Trying to Please Everyone – Please Yourself First
People pleasers share a common outcome. They’re miserable. That’s because they neglect themselves. They’re so busy making others happy that they don’t even know their own needs. This obviously makes it impossible to get the needs fulfilled.
How about this – meet your own needs first and then focus on others. You’ll be happier and better able to help someone else.
Fearing Change – Expect Change
You know change is going to happen. You just don’t know what, where and when. That uncertainty can cause fear to intrude. Flip that script to accepting the reality that you can’t predict the future and there are changes you cannot control.
That will take the fear out of it. You may have some residual anxiety but that’s normal when faced with uncertainty.
Living In The Past – Live In The Present
There’s one thing living in the past is guaranteed to do – create lots of anxiety about all the things you could have and should have done. I’ve yet to meet anyone who found that helpful because there’s no way to resolve it. There’s only one place to live. And that’s in the present. Practicing mindfulness is a good way to get there.
Don’t second guess yourself. What’s done is done. Learn from the past and live in the present.
Putting Yourself Down – Take In The Good
Dr. Rick Hanson is a psychologist, author, and teacher who focuses on neuroscience and the brain. He reports that our brains are hard-wired to have a negativity bias based on evolution. There was a time, very long ago, when just one bad event had major negative consequences. Therefore, our brains adapted to prioritize potential threats over positive events.
To overcome this, we need to “take in the good” so it sticks and overrides the negativity bias. How do you do that? Well, it takes awareness and practice. Make a point to notice everything positive on a normal day, no matter how small it seems to be. Then soak in. Allow yourself to feel the pleasure and let it sink into you.
Over time, these little things will add up to a more positive outlook, including how you see yourself.
Overthinking – Trust Your Instincts
What are instincts anyway? It’s that gut feeling when faced with a problem or decision. It’s our way of feeling what’s right based on our unconscious knowledge and experience.
Edgar Allan Poe wrote an essay about his pet cat titled “Instinct vs. Reason – A Black Cat.” He said, “Instinct, so far from being an inferior reason, is perhaps the most exalted intellect of all. It will appear…as the divine mind acting immediately upon its creatures” (emphasis his).
The Harvard Business Review published an article titled “Instinct Can Beat Analytical Thinking.”
Why should you trust your instincts when you can think it through? Looking at something analytically is fine as long as you don’t overdo it. Overthinking often leads to paralysis and constant questioning of what to do. Instinct can provide a check and balance to reason. If they conflict that’s a clue that something is probably off.
Trust your gut and get out of your own way.
- Please yourself first.
- Expect change.
- Live in the present.
- Take in the good.
- Trust your instincts.
Don’t try to do too much at once. Try one at a time. Take on the one you need most first. If you practice these things consistently, you are well on your way to a much healthier life.