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Why you’ll never get ahead trying to please others

The importance of putting your own needs first

One weekend not so long ago, I was so overwhelmed trying to please others my back went out. The pain was so bad I could barely walk, stand, or sit, so I had to lie down for two days.

That weekend I had gladly decided to spend the whole two days completing work tasks, as I was going away to a yoga festival for four days later in the week. Two days before the weekend, my friend from Mexico let me know she was in town and wanted to stay with me. I had been awaiting her arrival and verbally discussed the cool activities we could do. I didn’t however know exactly which date she was arriving and figured she would give me around a weeks notice of her arrival.

Although I intuitively knew it was important to complete my work tasks, I chose to put the obligation on myself to host her and make sure she had a good time.

On Saturday morning we planned to go on a long hike, then I was going to go home to do some work in the afternoon. A few minutes before she came, as I was getting changed and feeding the dog, my back completely went out.

I knew immediately, as there was no physical reason for it to happen, it was caused by emotional reasons from not setting my boundaries and honoring how I needed to spend my time. I was trying to please everyone and do too much which led to me to be forced to stay in bed (and do my work like I originally planned) and feel I had a good excuse when I told friends I couldn’t catch up).

Essentially, overwhelm happens when you are not fully connected to your truth. Your inner guidance system never gives you more than you can handle. 

If you ever feel you have more tasks to do then you can handle, usually this list of things to do involves pleasing others or buying into fear.

Your fears will tell you that you need to complete tasks by a certain time out of scarcity. You feel if you don’t do it ASAP your competition may beat you to it. Your fears tell you certain actions need to be performed in a particular order or timing, because it worked for someone else (or even you in the past). Your fears tell you that you need to please others and make them happy, even if you know it is going against your own needs and happiness.

Part of being human is having the desire to be liked, feel understood, and connected to others. So you can naturally fall into wanting to please others.

What you may forget is its impossible to please everyone or even be liked by everyone.

Being a people pleaser is not only draining, it doesn’t honor your own truth or needs. You can only give to others once you give to yourself first. By neglecting yourself and your own needs you become disconnected, exhausted and even resentful towards the people you are pleasing. This does no one any good and even though you are doing something ‘nice’ for someone, if it’s not for the right reasons the energy of the act is tainted and the other person on some level can feel it.

By being connected to your truth you can get guidance on what tasks are important to complete and what in order. By practicing patience and trust, each step can become revealed at a time. You begin to hear when your body needs to rest and you honor that without guilt or justification to others.

You no longer make future plans to please others, instead you tell them you will decide closer to the time if it feels right. You stop feeling obligated to go to events or do things for certain people. All the activities you do and tasks you commit to feel like the right thing to do and honor your integrity and truth.

Because you are acting from a place of connection, the tasks and activities you do have more energy, power, and drive behind them so require less time to do than if you were disconnected. Your relationships become stronger because you are leading with your heart. You accomplish more in less time and there is a flow and ease to your life.

The key is to prioritizing your time and tasks is to go within for guidance, it will never lead your astray.     

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