As women, we have been conditioned to strive for our career yet also raise our children with positive influence, be a great partner, help others, and be the organizer of extra activities. That’s exhausting. It’s no wonder women are burning out with these outdated people pleasing beliefs about what is expected.
Many of our belief systems stem from our childhood and are still controlling our life decades later. We may assume we are doing the complete opposite to our parents and that we have created a new belief system. In fact, it is the complete opposite. Our behaviours and habits result from memories we have created our whole belief system around. You may have grown up with a parent telling you not to rely on anyone but yourself. This may have created a belief about perfectionism, a need to please others, the desire for independence, or an overachievement syndrome. Our beliefs are our thoughts that we no longer question. They could be true or false, positive or negative. When we have people-pleasing beliefs, they affect our emotional, physical, and psychological health and our relationships with ourselves and others.
People-pleasing may differ from person to person, but essentially, it’s when we compromise our values and what’s important to us to meet the needs of someone else. It’s when you want to please people because you may not want to be judged, cause conflict, or upset anyone. You seek external happiness, as you may struggle to accept and love yourself.
The world would not be the same without having your big, kind, and loving heart. You can still be a big-hearted person without compromising your values and what’s important to you.
We don’t always know each person’s internal struggles with the world when we’re walking down the street. You may have an assumption and judgement, but that is your perception of what the areas of concern are for that person. The most successful and driven women can still be people-pleasers, which often leads these highly driven women to feel overwhelmed. They might remove themselves from situations, as they don’t want to cause any conflict or deal with increased pressures through unhealthy outlets such as drugs and alcohol, controlling and coercive relationships, or emotional eating.
If you don’t tell a person you’re not comfortable with their request, they will continue to ask. They might assume you’re okay, and if you’re not speaking up to indicate that you’re not comfortable, then you’re going to feel upset or resentful. You could be doing so much on autopilot that you have never questioned deeper.
Follow these tips to help recognise when something could clash with your values:
- Write down your values.
- What’s important to you?
- Notice the situation with a curious mind and ask yourself what value the request would compromise.
- Identify what is making you feel uncomfortable.
- Don’t react or respond straight away. Walk away from the situation to process your thoughts.
- Respond. Detach from the outcome or what the other person will think. This takes practice, and once you understand that it’s okay to say no, then you will start getting better each time.
I help many of my coaching clients work through people-pleasing beliefs by exploring and eliciting their values and whether they are supporting their life. I also explore where this belief originated by using timeline therapy. This creates awareness so my clients can see things from a new perspective and understand where they need to make a change.
Hi there! I'M JENNIFER PARKER
Jennifer Parker is an empowering and soulful Brisbane life coach, experienced social worker and the founder of Real Vision Life Coaching.
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