my values.
Generally, I thought I knew what my values were but it wasn’t until I took YuSchool when I became clear on what they truly are. I had to write them down and really think about what my top values are.
Thirdly, I decided what kind of life I WANT to live and I didn’t want to live with unhappiness, resentment, and anxiety any longer.
I wrote in a journal about my future self. From what I looked like to how I felt, what I was doing, who I was hanging around, and even what my living space felt like. This is when I realized how I WANT to feel in my life, which made it easier to say no to anything that isn’t that.
Lastly, I decided I WANT to model to my daughter’s healthy boundaries, that it’s ok to say no, and not be liked by everyone.
I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughters living the way I was living. I don’t want them to live with the disease to please but the only way I could do this is to model the behavior.
That being said, every time I would worry about saying no to something or someone I would think of how I want them to honor themselves. Knowing that I’m a role model to them really helped me.
Needless to say, becoming a recovering people-pleaser doesn’t happen overnight. I still have days when I almost relapse but the things I mentioned above have truly helped me honor me!
In essence, I decided to say YES to myself and my life based on love, rather than fear and if you struggle with the disease to please I hope you will too. ❤️