How to Stop People-Pleasing and Become Your Best You
What a wonderful gift we can give ourselves, waking up when our bodies are ready, taking time to honour ourselves with breathing, stretching, relaxing, moving at a pace that supports us. Amazingly, the brain and the heart connect and create a rhythm that flows in a significantly different, and beautiful way. There’s a clarity and softness that shows up when we make choices that come from a place of self-love.
This morning I’ve been thinking about a small discussion the DH and I had regarding how women’s time on holiday doesn’t vary greatly from “regular” time: meals still happen, laundry continues… picking up, cleaning, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. No wonder we opt for resorts and cruises given a choice!! Someone else takes over these chores, allowing us to have some time off as well. Not that I’m minding terribly: having everything clean and tidy allows me to function at my best, no matter who’s doing the cleaning and tidying… even me…
It has, however, taken my mind down another road, and that’s about being “nice”. Nice is good, right? It means you’re caring, you don’t hurt people, and you. always. do. the. right. thing. You put others first, avoid saying critical or mean things, and try to make others feel happy. This is a good thing… right? Hmmm, maybe……
Here’s some questions to ponder, if you’re willing:
- typically put others first?
- not say ‘no’ to others — even though you want to?
- constantly worry if you’re ‘good enough’?
- experience chronic guilt and fear of hurting others?
- hide your opinions to avoid friction?
- value others’ opinions and desires more than your own?
After years of introspection with this, feeling less than Me while treating others like gold and putting them on pedestals, I’ve begun to realise that, quite frankly, there’s a problem with being Nice. It’s different from kindness / compassion / love. I had always equated being nice with being a good person, but that’s not necessarily the same thing.
And so I’ve started to question whether being less nice could potentially allow us to be more kind, more generous, more loving.
There’s a common acronym used these days: WIIFM
When I first heard this one (what’s in it for me), I have to confess it seemed so terribly, well, selfish really. Honestly, am I looking at the world always checking in to see how I can most benefit from whatever person / situation / confluence comes my way? Not the “nicest” way of moving through the world, I thought. Pretty selfish and self-serving, methinks.
Ah! What if there’s an other way of looking at that? Knowing we can only give our best when we feel whole, perhaps it’s time to front up to the fact that we actually need to put ourselves first. Whoa, how terribly un-spiritual, you might be thinking. Stick with me here for a moment, lovelies. Let’s just say at the beginning of the day we’ve awakened, prepared ourselves for the best day possible, treated ourselves with kindness as we’ve moved through all the challenges, possibilities and thrills and adventures, and chosen to make our best decisions — for us! — as we’ve ebbed and flowed. In your remotest thoughts, is there Any Possibility Whatsoever that those other wonderful beings floating through your day will receive anything else but your deepest considerations… coming from your own personal place of empowerment? No distractions, no putting another person’s wellbeing and happiness before your own. And from that wellspring, that fount of wholeness, flows kindness… compassion… love…
Choosing to feel and think another way will make you feel and behave differently, advises psychologist Victoria Kasunic. When you find yourself caving in and putting someone else’s requirements ahead of your own, first calm yourself with some slow breathing. “Count three seconds in and three seconds out. Then ask yourself, ‘What’s another way I can be with this situation that will allow for the creation of my best decisions? Decisions that will make me feel calmer, better, more relaxed, and deeply honouring to myself.’” And then from this place, make the choices that are best for you… and everyone else around you.
Once you see just how rooted in fear our nice patterns are — and how being nice is so completely different from being a good and loving person, you’ll naturally let go of the old beliefs that don’t serve you.
Here’s the choice for today: unapologetically erase that “nice” person, and become the best version of yourself — let that luscious, grace-filled, freedom-loving, gracious being out to flourish!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end, if I’ve sparked some joy, please consider sharing!