Are you who you say you are when it is much more convenient to show up as someone else to get along and not cause a riff? How many times have you decided to go against your better judgment or gut feeling to listen to someone else? Are you quick to let them assume a role of authority in your life? The people pleaser strikes again; isn’t it annoying?
Recently, I was asked by a friend to attend a two-hour event at a church I had been to with very uncomfortable seats that caused me pain. I voiced my concern to my friend and suggested we do something else, only to find myself minutes later driving down the street towards the church I just said I didn’t want to go to. My friend tried to convince me it would be comfortable even though he had never been to this church before.
So we are riding along and then it hit me: I don’t want to go and my gut is telling me not to, so why am I disobeying it? Why is it not enough for me to know what I know to be true without speaking on it or seeking approval from others? How did I lose my way yet again? I know it may seem small and insignificant, but it is the little things that become very big problems over time if they are left unattended. It is important to start course correcting back to your truth as soon as possible.
In that moment of awareness, I stopped my car and said: I am not going to the church. I turned the car around and headed back home. Of course my friend was upset and thought I was overreacting, but I stuck to my conviction. My friend got in his car and headed to the event without me.
So what is the lesson in all of this? The people pleaser in you and me can’t stand the thought of disappointing or letting others down; it will talk you into doing things you know are not right for you in order to keep the peace in your relationships. But can there be peace if you are not willing to do what you know is best for you?
Recovering from people pleasing starts by learning how to live your truth despite the glares from others. It requires you and me to be willing to endure the criticism of others when you or I decide to not go along with someone else’s agenda. It is essential to build and reinforce trust in yourself by not seeking external validation for the choices you make. Own your power by aligning your thoughts, words and actions with your truth because your truth matters. I found a quote that sums this up very well, “As long as you disqualify yourself in word, you will also do it deed.”
Isn’t that that the truth?