Where are all my people pleasers at?
Me too, girl! The thing is, I’ve always known I’m a people pleaser but until recently, I didn’t understand why.
At some point in my life, I started placing my own self-worth on my ability to make other people happy. I’ve spent so much time and energy worrying about how others perceive me. I created timelines and chased jobs based on their values and ideals instead of my own.
And do you know what this way of living got me in the end? Anxiety and empty victories.
Three years ago, I landed my dream job. I was so freaking excited to start and felt like I was on top of the world. My family was going to my cousin’s hockey tournament that weekend and I couldn’t wait for my aunts and uncles to ask about my new job. For once, I was the one in the family doing big things!
So there we were, in the warming house of the ice arena, waiting for my cousin’s game to start, and I overheard my uncle ask my mom, “But does she get benefits?” I was devastated.
First, because my uncle hadn’t even bothered to ask me about the job I was so proud of but also because he didn’t view it as a success unless it fit his criteria. I went from feeling successful to feeling like a failure in a few words. To me, his words sounded like, ‘You’re not good enough.’
I understand that my parents and their siblings are of a generation where they are thankful to have a job and a good job to them means decent pay and benefits. I also know they don’t understand how difficult it is to get a job in my chosen field.
With my experience, getting a full-time paid internship was a huge accomplishment, even if it didn’t come with benefits. I wish I could go back in time and remind myself of that. Tell myself that it’s okay not to please everyone all the time.
Your worth does not come from making other people happy.
Let me repeat that, louder this time for those in the back: Your worth does not come from making other people happy.
It’s okay not to please people all the time. Yes, even those you work with. It can be really freaking hard to say no to your manager, your boss, or even your coworker. Especially if you want to grow with the company, get a raise or be promoted. Do you know what is even harder? To do a good job when you are burned out or overextended.
You are more valuable to them when you take care of yourself and set boundaries.
The same goes for your personal life, too. We live in a time when things move so quickly and it’s easy to feel pulled in a million different directions. This is when it is most important to connect with your own values. What motivates you? What brings you joy? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
I remember for a long time feeling like I was so far behind in life. I had just beaten cancer, landed an internship with one of my favorite professional sports teams and was moving to a new city but all I felt was inferior. Crazy, right?
I had started seeing a therapist shortly after the cancer diagnosis and our conversation one day went something like this…
Therapist: Why do you feel like your sister is more successful than you? What does she have that you don’t?
Me: I don’t know…a house.
Therapist: Do you want to own a house?
This is an oversimplified version but my point is this: I was feeling unsuccessful for not having achieved something I didn’t even want!
Success doesn’t look the same to everyone and achieving someone else’s version of success won’t make you happy.
It won’t make you feel successful. Most importantly, it won’t make you feel worthy.
This is why it is so important to get to know yourself. Don’t live your life according to others’ values so they will accept your choices. Find your passion. Chase your dreams. Live YOUR life.
Your worth comes from you and you alone. See it, feel it, believe it.
You ARE worthy!