"I can't keep thinking for everybody..."

...said one of my clients. To help you appreciate the significance of this statement, allow me to provide some context. This person tied much of his self-worth to people-pleasing -- putting everything and everyone else ahead of himself. In an effort to feel valuable and loved, he would inconvenience himself to keep others comfortable, try to solve other people's problems to help them avoid failure and operate without boundaries to continue feeling needed. The are many tradeoffs with people pleasing because their "kindness" stems from insecurity: 1. They're usually hyper-critical and expect others to do things the way they would do them. 2. They have difficulty doing things for others without expecting anything in return; it's rarely stated upfront, but this is how the insecure ego operates. 3. In an attempt to be overly helpful, they enable others, keeping them passive in their life, stifling growth, and entirely dependent upon the pleaser. * Pleasers have difficulty saying NO and what they often don't realize is they are saying NO, to themselves.

I've been shining a light on the drivers behind his behaviors and how they were coming from a place of fear, scarcity, and inferiority. Week by week, we dug deeper and deeper and reached a critical mass when he came in said: "I can't keep thinking for everybody! People need to learn from their mistakes, and I can't maintain my role as a fixer, I need to grow, and so do they." I congratulated him and asked him to acknowledge that statement as profound transformation and how far he had come--his smile beamed from ear to ear. I continue finding that telling people what to do is very unhelpful. Instead, helping them comprehend why they're doing what they're doing, exposes their insecurities, and inspires them to respond with assertive love. "Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change." Richard Branson



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