People Pleasing is a Waste of Your Time
I first heard the title of this post spoken by Wayne Dyer. I now trust the message – be true to yourself and stop living to please other people. If we want to be truly contented in our lives, it’s the only choice. Still, when I first heard it, I didn’t integrate it into my life. I worried how others might respond to my choices, decisions, and behaviors. I lived with the desire to have others approve of me, and I struggled.
My old pattern was to be very attentive to what others said about me. Am I good enough, smart enough, lucky enough…? Do they agree with me? Do they think less of me when I speak up? All of this was motivated by things and people outside of myself, making me and my responses unpredictable and dependent on my audience. I set myself up to fail in my relationships and my life – there is absolutely no way to satisfy every person. Somewhere, somebody will not like my actions or choices – even the people closest to me.
It’s a losing battle to be always striving for approval based on other people’s standards and expectations. I’m sure you’ve experienced this, too. We’re not different in this. It does feel good to get acknowledgment and approval from another being. The problem comes when an acknowledgment is the motivating force of your life.
What’s more important for you and me in living happy and productive lives is to have the approval of ourselves.
Living to please yourself is hardly the easiest choice. In fact, especially in the beginning, the opposite is probably truer. It can be one of the most difficult paths to walk if your pattern has been anything like mine. It’s so contrary to how most of us were raised – to care more about what I think than what my neighbor thinks (or my boss, wife, husband). To be selfish in a healthy way, getting your needs met, is a way of thinking many people won’t understand. Unless you’re willing to pay attention to your truth and live your life accordingly, you’ll be playing to a fickle audience that can and will turn on you at a moments notice – as soon as you do or say something they don’t like. You can’t win.
Instead, you can choose self-love, self-care, and live your truth. Then it really won’t matter what other people think. You’ll trust your actions and choices and know they’re the right ones for you. You’ll be living your life according to your rules and standards. Yes, some people won’t like it and will probably leave your life – they are the fickle ones. Others will honor you and the truth you live, understanding that putting yourself first is necessary if you’re going to be available to them on a deeper level. As you put this into practice, you’ll believe more and more that what other people think about you is none of your business.
Question to Ask About Your Personal Power
Here are some questions to answer as you choose the path of personal truth:
- What are the things I’m doing in my life right now because I think I’m “supposed” to? How does it make me feel? What do I get from others to keep me doing those things?
- How would my life be different if I did only those things I wanted to?
- How often do I hold my tongue and not speak your truth? Why?
- What things do I love doing that I’m not? Why aren’t I?
- What are the little things (and big things) I do or don’t do, to make somebody else happy? Which of those things are not “right” for me?
Look at your answers. Now, decide you’re going to live your life for yourself beginning now. Start anywhere. Small steps move you forward on your path, too, and sometimes more consistently than leaps and bounds. Say “no” to things that don’t fit for you. Make a conscious effort to speak your truth, no matter what. (And speaking the truth does not necessarily mean full disclosure.)
Your life will be different when you’re living in alignment with who you are at your core and not for the benefit of the people around you. Make your choices without fear. Trust yourself and your inner wisdom. Other people will forget Even your unpopular choices in five years.
I want you to be living a reflection of your core truth. Be fully aligned with who you are and not want to change a thing in your life. It’s possible though not easy. Begin it now and see how your life changes.