Taking steps to create harmony and reduce stress is important. But what happens when you are a little too good at keeping the peace? If you value harmony so much that you go out of your way to avoid conflict, you might be suffering from people-pleasing tendencies.
When this happens, you, you put your own needs and wants aside and, if you do this for too long, you may get so used to accommodating everyone else that you lose touch with who you are or what you truly desire. You abandon your own needs in order to blend in and keep the peace and it becomes so hard to say “no” that you end up feeling overworked, under-appreciated and a little resentful.
If that sounds like you, it’s time to go deeper into yourself and identify the people-pleasing tendencies that affect your life and your business and take action to break away from them.
As you do this, you’ll start to value and respect yourself more and will set a new standard for how you allow others to treat you, and you’ll see a noticeable shift in your life and business!
You abandon your own needs in order to blend in and keep the peace.
How to Recognize a People-Pleaser
I’m going to describe a woman and I want you to see if you can identify her. You might know her. This woman is the type that will do anything for anybody.She’d give you her shirt off of her back if you were cold and she would freeze happily while you sat and warmed up. She is always there when you need her. She never argues and rarely complains. She blends in with every situation. No matter where you go, she always seems to make friends and people typically like her. You might think, “She’s magnetic.” She has this beautiful radiant energy about her. Maybe she’s an extrovert? Nope. She’s just really good at blending in. She has an extremely difficult time saying no and that is why she goes with the flow.She looks like she’s got it all together but what people don’t know is that deep inside she feels lonely and unwanted. More than anything in the world, she just wants to be included. She wants people to appreciate and accept her.
So. . . she avoids conflict.
Confrontation gives her anxiety and if she senses confrontation, she shuts down. As a result, she often feels unseen and unheard as if she doesn’t have a voice. She’s been doing this for so long that she has disconnected her from her core truth. She is at a point in her life where she doesn’t even know what lights her up anymore. If you ask her what truly brings her joy, she’d probably say, “I don’t know.” For years, she’s been mistaking contentment for happiness—taking care of other people, and doing what makes them happy—that she’s not even sure what real happiness is anymore.
She’s starting to feel resentful toward the people in her life. She knows that this is her own doing, but taking responsibility feels disempowering and a bit ashamed that she’s let it go on this long. Rather than feel it and deal with it, she buries the shame and replaces it with blame because that’s easier and less painful to deal with.
Meanwhile, she continues to take responsibility for the way other people feel. If she is in a room with family, friends or colleagues who are unhappy, she immediately thinks, “What did I do wrong? Are they mad at me?”
She needs other people to approve of her in order to feel worthy. When people don’t tell her what she so desperately needs to hear, she translates that as, “I did something wrong. I’m not good enough. I need to fix myself.” and this happens over and over and over the years, she becomes even more disconnected from herself, her truth and her sense of self-worth and self-respect.
Here’s the truth: When you don’t respect yourself, others don’t respect you either. That’s a law. It’s energy. It’s an unspoken rule. You don’t have to say, “I expect you to respect me.” You set the standard, and if you refuse to allow others to treat you with disrespect, people will treat you the way you expect to be treated.
Tell me, do you recognize this woman? Do you know who she is? Maybe she’s a friend of yours. Maybe she’s you. If so, keep reading because this people-pleasing tendency of yours or the people-pleasing disease is affecting your business.
How People-Pleasing is Hurting Your Business
If you spend more time blending in than standing out, there’s a good chance you’re disconnected from your unique value. You’re doing what everyone else is doing. You’re playing it safe and staying small and avoiding risks. You are careful not to do anything that might spark conflict or controversy. As a result, you are not making real connections because your true authenticity and value is not being communicated.
You might be undercharging or discounting your services because you think that no one will pay premium fees for what you provide. There’s a part of you that wants to believe in the value of what it is that you’re offering but waiting for someone else to say it (even if they do, though, you don’t believe it). There’s a fear that people aren’t going to buy that’s dominating your decisions. You negotiate or you lower your rates for certain people even if they don’t ask you to, especially when you assume that they’re not going to be able to afford you. You’re afraid that they’ll balk at your prices so you lower them before you’ve even had the conversation. You’re trying to win them over.
Can’t Say No
Do you have a hard time telling clients, “No?” Do clients, colleagues or employees ask you to do things that are clearly outside of your scope of responsibilities? Even though you want to say no, you freeze under pressure and end up saying yes. You over deliver, giving away more time, energy and effort that you should. You work evenings, weekends and sacrifice family time to accommodate unrealistic deadlines and last minute requests. You often feel like you’re being taken advantage of.
Take Criticism Personal
Maybe you take negative feedback to heart. If someone says something about your behavior or work that isn’t 100% amazing, you interpret it to mean that they don’t like you and it crushes you. A bad review ,refund request, or criticism makes you feel like a failure and all you want to do is call it quits, curl up in bed and cry.
When you feel like you’ve let someone down, you also let yourself down because you’re not living up to the expectations of the world and getting the approval you need to feel complete. That feeling is horrible. It feels empty, lonely, scary and dark might cause you to think to yourself, “I’m a failure. I can’t do this.” And so, you begin to think of ways to avoid the situation—running away so you don’t have to re-open the emotional wounds that have not fully healed.
You might even build up enough resilience to push through, but If you never deal with the emotions and the thought patterns going on beneath the surface, they don’t really go away. They just keep festering and become toxic.
Breaking Out Of Our People-Pleasing Tendencies
If you are a perpetual people pleaser, it’s likely that your tendencies are sabotaging your success in every way possible—affecting your prices, your visibility, and your ability to set healthy boundaries with clients and you end up overworking, undercharging and letting people walk all over you until you feel completely burnt out, unappreciated, and resentful.
If you really want to break free from your people-pleasing tendencies, spend the next 48 hours paying attention to where these people-pleasing patterns are showing up in your life. Are you apologizing? Biting your tongue when you want to speak up? Saying yes when you want to say no? Feeling invisible or unseen? Feeling unheard or unappreciated? Or feeling resentment, blame or shame?
After 48 hours, you’ll have a good idea of what patterns you’d like to focus on. But let’s be honest, change isn’t all that easy. If it were, you’d have conquered this by now. Your habits, especially the mental thought patterns that have been there for years and years, are hard to break. You need to have a strong motivation, a strong reason to want to change. You need a driving force that pushes you beyond the motivation that you have now. Right now, you’re motivated by having that external validation. There’s got to be a stronger motivation in order to get you to want to break these patterns and develop new, healthier habits.
Close your eyes and imagine what your life would be like if you were to charge your worth with confidence, say no to people without guilt when they make a request that does not align with your schedule or values? What would it mean for your business if you could put yourself out there and get visible and show up as the expert without fear? What would it mean for your sanity, your home life, your family life? What would it mean if you could be done working at a certain hour everyday to be home with your kids or your family? If you had time to do the things that you wanted to do—work on your health, your spirituality, your personal development, self-love. What would that mean for your life and your relationships? What if after all this you had the energy to spare? What if criticism didn’t bother you and you didn’t care what other people think of you? How would it feel to know with 100% certainty that you are surrounded by people who love, appreciate, and value you? What would that do for your business? What would that do for your income? How would your life be different in six months, a year, five years or ten years from now? Imagine if you made this shift right now, what would your future would look like?
Imagine standing confident in your power, owning your gifts, your unique value, and doing what feels good. Building a business around what your unique talents and gifts are and saying “yes” to the things that feel good and “no” to the things that don’t, imagine what that would mean for you.
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When you change you change the way you do business. And that’s what changes your life!
You deserve everything that you want. You want more and the only thing stopping you from having your idea life is you.
Your daily actions are either moving you toward your dreams or further away from them. The direction you take is up to you and nobody else. Getting on the right path starts with believing in yourself and knowing that you can achieve anything you desire.
Affirmations to help you make a positive change:
Say the following affirmations out loud and let the truth of these words sink in with you. For example, when you say to yourself, “I am worthy,” take a moment to mentally list all of the ways that you are worthy. Own it, feel it, become it.
I am worthy
I am unique.
I am valuable.
I am lovable.
I am desirable
I am deserving of everything I desire
Repeat these affirmations daily.
Pick the one that is your favorite and own it. Write it on your wall, your mirror. Put it on a Post-It Note on your computer. Put it somewhere where you’re going to see it every day. Say it out loud, feel it in every cell of your being and know without a shadow of a doubt that it is 100% true!
Love you to pieces,