Welcome back to the Self-Love Fix. Today, we’re getting a little bit scandalous. We’re pulling out a little bit of tough-love. We’re talking about why you actually don’t want to stop being a people-pleaser.
Here’s the thing: all of our behaviors, when it comes to the things we choose to do, whether it’s unconscious or conscious, we do them because we benefit in some way from them. Otherwise, we would simply…not be doing it. Humans simply don’t do things they don’t benefit from, even things they claim they want to stop doing. If people-pleasing didn’t benefit you, you would have managed to stop being a people-pleaser by now.
Human beings operate out of desire. Now, people can get tripped up by this, because they tend to think that it’s always conscious desire, but that isn’t the case. Oftentimes, your “bad habits” that you don’t understand actually fulfill an unconscious desire and benefit you in some unseen way.
A lot of times, when people catch wind of their habits that they don’t necessarily like or things that they do that they can’t stop doing, it’s actually subconscious. You’re aware of it on some level; you just don’t know why you’re doing it. You know that you are people-pleasing, but you don’t know why you can’t stop being a people-pleaser.
Personally, I think it’s a really awesome place to be, because once you’re aware of these subconscious habits, you actually get to lean in and choose differently. Unfortunately, most people don’t go further than subconscious awareness because of what they think it means about them. So this week, I really wanted to speak about people-pleasing, how it benefits you, and why it’s so difficult to stop being a people-pleaser. So many people are aware of these things that they do that are unsupportive to them, but that doesn’t mean they can just stop being a people-pleaser. Sit down, buckle up, and get ready to sit with some tough love for a minute.
Here’s the deal: to take a look at why the things you’re doing benefit you on some level and why you can’t stop being a people-pleaser, it really takes you knowing how to simmer down your ego in order to be able to look at these aspects of you without freaking out.
This is why I call myself the Ego Whisperer: because I have really figured out how to get the ego to simmer down, both with myself and with my clients. I know how to partner with the ego so that we can access these parts that actually stop you from getting to where you consciously want to be.
And it’s not that these parts of you are “bad,” and we need to get rid of them. You don’t actually have to stop being a people-pleaser. It’s really about how we can actually go deeper, break bread with these parts of us, and get to understand them. It’s about getting to a place where we can incorporate and integrate these parts into our lives in a way that’s actually supportive to us.
Let me tell you why people-pleasing benefits you:
It benefits you because you don’t have to be vulnerable.
You don’t have to be honest. You don’t have to get vulnerable. You don’t have to share what’s true for you with someone else.
Now, when you hear me say this, I bet the conscious part of you is rejecting the idea. You’re thinking, “Why would I want that? I don’t think that’s true.” If that’s the case, I actually invite you to let this sit and see where it’s true for you, because if you take the time to sit with it, you’ll discover some pretty incredible things.
For example, if you have to be honest about what’s true for you—say, if you have to set a boundary—that’s actually a form of vulnerability you need to show another person. If you do that, that means you risk people not agreeing with you. That means you risk people being opposed to you. That means you risk people being upset with you.
Now, are all these things true every time? No. But there is a part of you that understands it’s a possibility, and that part of you doesn’t want that to happen, so you do everything in your power to prevent it. You do everything in your power to not be seen as disagreeable or someone who thinks differently than the people around them.
Do you see what I mean about how you actually benefit from people-pleasing? If you don’t stop being a people-pleaser, that part of you that fears being disliked doesn’t have to be seen. You get to live in this illusion where everybody likes you and everything is seemingly peaceful, but that isn’t reality. Instead, you’re simmering and stuffing down all the things you really feel, and I promise you that they will come out in other forms that are unsupportive and self-sabotaging.
Now, maybe you’ve been working on this side of yourself. You might be thinking you already managed to stop being a people-pleaser.
Sure. All right. Let’s follow that thread, shall we?
You think you taught yourself to stop people-pleasing? Let me ask you this: how do you operate in your business? What do you do if your client wants you to do something that’s not in your terms or something that you just don’t do, and you actually have to set a boundary? What happens then?
Or what about when you’re at work and your boss is asking you to do something and you actually have a lot on your plate? What happens when you actually have to advocate for yourself and be vulnerable and honest about how you feel?
Do you see it? We think we’re “above” or “past” certain things, but actually we experience unconscious parts of ourselves at every level. Things we aren’t aware of and don’t see until they come into our subconscious or conscious awareness.
We all experience people-pleasing on some level, even me!
But here’s the thing: a lot of people experience people-pleasing in a way that is unsupportive to them, because it’s largely unconscious. For me, there are many areas of my life where I experience people-pleasing that’s actually supportive to me.
Every subject is really two subjects. Nothing is all bad or all good; there is just supportive and unsupportive. There’s good and there’s not so helpful. (I’d rather say not so helpful as opposed to bad.)
So there is a way that you don’t have to stop being a people-pleaser, and a way that it can actually be supportive to you. That’s where shadow work is required.
If you’re curious, this is something we actually get into in Self Trust Alchemy, and I’m so excited. We’re going to do archetypal work and shadow work around people-pleasing and how there’s a way to alchemize your experience with people-pleasing so that it actually doesn’t show up in a very shadowy, sabotaging way in your life, but it actually shows up in a way that’s supportive to you.
This is why I love ego work and shadow work so much, because it’s going to do everything for you when you are actually in a place where you are willing to face the parts of you that you reject and to stop running from these parts of you. You get to sit down and break bread with them, and when you do, they will teach you things about yourself. It will expand you in ways you never imagined.
All in all, I want you to consider if this is the way you desire to continue your life. I want you to think about whether you actually desire to continue suppressing your needs and manipulating how people see you or what people think of you by showing up differently. Do you desire to continue putting on a mask, suppressing your feelings, and showing up differently than you actually wish to show up? What would be required of you to stop being a people-pleaser and actually show up as someone who’s honest and vulnerable?
I challenge you to sit with this and explore it without shame. Whenever we do shadow work, whenever we are examining limiting beliefs, we don’t do shame. It’s not supportive to your growth, it’s not helpful for you, it doesn’t get you anywhere. It just keeps you stuck and keeps you running from the parts of you that desperately need to be seen by you.
Join Self Trust Alchemy, a 16-week live group program designed to help you alchemize self-doubt, overwhelm, and overthinking into next-level self-trust in your ability to set boundaries, achieve your goals, and use your voice: https://beatricekamau.thrivecart.com/self-trust-alchemy/
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