In my last blog post, I introduced you to the 5 Signs that You’re a People Pleaser.

Following on from my recent webinar on the subject, here are my top 7 steps to kicking the people-pleasing habit.

Step 1:  Get Clarity About What You Want in Life

Knowing what you want is KEY to shaping the decisions you make and the actions you take every day to move you closer to YOUR goals

Once you know what you want, you can set the priorities to get what you want.

Every decision you make can be based on the answer to the question:

“Will doing this move me closer to, or further away from my goals”

Step 2:  LISTEN to your thoughts and feelings: make friends with your intuition

TUNE in to what YOU want to do

When asked to do something, or go somewhere, pay attention to how you feel. Your body, along with your thoughts will know the answer.

What does your ‘little voice’ say? “Yes” or “Hell no”

Indifference or apathy may arise, especially if you aren’t used to focusing on what you want or paying attention to what you feel. Remember, you’re building a new muscle!

Give yourself options by asking yourself the question. “Would I rather do this.. Or that…?”
and pay attention to how you feel as well as to that little voice in your head.

Exercise: Next time someone asks you what movie would you like to see or what would you like for dinner or what would you like to do at the weekend – give them an answer!

If you’re really used to going along with others, they may be surprised that you have a preference. Remember, everyone has a little people pleasing in their DNA – let others have the opportunity to please you for a change!

Step 3: Set boundaries for yourself

LOVE yourself enough to set boundaries

YOUR time and energy are precious

YOU get to choose how to use your time and energy

YOU teach people how to treat you by teaching them what is and what isn’t okay

YOU cannot be everything to everyone!

“I can do it between 10am and 12pm”   “I have other plans”

“I’m happy to talk to you about this, I’m in the middle of something right now, I’ll call you back”

Exercise: Try these words and phrases on and write down what you’ll say the next time you’re asked to do something / be somewhere / listen to “negative Nellie”

Step 4: Approve of and LOVE yourself first

How much do you love yourself? How would you rate your confidence, your self-esteem?

Do all you can to love and approve of yourself, and no person, obstacle or situation will control how you feel about you

Remember: You won’t be liked by everyone and you won’t like everyone either!

Loving yourself first is the key to attracting loving relationships into your life

Exercise: Write a love letter to yourself: 10 qualities you LOVE about YOU

Step 5: Learn to say ‘no’ with elegance, firmness and grace

When you’re clear about what you want in your life, you know what your priorities are. This clarity of purpose becomes your ‘yes-ometer’ – it makes it easier to know what to say “no” to.

When you say ‘’yes’’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘’no’’ to yourself. By this I mean that when you say “yes” to others, you’re committing time and energy that you cannot spend on doing things for you. It’s your choice to make. And if you decide to say no remember this:

“No” is a complete sentence. It doesn’t require explanation or justification.

As you’re building a new muscle, you may choose to use stall tactics if that is an easier first step for you. You may say “I’ll come back to you on that” to give you time to consider whether you want to do something and if not, the most elegant way to say “no”

Keep in mind that people will not fall apart if you say “no” (do you?)

Exercise: Say “no” to 3 things you don’t want to do, be or have each day. Start simple – for example you may start by saying no to going for a coffee or an event at the weekend.

Step 6: Show guilt the door

Be prepared for guilt to slink in. He’ll sidle up to you and say “Oooh, you shouldn’t have done that” or “Gee, that wasn’t very nice”

He’ll hit you in the stomach with that churning feeling and thoughts of regret and self-doubt that grow and linger

Tell him “Thank you, I’m in charge now. You’re not wanted here” – watch him go

He may take a while to leave – imagine how relieved you’ll feel when you have the power to take action and make decisions without him around!

Step 7: Build a community who love and respect you

As a (recovering) people-pleaser, you may already recognise that there are one or two people in your life who bring out the best (or worst) in your people pleasing tendencies

Exercise: Re-assess your relationships. Are they balanced in terms of give and take or do you always have the ‘giver’ hat on?  Make a list. Take action to address any issues that may arise for you. Are there people or relationships that aren’t serving you well? Do you need to de-clutter some relationships and the time and energy you spend on them?

Embedding the 7 Steps

Get clarity about what you want, tune into your thoughts and feelings, love yourself, say no, respect your boundaries, show guilt the door and decide to surround yourself with people who want your happiness too.

Remember, you’re building a new ‘muscle’ and learning a new habit and it takes practice.

Kicking the habit requires conscious daily action. You’ve read the steps and activities above and now it’s important that you do the exercises to create change.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. You may also like to join me over in the She Makes it Happen with Lara Young Group on Facebook where you’ll find free resources and courses for getting clarity about what you want in life.

I’ll be very pleased to see you there

Lara Young Business Coach

PS  You can develop these skills and more in my program She Makes it Happen! The Program where you’ll participate in exercises and group coaching sessions that will enable you to:

  1. Know your PURPOSE
  2. Build your CONFIDENCE
  3. Create your COMMUNITY
  4. Be ADAPTABLE when things don’t go as planned
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