Looking back on my life, I have come to realize how much time I spent trying to conform to the beliefs and acceptance of other individuals. That was one of the things that I did best. I spent so much of my time trying to be perfect. Trying to be appreciated and liked by everyone else around me. Trying to fit in with anybody and everybody who would give me attention. Trying to have the lives that I saw others living.
There are many instances where I didn’t even feel comfortable living in my own skin, and often times felt embarrassed. But to me, my opinions weren’t important. I just wanted to make everyone around me happy and to like me.
To put it simply, I was a people-pleaser. Not necessarily the pushover type of people-pleaser. But the type where I would do anything and everything for attention, acceptance, and the approval of others.
People-pleasing is an unhealthy behavior that shows nothing more than a sign of low self-esteem. It is incredibly time and energy-consuming, and from my experience, it sucks away all of the joy from life.
Yet, no matter how bad it is for us, it’s something that many of us struggle with. We want to be liked. We have a hard time saying no. And to be completely honest, we want to feel needed. That’s what it truly boils down to.
It’s almost as if we have forgotten that we have our own lives to live. We are in control of our life, not anybody else around us. The only person whose approval we need is our own. As long as we are happy with who we are as an individual, no other opinion matters.
Stop Being a People-Pleaser
After years of doing everything that I could just to be accepted by those around me, I am comfortable in saying that I am a much stronger person today than I was before.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still times that I catch myself worrying about pleasing others or focusing my attention on trying to be accepted by those around me. I think everybody deals with this to some extent. But no longer is it my main focus in life. No longer is it my purpose or intention for the day like it used to be.
I now know what I am worth. I now know what I am truly capable of achieving. And most importantly, I have now realized that I am me and that being me is my greatest strength.
6 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser
Shifting your mindset and focus isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s never easy. But if you want to reclaim your life and start making the most of it, then you need to be willing to make it your priority. Anything you believe, you can achieve.
Here are 6 tips that have helped me stop being a people-pleaser, and tips you should implement into your life as well.
1. I have allowed myself to be me.
When I sought the acceptance and approval of others, I was worried about one, and only one thing – trying to be the person that others wanted me to be instead of being the person who I already was.
Imagine walking around every single day feeling like nothing but a fraud or a liar. The worst part is that this is how I felt about myself, not how others felt about me.
People are smart. They know when you are acting like yourself or when you are trying to act like somebody you’re not. What we fail to realize is that when we focus solely on pleasing everyone around us, we either drive those individuals further away, or we get taken advantage of. In neither situation will we win.
Speak your truth. Allow yourself to be you. If others don’t like you for who you are, that’s their loss and not yours. The more authentic you are as an individual the stronger your relationships are going to be not only with those who truly care about you, but with yourself.
2. Learned to let go of the opinions of others.
The thing about listening to the opinions of others is that it isn’t going to make you feel any better about yourself as an individual. In fact, it’s probably going to make you feel worse.
At first, it’s incredibly challenging. It’s hard to not care what others think about you, especially after you have focused so much of your life on trying to please those around you. But in the end, you ultimately have to do what is going to be most beneficial for you as an individual, and that means letting go of the opinion of others.
No matter who you are, no matter what you do, and no matter how much you accomplish over the course of your life, you are always going to be judged. Doesn’t it make more sense to be judged for being your true authentic self as opposed to being somebody that you’re not?
Learn to let go of the opinions of others and learn to love yourself for the individual that you already are.
3. Giving my life a direction and a purpose.
Goal setting is a huge part of my life. Not only does it help me to achieve the things that I want to achieve, but it also gives me a direction for how I want to live my life.
When we know exactly what it is that we want to get out of our lives, nothing else seems to matter. The same is true for goal setting and judgment. When you set goals for your life and know the exact route that you want to take your life in, nothing else will matter, including the judgment of others.
Think of life as driving a car. How likely are you to get into your car with no clear destination? Probably slim next to none. Each time you get in your car you have a clear destination mapped out. And what happens when you know where that destination is? You eventually get there.
This is why you need to map out your destination in life as well. Give yourself a direction for where it is that you want to go. Sure, you may experience road bumps and detours along the way, but as long as you know where you want to go, you will get there regardless of what others think about the route you take.
4. Focused on shifting my mindset.
I never used to be a person who focused much on mindset and mental strength. If you would have told me five years ago that it would now be one of my main priorities in life, I would have thought you were absolutely crazy. I used to heavily judge the “hippies” or the “crazies” who spent their days practicing mindfulness and gratitude.
It wasn’t until my mind was flooded with negative emotions that I realized something about my life had to change. I was spending so much of my time and energy trying to please those around me to the point that if I did not have the approval and validation of others, I felt like a failure.
It wasn’t until I started shifting my mindset and prioritizing happiness and positivity that I started to let go of the opinions of others and actually found a sense of pride and joy for who I already was as an individual. The more I focused on being happy and staying positive, the less the opinions and judgment of others bothered me.
No longer did I need the approval of others to live a happy and fulfilling life. Once I realized that I was in control of my life and started to shift my mindset, only then was I able to start loving the life that I was living.
Every action, belief, and emotion that we experience first starts with a thought. If we do not learn to shift our mindset and our focus to the very thoughts that we want to reflect, then we are going to spend the rest of our lives in a deep and dark place. Trust me when I say that I have been there and it isn’t pleasant.
5. Let go of trying to be perfect.
One thing that really helped me to stop being a people-pleaser was to let go of trying to be perfect.
Oftentimes, I found myself focusing on the opinions of others because I was trying to be perfect. I wanted everybody to like me. I wanted everybody to envy the life that I was living. And the last thing I wanted was for anybody to point out my many flaws and mistakes.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to try to be perfect for those around you? Everybody has a different perception of what perfection looks like, so trying to shape your life for the liking of everybody else around you is impossible. Not only that, but when we focus solely on perfection, we forget to take chances on ourselves and to make the most of the opportunities that life presents us.
The best piece of advice that I can give you is to let go of perfection, and to instead focus on progression. There is always going to be room for improvement in every aspect of our lives. So quit trying to be perfect and focus on being the best that you can be.
6. Stopped comparing myself to others.
If we truly want to stop being people-pleasers, then we need to stop comparing ourselves to those around us.
This was another area of my life that I have always struggled with. Admittingly, this is something that I still find myself struggling with from time to time. In the technology-driven world that we live in, it’s easy to compare our lives to the lives of others. We open our phones and have immediate as to what others are doing with their lives.
What we fail to realize though, is that we often compare our beginnings to the accomplished endings of others. We want only the finished product and very rarely recognize all of the hard work and effort that goes into any and all success.
When you stop comparing yourself to everyone around you, it becomes a lot easier to start living your life to the fullest instead of trying to please everybody else around you.
This is your life. You are the only person that can control the direction in which your life goes in. Let go of trying to please everybody around you, never compare your beginning to the accomplished finish of those around you, and learn to love yourself for the unique individual that you already are. You are you, and that is your greatest power. Never let anybody take that away from you.
There is only one way you should live your life, and that is to live it how you see fit. Not how others want you to live your life, but how you want to live it. So use these tips to help you stop being a people-pleaser and make the most of your one life.