1 Reason To Break The People Pleasing Habit

I know you are thinking What a dummy…I don’t have that problem.

You may be right. But before you pass judgment, take a moment to read a summary of my experience with this problem.

Back in 2004, thanks to changes in medical coverage regulations and company growth, I ended up in a role where:

  • My work directly affected the financial metrics of the company.
  • I had to become an expert in something everyone was doing for the first time.
  • I had to explain actuarial concepts to people of different backgrounds. And,
  • I was learning and being challenged daily.

It was great. I felt important.

Over time, I got better at many things. With expertise come promotions and more responsibilities. I started climbing the ladder of success.

I kept climbing the ladder until I suffered from “The paradox of success”

  1. I became successful.
  2. My success attracted more projects.
  3. I liked the attention and said yes to everything.
  4. I was responsible for so many things that I burned out and failed.

My problem came from believing and wanting to do it all and help everyone and anyone.

I let the need to feel important transform me into a people pleaser.

Are you a people pleaser?

I hid the people pleasing mentality with the following thoughts:

  • I like helping others.
  • I feel an obligation to help them get what they need.
  • I need to tend to what my market leaders ask for.
  • I need to fix it because I’m the expert and I can do it faster.
  • Or the classic…But they need me…

All these phrases are fine in moderation but my problem was that I started saying them 24/7.

And as soon as I believed them, I started looking for evidence that people valued my work. And then, I got angry whenever I didn’t see enough evidence.

I started saying things like:

  • They don’t pay me enough.
  • No one listens to me.
  • I’m the only one that cares.
  • Must be nice to leave at 5 every day.
  • Why do I have to fix everything?

I said all these things because I started believing that my sole purpose was to make sure everyone got what they needed, except myself.

I forgot the wisdom of the classic phrase “you cannot give what you do not have.” Sooner or later, the tank goes empty.

What’s the lesson?




What is your experience with this concept?

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