Two episodes back, you learned the signs that you may have if you are struggling with people-pleasing. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, you can do so here! But also if you’re simply curious about what life is like AFTER you recover from people-pleasing, you’re in the right place!
The life you know now is what you’ve always known, bending over backwards to make sure everyone else is happy and not taking care of yourself in the process.
But I’m here to tell you that a life outside of people-pleasing IS possible, because I’ve been where you are, and have made incredible strides past those habits.
To give some background, I grew up in a very small town, where I often like to describe feels like everyone fits you into this box.
Step outside the box? You’re considered weird and shamed.
I was known for being a good student, nice to everyone, on the basketball team, involved with all the clubs possible, a high achiever, and a perfectionist.
Not a bad thing to be known for (and some of it was true!), but if I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone, I wasn’t confident the community there would have supported it.
In fact, I had a college/career counselor who actually went out of her way to shame me for deciding to go to a community college instead of some big four-year university. To the point of tears in her office because she told me that I was going to be miserable if I decided to go to that school.
Plot twist, she was projecting her own insecurities and issues and I had a great learning experience at the community college. I finished a semester early and took the opportunity to take a semester off to work in Disney World. I’d say it worked out well!
On top of this, I had a crippling fear of failure (which you can learn about in episode 11) and cared way too much about others’ opinions.
Throughout high school and college, I said “yes” to every opportunity because it was what I “should” do
Flash forward into college and beyond? Saying “yes” to everything led me to feeling depressed and anxious, and questioning absolutely everything about my life and what I wanted.
It wasn’t until I completely tried something new and dove headfirst into personal growth and self-discovery did I finally unlearn these habits and start to put myself first. I learned about what I valued, what I actually wanted, built my confidence to say “no,” created my own boundaries, and now only do things that align with my values and energy.
Overall, I learned how to prioritize myself, rather than what others always expect from me or society told me to do.
Now, I’m confident, published three books, am more comfortable with failure (work in progress!) and so much more.
Want to know how that can look like for you after doing the work to recover from people-pleasing? Here are five ways you’ll see your life change when you start to put yourself first.
You’re Making Yourself a Priority
You understand exactly what’s important to you, and have set boundaries to protect your energy and finally put yourself first.
No more saying “yes” to absolutely everyone and forgetting to do anything for yourself.
You know that your plans are intentional, whether to help you grow, get closer to your goals, or to genuinely help someone out.
You No Longer Feel Guilty for Saying “No”
Say goodbye to fear behind saying “no” when you’re invited to hang out with someone who drains your energy, or when you have too much on your plate and can’t take on more assignments at work.
You’re confident, trust yourself, and can handle a little discomfort with the pushback that may arrive when you start telling other people you can’t do absolutely everything for them anymore like you used to.
There will be people who expect you to say “yes” and have used your generosity beyond the point that’s acceptable. Make sure you remember that the right people in your life will respect your boundaries and have your best interests at heart.
You’ll Have More Power in Your “Yes”
Now that you’re not saying “yes” to everyone all the time, you’re more dependable when you DO say “yes” to someone.
Since you used to say “yes” to everyone, you often found yourself overloaded, overwhelmed, and not giving your best self when helping someone else.
Now you can give them your full attention and commitment when it’s time to focus on helping others.
The same goes for making promises to yourself: you deserve to put more power in your “yes” when you make commitments to take care of yourself and work towards your own goals.
You’ll Have Less Overwhelm and More Ease
Briefly mentioned in the last point, now that you aren’t saying “yes” to everyone out of fear of disappointing other people, you’re able to balance your busy schedule with much more ease.
While the perfect “work/life balance” may be a myth, you’ll at least be able to handle what’s on your plate without all of the overwhelm that you were experiencing before.
Some of these boundaries that you set for yourself are to also protect your time and schedule. You’re only one person, and you don’t need to completely overload yourself with responsibilities when we already are balancing plenty on a daily basis.
Feeling Confident in Your Own Decisions
If you’re a recovering people-pleaser and often saying “yes” to everyone to make sure they’re happy, you also find making decisions for yourself extremely challenging.
You don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers and just want everyone to get along, so if you make decisions for yourself that make other people uncomfortable, you feel uneasy.
But when you’re familiar with your own values, boundaries, and energy levels, it’s so much easier to recognize what decisions feel right for YOU.
No more going back and forth for the sake of making other people happy. While you may still have some hesitation due to learning what YOU want, you’re eventually building confidence with each decision you make to feel more confident about your future choices.
If you’re looking to feel these things and really put yourself first this year, I have an amazing new way to work with me that’s coming soon.