10 Ways to Free Yourself From the People-Pleaser Mentality

This is a guest article from: Mukesh M – Consciousreset.com

Being a people-pleaser is a soul draining habit.  And most people will gladly walk all over you if you allow them that freedom.  

Like any other limiting mentality, people-pleasing arises out of a negative thought pattern in your subconscious mind.  Such thought patterns generally develop from negative childhood experiences.  For example, a parent who was disapproving of you, who made you feel that you are not good enough until you met certain expectations.

But, the good news is that you can overcome this mentality by cultivating self awareness.  Here are ten ways to free yourself from the people-pleaser mentality. 

1.  Stay mindful of your thoughts

Carl Jung said, ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate’.

A crucial step in discarding negative thought patterns is to become ‘aware’ that the thought pattern actually exists.  Becoming aware is akin to observing a thought objectively (from a third person’s perspective) without getting engaged with the thought.  In psychology this is known as, ‘metacognition’.

Every time you feel obligated to please others, use this technique to become aware of the thoughts in your mind.  Once you are aware, you are no longer living in auto mode and the thought pattern starts to lose its unconscious grip on you.

2.  Stay mindful of your behavior

As with the thoughts, extend your mindfulness to your body by staying mindful of how you are feeling at any given moment, your posture, your breathing, your mannerisms and body language.

This way, you can realize when you are exhibiting a meek body language and consciously change it to a more authoritative one.  For example, if you find yourself slouching, stand up straight.  If your breath is shallow, breathe more deeply.

Consciously changing your body language will strengthen your mindfulness and give you control over negative thought patterns being triggered.

3.  Listen to positive affirmations

Affirmations are a great way to start reprogramming your mind.  You can listen to affirmations or say them out to yourself (or in your mind).

The following are examples of positive affirmations that you can use:

  • I am perfect as I am; I don’t need anyone’s approval.
  • It’s not important what others believe about me.  It is only important what I believe about myself.
  • I love and accept myself unconditionally.
  • There is nothing that is too good for me.  I deserve all the good that life has to offer.
  • My happiness is not dependent on other people and it’s not up to me to make others happy.

The best times to practise affirmations is right before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up in the morning.

4.  Don’t always be available

If people feel that you are always available, they will start taking you for granted.  A simple solution is to start playing hard to get.  Get into the habit of telling people you are busy irrespective of whether you are busy or not.

It also helps to have clear goals in your life because goals help you value your time.  Remember to give your goals the utmost priority at all times.  Everything else comes next.

5.  Stop seeking approval

Become aware of your need to seek approval from others.  When you seek approval from someone, you are pretty much giving your power away to them.  Assure yourself that you are enough as you are and don’t need external validation.

6.  Don’t be afraid of criticism

Aristotle said, “There’s only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

Realize that no matter what you do, there will always be people who will be critical of you.  And that’s okay cause the only opinion that matters in the end is the opinion you hold of yourself.

7.  Say NO with assertion

Learn to say “no” and be blunt about it.  Realize that you don’t need to explain yourself, be hesitant or apologize while saying “No.”  In fact, the word “NO” in itself is a complete sentence.  Never say things like, “I will think about it” or “I will get back to you on that.”  This will only encourage people to keep pestering you.

8.  Cut out toxic people from your life

Become aware of the people in your life who drain you and make a resolution to slowly cut these people out of your life.  Believe that you deserve to be around better people and consciously look out for them.

9.  Visualize yourself as a transformed individual

According to Neuroscientist Joe Dispenza, ‘We can mold and shape our brain by paying attention to an idea.

Visualize yourself as a transformed individual, feeling positive, displaying an authoritative body language and exuding confidence.  You feel self validated, you value your time and say no to things that do not serve you.  You are surrounded by people who value and respect you.  

Simply hold onto this picture in your mind’s eye for as long as possible.  Doing this for a few minutes every day is enough to bring massive changes to your brain and body.

10.  Meditate to deepen your awareness

Regular meditation practice can transform the way your mind works.  Even a simple practice like breath-meditation will suffice.  The most important benefit of meditation is that it helps you develop self awareness and self awareness is crucial when it comes to changing behavioral patterns.

Finally, let me leave you with this enlightening quote by Dr. Suess, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.