There is nothing pleasing about being a people pleaser.
I walked this path for longer than I care to admit. The upside is I learned a lot about myself during the process of getting back into the driver's seat of my life. The most striking lesson now deeply imprinted on my soul is that, "We teach people around us how to treat us, and we all choose how we show up in the world."
When we stop acting like people pleasers, we no longer allow others' opinions and expectations to guide our path. The worries and backflips that were once the foundation of our existence, can just sort of fade off into the distance. What becomes more important is living from our truth, our integrity and our authentic voice. The voice that encourages us to be over the moon happy to be who we are -- regardless of how we may be perceived.
These 3 powerful practices have been pivotal in helping me ditch my people pleaser cape and instead lead my life from the inside out. If any of this rings true for you, give these practices a try and see how they fit.
1) Stop Justifying Your Place in the World
One of the most empowering ways to step out of the people pleaser role, is to stop justifying ourselves. When we stop living from the belief that we have to explain ourselves and justify our position, we make room to stand strong in our truth. Letting go of the idea we owe others around us, is a powerful way to shift out of the heavy feeling that our voice isn't enough.
See what changes by applying the "less is more" tactic in your communications. Intention is everything. We can have an intention that is kind and clear, while also honoring our voice and truth. If you know you do not want to take something on and someone may be disappointed by what you have to say -- simply take a deep breath into your intention and let that energy stand behind your shorter, concise response.
When we stop justifying our place in the world, we encourage our inner voice and truth to lead the way in expressing who we are.
2) Trust in Your Gut and Honor Your Voice
Looking back on my people pleasing days, I can clearly see that even though my inner voice was screaming at me to do one thing, I would frequently turn my back on myself. Worrying about disappointing others had become more important to me than honoring myself. This troubling realization can be a bit hard to swallow. But it can also act as a turning point to discovering a new way -- a way that places value on who we are and what we are really here to share with the world.
I believe the road to trusting ourselves comes each time we follow our intuition or gut feeling around what our inner voice is urging us to do. When we lead our lives from our core values and truths, we generally stick on the path that sits well with who we are. That doesn't mean everything will always come up roses or there won't be challenges along the way. What it does mean, is at the end of the day as our head hits the pillow, we can be confident knowing we did our best while honoring our voice and integrity.
3) Move Through Discomfort and Embrace Your Truth
One of the best gifts I have given myself over the years is to become more comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. Often when we are faced with a situation or conversation where we have to stand in our power and truth, it can feel beyond uncomfortable.
When we change the way we view discomfort -- from something we avoid, to something we lean into and embrace, we open up to having new experiences that strengthen our spirit. When we face things that are difficult, we prove to ourselves we can move through discomfort without breaking. There is something really empowering in seeing that fears and worries exist, but they can't prevent us from living our truth and valuing our place in the world -- we decide on that part.
Next time you are faced with the discomfort of standing in your truth, allow that feeling to move through and see what changes. My bet is that on the other side of discomfort you'll still be standing -- only your stance will be filled with conviction and pride from embracing your truth.
Emily Madill is the author of 11 books in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. Her newest title 'Fall in Love with Your Life, One Week at a Time' is now being offered as an E-Course.