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6 Steps to overcome people pleasing

Jun 17, 2022

Have you felt ever tired of people pleasing in your life?

Pleasing means expressing kindness or favor towards someone beyond a measure in order to live up to their expectations so that they like you.

It is a form of external validation that we look upto from people around us so that they accept, recognize and like us to feel a sense of belonging .

Many of us have fallen into this trap from our childhood believing that if we live upto the expectations of our loved ones, we will be able to lead a happy and peaceful life. However, we tend to forget that and in this process we forget to live a life for ourselves. We are giving others the permission to determine how to think, act and behave. This slowly leads us to a place where we ignore our own inner voice/intuition and allow others to take charge of our life. Prolonged people pleasing can cause dissatisfaction, resentment and depression leading to unhappiness in our life.

People pleasing arises from a lack of self esteem, fear of rejection and sometimes also from past trauma . As it is something that we learnt over time that has become part of our beliefs, there are ways to overcome it so that we can lead a life of authenticity.

There are 6 simple strategies that can help to overcome external validation

  1. Identify - Find out the 4 W’s - When, Where, What and Who you have been seeking external validation in your life. For example - I often used to seek external validation from my loved ones while making an important decision in my life because I used to consider others in my life as experts based on their age and seniority. Whenever I was denied the approval, I used to feel lost and helpless. So, identifying the people and situations from your past can help you understand the control that you have been providing to seek approval.

  2. **Prepare **- Prepare yourself to accept rejections from your loved ones prior to performing actions that you once looked up from others. Accept that rejection is part of being different and unique .

  3. Establish Boundaries - Create healthy boundaries for yourself before jumping into performing actions for approval. For example - This could be as simple as “Do i have the resources and time to perform this action”, “Do i have to sacrifice my own personal needs in order to do this action ”,”Will taking this action serve me in the future or make me feel sad”.

  4. Prioritize- Prioritize your voice over others when it comes to critical events and decision making. This does not mean not to listen to others opinions but it means listening in an unbiased way where you can consider the inputs as data/ facts required for making a decision in your life.

  5. Learn to Say No - Sometimes, denying with a simple word “No” seems very hard for most of us. However, it is a very important word that helps you to give you enough time, space and freedom to respect our choices which eventually develops strong self esteem.

  6. Take Risk - Assess the risk of acting based on your inner voice. For example - You can ask questions like “What is the worst that can happen if i were to follow my inner voice and execute the actions”.

Being you is the most unique and wonderful gift in the world. When we begin to listen and act based on our values and intuition, we will be able to live an authentic life where freedom of thought and expression is no longer a dream but a reality.

Live your best life as your best self !!

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