I’m sorry. No really, it’s was my fault, Oh no, I’ll be fine, what do you need?
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For most of my life I did everything I could to keep the spot-light off me. I was a people pleaser through and through.
Giving and helping came naturally, I was the emotional caretaker for everyone around me. I found myself constantly tip-toeing around to make sure everyone was happy. And I also analyzed everything that came out of my mouth, “did that upset them, do I need to say more, I should have never said that…..”
Overthinking. Anticipating. Worrying.
I found myself saying YES to things I didn’t want to do for fear I would upset someone. But it served it’s purpose because by keeping the spot-light off of me, no one saw what was really going on inside of me.
I was afraid. I was afraid to say no, afraid to upset people, afraid to set boundaries because what if they got mad or angry at me.
That would mean my biggest fear was true, I’m unworthy and unlikeable. So if I upset someone I would do anything I could to fix it, “I’m so sorry, you deserve better, oh no I get it, no I understand why you called me that, I would of as well”
Then I stepped out of the fog.
I was working on a commercial with a husband/wife team and I witnessed him blast and shame her in front of everyone. It was so uncomfortable to witness this. Everyone was so tense, she not only took it but apologized and begged him to forgive her.
I felt her shame on such a deep level, it almost seems like she and I were the same person for one moment. I could actually feel her craving his approval and it really shook me up.
That day I felt just how detached I had been, how keeping the spotlight off of me kept me small, and how terrifying conflict was for me. I had avoided it at all cost.
It’s quite odd how when we’re in the thick of something we’re often blind to it but when we see it in others it can trigger us to look at how we show up in the world.
Boundaries. They were non existent because all I wanted was to win the love and approval of others.
After witnessing that toxic exchange at work, I started to realize what a disservice I was doing to myself and others by always putting other people first.
I allowed myself to disagree, to have a voice and to set boundaries in my life. I learned to say how I feel, not what I thought others wanted me to say.
And most importantly, I stopped apologizing.
I discovered the less time I spent making sure everyone was okay, the more time I had for myself. I learned that disagreeing actually added value to others and myself.
I learned that people actually respected me more for showing up as myself, not dancing around begging for approval.
Based on my experience I want to share with you 3 of my top tips for letting go of people pleasing and letting go of apologizing:
1. Embrace Self-Acceptance
Think of it like this. When you build a house you need a solid foundation to keep the house together, to keep it strong. Self-Acceptance is the foundation of self-love, we must first accept ourselves this very moment, be grateful for what is before we can move into any desired outcome.
2. Learn To Say NO!
Saying no to others can often mean saying yes to ourselves. This is tough for people pleasers because the fear of not being liked or upsetting people is huge but with baby steps here, you can start to say no to small things. You will also begin to see how empowered you feel and you can step into setting stronger boundaries and honoring your truth.
3. Get To Know Your Values
It’s important to figure out what feels good to you. We are all unique and all have different views of what feels good and what’s not in alignment with what we value. Make a list of what really matters to you. Make it 100% apologetically about what you want, how you see your life and what you want to attract into your life.
This is your life, your journey and your story. The good news is we can rewrite it at any given time so what story do you want to start telling about your life, your dreams and your desires?