...and whats the sacrifice?
I was a shy teenager, I didn't want to stand out, be picked on or to be singled out. I feared being bullied or to be ridiculed in front of the other kids at school. I had to keep myself safe from embarrassment and any form of being shamed, so I started pleasing everyone and not standing out so I could just meld into the background.
What seemed to work was being 'friends' with everyone. To seem friendly to everyone, so I came across as non threatening. I had no set group of friends, I could flow between everyone. This kept me safe from being picked on, but the cost of it was that I didn't really have my own personality, I had to be all things to all people. I was friendly with everyone: The geeks, the skaters, the goths and the townies - but I had to pay a price for it - which was was being vanilla and not being that close to anyone. It seemed like I was a popular but actually I was fairly lonely as everyone else had a 'best friend'. A ride or die. I wasn't sticking my neck out for anyone and no one was for me.
This was the start of my people pleasing. I agreed with everyone, I was nice to everyone, I was safe. Job done.
As I got older I had lots of friends, but often they came and went, I was I doing my best to appeal to everyone and avoid conflict. To avoid any difficult situations or possible rejection, I agreed with everyone and never stood up for myself.
I just blended.
I started to become a pushover, and as I had no experience of healthy and safe debate, I wasn't able to even try. This is why anxiety started to become my driving force in my life. I was scared for anything to derail me, cause me conflict or rejection. Plus the fire and passion I did have inside me, burned me from the inside.
It all linked back to my low self worth, which I didn't want to face so it was easier to make sure no one had any issues with me - AKA people pleasing.
This pattern of trying to keep everyone else happy (which is fighting a loosing battle we cannot please everyone) magnified as I started working my way up the ladder in my career in advertising production. This world was fast paced and mistakes were not taken lightly. My need to please exploded, I refused to fail, which now I know is all part of learning. This eventually led to intense anxiety. One weekend when delivering a project I was unable to eat because of my anxiety - fear of the delivery going wrong and it being 'my fault'. Over thinking all the disasters that could happen and the outcomes of my failings. (All whilst being in the process of buying a house, which added to the strain)
This was the tipping point, and the beginning of the end for my journey in production. which eventually led me to helping others with their anxiety. A lot of people manage their anxiety by people pleasing in a bid to avoid the end-of-world outcomes that are playing out in their mind.
When I did finally start to face my people pleasing, and started making choices for ME (no matter what anyone else thought) I then started to stand in my power. I was able to express myself more as I was doing the important healing work & self development needed to fully stand out. Be seen as me, and accept that not everyone will like me. That was a hard pill to swallow, but it led the way to freedom.
This personal work I have done has been part of what I have created in my 1-2-1 offerings. I now see my clients start expressing themselves authentically and standing up for themselves. They're speaking their truth and the universe is rewarding them for it.
There is no greater pleasure than pleasing yourself. In all aspects of life, because we came here to this world to live for ourselves - and seeing as we can't please everyone - why bother? Thats the secret sauce to life!