My Journey to Overcoming Being a People-Pleaser

So, let’s pick up where we left off – most of you know that I have been on a deep soul searching journey to really understand Who I Am, What Do I Want, and Why Am I Here. And during my deep search inward I have uncovered that I had/have a lot on insecurities that where holding me back. I now understand that those insecurities came from years of being told that I was not good enough by the people I loved so deeply. So, in an effort to feel loved, and be enough, I learned at a young age how to do and be what people needed me to do and be. I learned how to be a People-Pleasers.

Anyone out there looking to make changes in your life, you must first become aware of what is holding you back, understand and then accept it (take ownership), and then use the wisdom obtained to make changes or not. But all change starts with awareness and understanding, and this is why I dig, and dig, and dig to understand where did this belief come from because I know I was not born with it, right. Now let me try to explain how I came to the realization that I am a people-pleaser, because who would ever chose to label themselves as that.

Our past is our biggest teacher, and in the past lies so much wisdom about you as a person. So, I looked to my past – I reviewed my childhood, my young adult years, and now ; and all of the experiences that I have gone through – good and bad – I realized that I am someone who is (but overcoming) afraid of being rejected or abandoned, preoccupied with how others think and feel, fearful of saying no, setting limits or seeming mean. Just me typing it in this blog triggers feelings of sadness and pain, but I know that the truth will set me free, and my story can help someone get free too.

To bring even more understanding I want to share some more characteristics of a people-pleasers which include:
– yearn for approval of others
– stuck in relationships where they give more than they get
– overworked because of an overdeveloped sense of personal responsibility
– neglectful of their own needs and
– exhausted, overbooked, and burned out trying to take care of others

Now let’s go a little deeper, the underlying cause of becoming a people-pleaser is a fear of rejection and/or fear of failure that comes from the person’s childhood. Many times the parents of people-pleasers are too worried about their own troubles to tune into what their child/children are feeling and thinking. The parent struggles to be emotionally connected and available to their child in a consistent way. However, the child does have memories of warmth and connection with their parent(s) but the child also realize that this warmth is inconsistent and the child will believe it has something to be with them. The child longs for a close, consistent connection, so the child will do all they can do to earn their parent’s love. So, what the child is taught at a very young age is that in order to get love they have to do something – just being themselves is not enough for their parent(s) to love them.

Now, back to my story of self growth and realization. After many months of research and soul searching I am finally able to admit and accept that I am a people-pleaser. My whole entire life I have been trying to form deep and meaningful connections with people by doing things to earn their love and affection. Only to find out that I could never do enough, and eventually I would experience some from of rejection or abandonment.

Growing up I was always trying to decrease my mother’s stress by being a good and responsible child. I never had a chance to really get to know who I was, or even like who I was. And that was because I was always told that who I was or how I behaved was wrong or weak. I heard that I was weak so much that I started to believe that being kind was a bad thing, so I tried to be what all the people that I cared about said I should be. And I did this because I yearned for the approval of the people around me. I learned to deny myself and lie to others all in an efforts to be accepted and loved. I even subconsciously picked friends that were so aggressive, and told me the same thing that my mother told me – that who I was was wrong, and that if I wanted to be friends with them that I had to camouflage myself. And so I did, over and over, and over again. I yearned for that positive approval from others around me, and I denied who I was in an effort to please others. But because of my personal journey to find me, I realized that the belief that who I was innately was not good enough was a limiting belief that was holding me back in life.

While on this journey, my journey to find me, I learned that people pleasing is a behavior that I learned early in my life. And that behavior at that time, for that time, was keeping me safe. I was comfortable not knowing me, I was comfortable being in the shadows, I was comfortable being what other people wanted me to be so they could feel comfortable. But this behavior no longer serves me, it is actually causing me to miss out on my life. While on this journey called life I have learned that the only way to overcome anything is to first become aware of it, and second accept and understand it, and then use the wisdom that you gained to make a choice, change or remain the same. With the wisdom I have gained from what I have uncovered about myself I chose to make some changes. I started taking time for me. I started really working on finding myself – who is Jeanine Smith, what do I desire, and how do I love me. I stopped apologizing for things that were not truly my fault, and I started appreciating and validating myself. I realized that I need me just as much as anybody else, maybe even more. My journey, so far, has taught me that if I don’t take the time to acknowledge how wonderful I am I will seek it from other people, and we all know how that turned out.

I love sharing my journey with you guys, no matter how painful my journey maybe, I still want to share it with you all to give you hope. You are not alone, we all go through good and bad things, but the good thing is that this is your life and you have control over it. So, how do you take control over your life you may be wondering. And the answer is simple, by becoming aware of what is holding you back, accepting and understanding the why, and gaining wisdom to create your life from the inside out. Honestly guys, I was tired of being a liar, tired of camouflaging myself to gain the approval of others. Being a people pleaser is exhausting. If I don’t love me, no body else will. If I don’t love me, I don’t have love to give to others. The one thing that I was searching for was already in me, and that is unconditional love and acceptance. And when I stopped lying, hiding, and camouflaging I began to love me and have compassion for me. I began to embrace all of me, and that included all of my flaws. So, guys that my story for now and I am just wondering what are you guys searching for, and can you relate to my story?

Now, if you can relate to my story you may be wondering how did I overcome my people-pleasing behavior? Well, let me say it again – the first step in making a change is always awareness. Once I become aware of what I was doing, I had to then accept and understand that part of me that I did not like. And once those two steps are completed fully, you can now use the wisdom learned to make changes in your life. The one thing I can say about overcoming being a people-pleaser is that you must know that you are worthy, and it’s not because of the things to do for others. You are worthy just because you are here on this Earth. God made you worthy the day He gave you breath, so start there. Acknowledge that truth every day, and then let your spirit guide you on you path to overcoming being a people-pleaser. That is it for now, but remember that you are not alone.

Until next time remember that Life Is But A Journey…. Bye for now…

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