If You Think People-Pleasing is Being Kind...

People-pleasing can seem like a way of connecting with others. We believe that if we keep people happy, then they’ll like us and want us around. While it may be true that pleasing others will win us approval and a place in their lives, changing and editing ourselves can’t create the connection we long for. We confuse people-pleasing with kindness. After all, aren’t we, as people-pleasers, described as too nice? People-pleasing can be seen as giving of ourselves to put others first, but people-pleasing isn’t the kindest way to treat ourselves or the people around us.…

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For When You're Feeling Not Good Enough

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt like you’re not good enough. You’re not alone. I’m raising my hand with you and I know there are many, many others joining us. This fear of not being good enough is so common. It plays on repeat in the minds of many of us. Our fears grow when we avoid looking at them. Please join me in looking at this fear of being not good enough.…

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What are You Allowed to Want?

What do you want? It seems like a simple question, but it’s one I’ve struggled to answer at times. Exercises around describing my ideal day or envisioning my perfect scenario can leave me feeling more stuck than inspired. My mind goes blank when pressured to describe my 5-year vision. Trying to set goals can feel like a choice between more of the same or something that’s out of reach. Why do some of us struggle to know and name what we want?…

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What if You Were Wanted?

Think about your family and friends. Why do they make time for you in their lives? Why do they want you around? I think many of us aren’t sure how to answer these questions. We see the things we don’t like about ourselves and wonder why anyone would choose us instead of someone better. And yet, we want relationships. A common response is to try to change ourselves into someone more desirable.…

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What is Saving Your Life Right Now?

We generally know what’s making life hard, but how often do we take the time to notice what is helping? Every year, Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy reflects on the question inspired by Barbara Brown Taylor’s memoir, Leaving Church…What’s saving your life right now? I think about this question every so often. It’s easier to find an answer in some seasons than in others. I appreciate that Anne’s yearly link-up comes in February when winter has already out stayed its welcome and spring still seems impossibly far away.…

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How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

The words used to label those who have a habit of people-pleasing aren’t always very complimentary. Doormat. Pushover. Wishy-washy. Indecisive. Spineless. Brown-noser. Goody-goody. Teacher’s pet. Yes man. Weak. A common idea about people-pleasing is that it means we’re weak. If only we were stronger, more decisive, or better we wouldn’t struggle with these ways of trying to earn approval. At first glance it makes sense, doesn’t it? If we give in to what others want we must be weak and the solution must be to be stronger.…

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8 Dangers of Being a People-Pleaser (and an Invitation)

For many of us, people-pleasing is such an ingrained pattern that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. People-pleasing can seem harmless. We’re trying to keep other people happy after all…where’s the harm in that? Maybe we don’t get what we want sometimes, but is that so bad? We don’t always notice the ways people-pleasing undermines us, our relationships, and even the people we’re trying to please. My intention here isn’t to tell you that you’re bad and you need to be better.…

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Stay with Yourself

How do you like to approach the New Year? Does this time of year get you excited for planning and goal setting? Do you relish the opportunity to reflect on the past year? Do you wish all the talk of resolutions would just go away? Personally, while I do take some time to reflect and to look ahead, I also try to pay attention to what I need right now. I find it especially hard to dream about the future and to treat the past gently this time of year when it’s cold and dark and I’m tired from the holidays.…

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Take a Minute to Breathe

When was the last time you took a deep breath? Check in with your shoulders—are they relaxed or tensing up toward your ears? Are you holding tension in your jaw or anywhere else in your body? Do you feel calm and present or is your mind swirling with worries and things to do? Even on an average day, many of us get so caught up in tasks, worries, and interactions that we forget to do something as simple as pausing to take a deep breath.…

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Is it Truly Generosity?

Our motivations for why we do what we do aren’t always as straightforward as we’d like to think. When we do something to make someone else happy, we might be genuinely motivated by generosity. There may, however, be other factors at play. We might be hoping to win approval, secure a sense of belonging, or increase our chances that the favor will be returned later. We may want to feel good about being a generous person or have a desire to appear generous to others.…

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