Oh, the pressure we can feel to please others!
As women, it is often ingrained in us from the start that we should devote our lives, and motherhood, to taking care of others, and this often morphs to people-pleasing.
Having a thoughtful and caring heart is not a bad thing, of course, but when we get lost in the mix of things we forget to ‘just be,’ and that makes it difficult to find peace in ourselves.
The Ramifications of People Pleasing
Studies indicate that more women than men are engaged in people-pleasing. This results in adverse effects on our mental and physical health.
When we continually sacrifice our needs for others, we bottle up our emotions. We put our feelings and needs on the back burner.
Even though we think we want to please everyone around us, it inadvertently feels stressful, and it leads us to struggle with frustration, resentment, overwhelm, discontent, depression, and anxiety.
How do we stop trying to please everyone and bring peace into our lives?
Ways to Stop Trying to Please Everyone
Big change does not happen overnight, but every single small step helps.
To slow down and stop the rolling of the ‘please everyone around me’ ball, develop an awareness of your behavior and set boundaries.
Learn to say no and stop making excuses.
Set Clear Boundaries (Develop a Boundary System)
Only you know what your limits are, whether it be your time, money, or other resources.
Set clear boundaries that identify your limits and stick to them.
By setting clear boundaries, you are being true to yourself. Consider your boundaries a protective invisible fence.
Inside that fence are your core values (what matters most in your life, and what you desire to protect), your time, and your mental and physical health.
Healthy boundaries can also help you:
- Say no when appropriate (and accept when others say no)
- Be less involved in the problems of others
- Share personal information only when suitable
- Value your own beliefs and opinions
Your boundaries will change throughout life because life is not static, however, your boundary system will always look similar as it protects everything that you treasure in life, and therefore you learn to say no without making excuses.
Learn to Say No
Learning to say no is adjacent to setting clear boundaries. When you know your limits, you set your foot down and say no without guilt or afterthought.
You listen to your inner voice, and you stick with it!
Remember that behind every no is a yes. As you say no, you are also saying yes to something else.
For example, you planned to spend your evening reading a book or soaking in a relaxing aromatic tub for an hour. By saying no to a request that would have kept you from indulging in those moments, you said yes to self-care.
Stop Making Excuses
There is no need to make excuses when saying no. Whether no means that you protect your boundaries, your mental health, or anything that you care about, excuses are typically not warranted.
Learn to simply say no and get out of the habit of excuse-making.
Keep it simple. There are ways to say no politely without explanation, such as, “No, unfortunately, now is not a good time,” or, “No, that sounds good, but perhaps next time.”
This means that you are being assertive, yet kind.
As you set clear boundaries, as you learn to say no and stop making excuses, you turn the key in the lock and open the door to just being you.
This is freedom, and these are the first steps towards finding your inner peace.
Practical Ways to Find Inner Peace
“If there’s no inner peace, people can’t give it to you. The husband can’t give it to you. Your children can’t give it to you. You have to give it to you.” – Linda Evans
When we have inner peace, we can focus on our joy. We feel comfortable in our stillness.
We develop a heart of gratitude. We own a sense of happiness and love, and that includes loving ourselves.
When we are just being ourselves with nothing mentally tugging at us, when we are living within our boundary system, we may organically find peace in ourselves. Sometimes, it takes a little work, and much of that involves self-care.
Here are a few practical ways to accelerate inner peace:
Make an appointment with yourself to disconnect. Get away for an hour, a day, or an entire weekend—or longer, and just be.
Do whatever it takes to ensure you are disconnected. This might include no social media, no internet, anything that keeps you from giving your undivided attention to whatever brings you joy.
You may want to spend uninterrupted time with your children without any demands, or time with your spouse, or simply time by yourself.
Disconnect and make the time!
Moms are great at multi-tasking, but stress typically accommodates our efforts to do two things at once.
Slow down to enjoy life in the moment. Slow down to feel a sense of gratitude.
Slow down and focus on yourself and what matters to you most. Slow down and absorb the peace that comes from stillness.
When we are battling the demands of life, our breathing typically follows suit. It becomes shallow and quick.
It no longer enriches our blood as it would after taking long deep breaths. Clear your mind, relax your muscles from head to toe, and just breathe!
As we practice deliberate deep breathing, we usher in mental and physical well-being, and this staves off anxiety and allows peace.
You deserve this! This is self-care.
Reach Out for Help
Sometimes it is hard to break old habits. Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed by the giving of ourselves that we don’t know which way to turn. This happens to the best of us.
We can help.
Call 619-600-0683, ext. 1, text us at 619-607-1230 or schedule an appointment online. We have both virtual and face-to-face sessions available.