How I’ll Stop Being A People Pleaser (My Self-Discovery In Crisis)
Photo credit: Ann Visser (I love to discover beauty in unexpected places)
Did you know that hard times can help you learn more about who you really are?
==> Watch this really personal video as I share the biggest thing I’ve learned about myself lately. <==
Discover Who You Are Through Hard Times
Things are starting to open up where I live in Prince Edward Island, but things have changed so we’re still in a crisis. As restrictions are loosening up, I’m thinking about what I really want.
For instance, commitments that I’ve made before… do I want to keep them?
And one of the things that I’m learning is that adversity helps us to discover more about who we really are, which gives us an opportunity to grow!
(I know that’s been the case with me, which I’ll share more about soon.)
Often, people don’t see themselves clearly, says John Maxwell. But when we lose our comfort zone and our usual supports, we also lose the illusion of who we are or who we think we should be and we’re brought face to face with who we really are.
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I Need To Stop Being A People Pleaser
I’m going to be really honest with you about what I’ve been discovering about myself through this crisis.
And it’s this — I’m still far more of a people pleaser than I thought.
Now, I’m a recovering people pleaser but I’ve learned through this crisis that there’s still more work for me to do in this area.
This awareness came to me because I’m realizing that I often do things for other people and not necessarily because I want to do them.
This is being a people pleaser. And I’m discovering that being a people pleaser simply is not love. And as followers of Christ, we’re called to live in truth and love.
Photo credit: Ann Visser (sometimes I say “yes” to my husband just to make him happy)
Being A People Pleaser Isn’t True Love
So why isn’t it love? On the outside, it may look like love because I’m serving others. I’m doing things to make them happy.
But here’s the thing… when I’m being a people pleaser, I do something because I want to make someone else happy. So I give a quick “yes”, whether it’s my husband, my kids or someone else to make them happy.
But when I do that I actually take away their right to NOT like me.
Isn’t that interesting?!
That’s what I said — I take away their right not to like me.
So, I need to work on being honest with myself first so I can be truthful about what I think, feel and what I really want. So that when I say “yes”, it’s because I really want to do it. And when I say “no”, it’s because I don’t want to do it.
Then I got to thinking… what is real love? What is truth?
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6 NIV). And when I thought about unconditional love, 1 Corinthians 13:4 immediately came to my mind: “Love is patient, love is kind…” But then I realized, wait a minute… that’s not the whole gospel.
Photo credit: Ann Visser (sometimes love is messy)
Sometimes Real Love Isn’t “Nice”
So what does true love look like? The gospels show that Jesus’ true love didn’t always mean being sweet and nice. Here are some of the things he says that we wouldn’t consider being “nice”:
“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NIV) Yikes!
He calls the Pharisees “blind guides”, “white-washed tombs”, “snakes” and “brood of vipers”. (Matthew 23:16, 27 & 33 NIV)
And then again, he says, “you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” (Luke 11:39 NIV)
And then I thought about his explosion in the temple where he overturned tables. These were businesses inside the temple. It was loud and messy.
So I thought, I am to follow Jesus as my Lord and Saviour so I need to STOP people pleasing and I need to be honest with myself. So that other people see who I really am and I give people the option to like or not like who I really am. In this way, I can be honest and walk in the truth.
Now, that means sometimes I’m going to say hard things to other people that they’re going to think “well, that’s not very nice!”
Photo credit: Ann Visser (sometimes we need to take a close-up of ourselves)
How I’m Going To Stop Being A People Pleaser
I know people that pride themselves on being very nice but I need to get away from that kind of thinking. And I need to work on three specific things so I can stop being a people pleaser:
- Be honest with myself.
- Recognize where I’m not being true to who I am and who God made me to be.
- Continue to learn how to have honest conversations with people.
Now, this is ONE example of a big awareness I’ve had through this crisis and I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been learning about yourself during this crisis.
If you’re not sure what you’ve learned about yourself, then you could try the following simple steps…
First, quiet your mind and sit with your journal. Next, set your timer for a time of reflection for ten or fifteen minutes.
Third, pray this prayer: “Papa, what do you want to show me today about who I am because of this current situation? Teach me. Help me to go within to see who I really am in the midst of this crisis so that I can walk in your Holy Spirit in truth and in your way, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
And last, write down what you sense the Holy Spirit revealing to you. Don’t worry if you don’t sense much at first. It takes practice.
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Are you learning more about yourself during this crisis? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We love to hear from you!
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