Do you find yourself always wanting to please others or seek their approval? Maybe they have made you feel inadequate in the past and you are striving to live up to who they expect you to be? Or it could be you are seeking to get their attention or love because, without it, you just don’t feel right? If that is the case, read below to discover what I personally did to overcome this.
Dancing To the Tune Of Others
In the past, when I found myself entangled in such traps, I found the best thing I could do for myself was to pull away for a while, to establish what was driving me. Upon reflection, I discovered I was driven by the voices of others, from my ‘yesterdays’ and ‘yesteryears’, telling me I needed to do better or change myself, to gain their attention or affection. In short, they were telling me I was not good enough.
Because I (foolishly) placed value on such statements, they constantly replayed in my mind. As I was desperate for their approval or to fit, I found myself dancing to their tunes such as working harder, pushing myself beyond reasonable limits, setting unrealistic goals and conforming even though it went against the grain of who I was.
Freedom From People Pleasing
And so, years down the line, after feeling drained from seeking the approval of others, I found myself turning to my faith in God to remind me of who I was. I needed a reminder of who I had been created to be. I needed a reminder of His precious thoughts towards me. After all, when all was said and done, that’s what really counted. So, hearing words like, “you are special to Me”, “I love you”, “I’m proud of you” or “you are on the right track” gradually expunged my mind of the junk I had picked up along the way.
Over time, I discovered that I no longer felt the need to please others. ‘Take me as I am‘, became my mantra. Of course, this was no excuse for not being my best or continually improving myself. Notwithstanding, it was a huge burden off my shoulders knowing that my life was not about pleasing others but the one person that was most important to me, namely God.
And when the penny dropped, I finally realised that I really didn’t need to please anyone or fight for their attention or love because #iamfamoustoGod He knows me, loves me, encourages me and cherishes me. That all His little princess (i.e. me) needed. How liberating is that?
And so, these days, when I show up every day, my sole agenda is to simply be the woman I was created to be. And by meditating on biblical, spiritual principles and affirmations daily, my mind gets expunged of unhealthy, incorrect and negative mindsets and is replaced with healthy and positive mindsets that ultimately underpins our behaviours.
Uncovering your tendencies
So perhaps now is the time to reflect on how you relate to others. If you find yourself dancing to the tune of others, dig deeper to uncover the thought patterns driving this (e.g. you feel you might be rejected or won’t fit in if the real you shows up, etc.). Then, take positive steps to help you overcome this such as creating affirmation statements of your own that reinforce positive messages about who you are. You can also learn to say, ‘no’ more often (isn’t a crime!). Finally, accept who you are (warts and all) and put your best foot forward. Some won’t like you and others simply won’t get you. But that is just fine because on this journey called ‘life’, we need everyone to show up and be 100% authentic. So start today.
Written by Gladys Famoriyo. Author of: Overcoming Emotional Baggage; Healing A Discouraged Heart; Quit Hiding, Start Living! and Bounce Back!