7 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser
Recently I received an email from a student:
Hi Suzanne. So you've moved from feeling resistance to speaking your piece to drawing a picture that's a megaphone! Impressive....
You're full of energy & it appears you feel your power? Is there anything that helped you move forward? I think it will really help me move forward, too.
I knew exactly what she was talking about. Last week I’d been running an Intuitive Development group. I’d asked everyone to draw a plant that represented herself, and mine had turned into a vibrant megaphone-shaped flower.
So how did I reclaim my voice? How does anyone do it? In my case, I've moved from always guarding my language – being a people pleaser– to speaking my own authentic truth with power.
What creates this kind of shift? I've identified seven separate activities, and here they are:
1. Notice what you’re feeling.
We learn through osmosis starting when we're babies not to consider our feelings, to the extent that we lose touch with them. If you’re a people pleaser, you’ll be especially prone to this. So Step One is to notice what you are feeling.
Trying keeping a journal. Find a good therapist from any modality to talk to. My clients confide in me because they know I am supportive; my osteopath fulfils a similar role for me. Be honest to yourself about your emotions, and there’ll come a point when you can express these more openly, without feeling like an overcharged volcano.
2. Affirm your value.
Look yourself in the mirror every day and say I love you. Look for positive things about yourself and say them. Keep doing this. The person you will spend most time with in this lifetime is yourself – it might as well be a good relationship. The pioneer of affirmations is Louise Hay, and at 86, she’s vibrant proof that it works.
3. Spend time with inspiring people.
When great holistic speakers are in town, attend their events. Seek out local groups of like-minded people. If you need to, detox your social media timelines. Bookmark uplifting sites. I know I can get an instant boost by browsing MindBodyGreen or viewing my own Facebook timeline, which is full of inspiring posts from the best and brightest thinkers.
4. Meditate regularly.
Meditating is calming, uplifting, clears the mental clutter and lets you get back in touch with who you truly are. In my Studio in Wiltshire, UK, I hold 60 meditation groups a year, focusing on a Western intuitive approach. When students ask me for tips, I direct them to this easy guide.
5. Act on your intuition – swiftly!
Intuition is a fast-track messaging service from the Universe. It can enhance your life and even save it. It’s your soul speaking to you, and it’s fast – often the first thought that pops into your mind. You need to tune into those first thoughts, and go with them. It has an uplifting quality to it, even in serious situations, and it’s not harmful to others. Intuition comes from the Latin, meaning ‘inner teaching’. Respect your intuition – it’s there to help you.
6. Use your energy wisely.
Tune into, understand and respect your natural energy levels. When you are tired, or quiet, allow yourself be these things. Take a look at your "Quest and Rest" ratio. In nature we’d spend time questing for food, shelter and the basics of survival, and we’d rest for long periods in-between. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
7. Align yourself with divine will.
The truth is, we are not in charge of anything: we are simply witnesses to the incredible unfurling life of the Universe. We don’t need to understand the big picture. We simply need to say, “Show me what I need to do, and I’ll do it to the best of my ability.”
You have your own special role in life – it’s the thing that makes you happy. When you follow your excitement, your voice becomes magically free.