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How we became people-pleasers and what to do now?

We are conditioned, trained and wired to feel good after we get, achieve, receive a desired outcome. But we have it backward, and don't even know it!



The majority of us are trained, conditioned, and wired to think that we need to achieve a specific outcome first: get the degree, job, car, find a spouse - to be happy.


Hand on the heart, how many times did you tell yourself that "when I get that paycheck, I'll be happy", "when I finish my degree, I'll be happy", "when I land that job, that guy, that girl,....then I'll be happy."


From our childhood, we are programmed to go through the motions of what society wants from us. We are put into preschools, schools, higher education, get those diplomas, and celebrate each achievement as we go. And we do it - we go through the motions, hustle, hardship to achieve it. YET, when we do get there, how long does it last? Have you ever noticed that when you achieve that desired outcome, it is only temporary? That getting that 3 min fame on the stage as you receive the diploma, or celebrating that new career, the wedding of your dreams, though it feels wonderful, doesn’t linger for too long? Well, we are so high on serotonin and dopamine (happiness and feel-good hormone) that when the initial ‘high’ wears off, we feel it almost immediately. This longing feeling causes us to look for other places to reactivate it.


Relationships, especially in the early stages, are a great example – we found that ‘one’ who gives us their undivided attention, and we feel on top of the world. And that’s what many call the ‘rose-colored glasses' stage. We don’t see any flaws in the other person; we are so in love that everything feels perfect. And those who were in this kind of relationship also know that this phase too wears off. And when it does, we start to see some flaws that we haven’t seen before. Why? Because we are no longer the main focus of their attention. And here is where I want to pause. At this very moment, many of us don’t understand that it is not our partner’s responsibility to have us as an object of their attention. Just like it is not our responsibility to 'complete' them.


This is that slippery slope - we care too much and therefore bend backward, break our back so that they feel good. In the meantime we not only lose ourselves in the process but we become people pleasers. And this 'pattern' carries on to our daily life (pleasing our offspring, bosses, colleagues, friends etc.) It is exhausting and learned from an old, old reprogramming, misconception or flawed premise where we were told as kids that we are not worthy or enough.


So, who’s responsibility is it to please you, you ask? YOURS. You are being held accountable for your own happiness. It is not your friend, spouse, a child who is responsible. Again, they may ‘show’ you what it feels like temporarily, but they will not hold you in their primary, central view for too long. They are too busy to look out for themselves too. Do you want to feel good? Don't rely on others. Would you like if they relied on you on their happiness too? You all will end up depleted, resentful and angry.


So here is the pivotal point of having it backward: we need to reverse the process and start feeling good first before anything can enter our experience. When we achieve the good feeling, and we make it permanent by attending to it (by doing things that feel good), and master this self-discipline about caring about what we feel and think and not caring about what others feel and think about us, only then we can stay in that ‘high’ of serotonin and dopamine and reactivate it every time we have the need.


In my practice, with coaching tools, we start to shift the attention toward the SELF and get to know all the parts of the self, the inner self, and the higher self. This process is rewarding, empowering in the sense that when the client reaches that self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and self-awareness, a new person emerges. Mindset shifts, energy shifts, and flood gates are open for the Universe to deliver all they ever wanted and so much more.

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