I had a huge breakthrough this week and it happened in a seemingly subtle way.
For much of my life, I’ve struggled with people-pleasing. The incessant need to be liked has led to dishonesty, over-promising, denial of my feelings and often, resentment of others.
After years of focus, reflection, and the guidance of others, I’ve gradually come to understand the core of this need – if you truly knew me and all my flaws, you would leave me. To avoid the actualization of that, I’d do whatever necessary to impress or please you. Even at my own expense.
Yesterday, I was in a meeting with someone who I really wanted to like me and she brought up the topic of money during our conversation. Like many, I’ve been conditioned to equate money with worth and value. The topic simply makes me uncomfortable. And often leads me to overcompensate in some showy or boastful way.
In this instance, my body and mind immediately felt the urge to do just that. To put up a wall. To deny the uncomfortable feeling. But, for some reason, I did something different this time. I expressed my discomfort and suggested we change the topic to something more constructive.
I chose to honor and own my feelings. To address them in a proactive and healthy manner. While a bit scary to be so openly vulnerable with this woman, ultimately, I left the meeting feeling incredibly strong. Clear and emboldened. I didn’t feel the need to explain or justify myself. And in the end, she and I were able to have an authentic human connection.
I often say that I’m grateful for my struggles. It is only after the struggles that I fully recognize and appreciate my strengths. That I become more comfortable with myself and all of the edges, including the rough, of my feelings and emotions. That I can honor the motto of, “what others think of me is none of my business”, and live in alignment with my values.
This week, try to honor your uncomfortable feelings when they come up. It is not your job to please everyone around you. Do the work of creating space for yourself to live authentically. In the times where you aren’t, don’t self criticize. Simply observe and correct.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love