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?
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