I have a special friend who has the Disease to Please quite strongly. She is a People-Pleaser from day 1! I love her deeply and she is well aware of her disease and through the last number of years she can tell you how this disease has taken its toll on her mentally, emotionally as well as physically.
You see, contrary to what you think, no one can be everything to everyone. Yes, that was quite a mouthful, but it is so important that I want to speak it again:
You want to be the best spouse.
You want to be the best parent.
You want to be the best child.
You want to be the best sibling.
You want to be the best employee.
You get the picture…
Do you know what the pressure of perfectionism is doing to you?
First of all, you are not and never will be perfect!
Now, you should be drawing a very large sigh of
Our need to please usually starts in childhood. We do something pleasing, we get positive reinforcement—and we’re hooked! However, this desire to please others often gets carried away and we lose sight of what it is we authentically want.
Many people are riddled with guilt, anxiety, depression, loss, grief, sadness, and resentment after years of valuing someone else’s comfort over their own—and that’s what it is really, right? We are saying
So, for the next week, we want you to try to do something bad. Think of “bad” as something you feel you shouldn’t do or something you feel is a bit irresponsible. Obviously, you should not rob a bank or hurt another human being. Just start out slowly. Some “bad” ideas are:
- Delete your unread emails
- Take off work early to get a massage
- Say “No” once
- Tell someone what you really think (it can still be tactful)
This will help you gradually build your “being bad” muscles, but more importantly it will help put you back in charge of your own life. Perfectionism is a self-defeating behavior. In a way, it is inauthentic to live life pretending to be so perfect. True integrity lies in the ability to recognize and accept your imperfections.
It is easy to fall into a people-pleasing pattern and neglect your own needs. Learning to put yourself first and find your voice is priceless. If people like you—great! If they don’t then that’s okay too. Remain true to yourself. There’s nothing more health promoting than that.
Let us know how your week of being “bad” goes. We hope you find your true self during this exercise!