The Good News for Breaking a People-Pleasing Habit.

katie pulsifer coaching, life coaching, people pleasing

I would define a people-pleasing as someone who is doing something for others in pursuit of a certain, desired outcome.

There is an expectation of a particular result ahead of time. And the result that the people-pleaser is going for, is always a positive feeling.

In other words, the people-pleaser pleases in order to feel good.

Let me explain this a little further. We have a well-intentioned belief that if we do something nice, kind, helpful for someone else, then we will make that person happy. If we make that person happy they will likely be nice, kind and helpful to us.

If we make them happy, then they will make us happy.

And if we become really skilled at making someone happy by being nice, kind and helpful, then we may experience receiving even more from them. Not only will they make us happy – we may also get the other person to like us, make us feel appreciated, loved, secure and taken care of. They might also even agree with us, stand up for us, support us, need us and approve of us.

Wow. That feels amazing. The people-pleaser figures out that making other people happy means that not only do they get to feel good, they get all these other positive emotions and experiences as well.

But what happens when the people-pleaser doesn’t get the outcome that they were expecting?

It can be very difficult to deal with. People-pleasers think that they can expect a certain outcome (happiness, kindness, helpfulness) from the person that they are trying to please and when they don’t get it, it can so hard to understand. Many people-pleasers will think that something is wrong with them. They might have thoughts like this.

I didn’t help them enough
It just wasn’t good enough
It wasn’t what they wanted
I have let them down
I am not good enough
They don’t like me
They don’t appreciate me

These kinds of thoughts can be very painful for people pleasers to think and often create feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, worry, anxiousness, and regret.

Negative emotions like this can be hard to handle and may push people-pleasers to try even harder to make others happy, even trying to anticipate and manage other people’s needs, at all costs.

This is the negative ugly cycle of people pleasing.

As people-pleasers attempt to create happiness in others, they can lose perspective and connection to their own happiness. Their own needs become secondary.

Resentment builds. Anger surfaces. It gets ugly.

The people-pleaser feels miserable.

And breaking the cycle seems impossible.

Except it isn’t.

So many of us find ourselves in situations like this because we believe that we are the ones responsible for creating the feelings in other people.

But, that is not the way it really works and here is why that is such good news for you.

Everyone creates their own feelings from the thoughts they think. We are each 100% responsible for what we feel. No one can make us feel anything. Feelings are created from thoughts, not from other people and events.

So how is that good news?

First, we get to think whatever we want. As human beings, we can think about our thoughts. Which means that we can notice them, see the effect of them and CHANGE THEM. Thoughts are fluid. Thoughts are only opinions and impressions of the world around us in that moment. And we always have the option to think whatever we want.

Yes, we can change our thinking anytime we want. And changing our thinking changes our feelings. Our feelings are our own responsibility.

Feeling miserable comes from thinking thoughts that make us miserable.

Feeling happy comes from thinking thoughts that make us feel happy.

The second reason this is such good news is that it means that other people do not need to change in order for us to feel better. Other people do not need to be happy for us to be happy. We have the capability of choosing the emotions we want to feel, regardless of what is happening around us.

This is incredibly liberating, especially if you are a people-pleaser who is struggling to manage your own emotions because you believe that you have to create happiness in others to feel good.

You do not – that is not your job. That responsibility belongs to them.

You can create your own happiness and any other emotion that you want to feel, anytime you want. I recommend that you focus on self-pleasing first. Figure out your emotional needs and give that to yourself. Then go out into the world and do amazing, caring, helpful and kind things for others – without any attachment to the outcome. Knowing that you have taken care of yourself ahead of time.

If you want to learn more strategies for who to kick a people-pleasing habit for good, join my upcoming FREE CLASS “6 Reasons Why People-Pleasing Hurts More Than It Helps. How to break the habit that keeps you from having everything you really want!” 

 

For class details and to reserve your seat – CLICK this LINK

Overwhelmed with an Over Problem?

Overwhelmed, Self-Care, Confidence, Self-Sabotage

Are you overwhelmed with a pattern of Over-ing?

Over-committing.
Over-spending.
Over-eating.
Over-preparing.
Over-promising.
Over-dramatizing.
Over-drinking.
Over-purchasing.
Over-worrying.
Over-complaining.
Over-perfecting.
Over-compensating.

Over-ing is going WAY above and beyond what is necessary or what serves a purpose – done with the best intentions and usually for all the wrong reasons.

The wrong reason is all about feelings. Creating and preventing feelings. In other words, we “Over Do It” when we want to make other people feel something specific or we want to make ourselves stop feeling something specific.

Here are real stories that my clients have shared:

“I eat everything on my plate even when I’m no longer hungry because I don’t want to hurt my husband’s or my mother-in-law’s feelings.”

“I constantly apologize for everything not being perfect in my house when my friends come over. I’m worried that they only see my flaws.”

“I buy way beyond my budget and sometimes even hide it from my husband. I know this creates a lot of stress in my life – I just want to have my son what he wants. I just want him to be happy.”

“Everyone always asks me to help out or for a favor. I can’t say no. I always say yes. They depend on me and I need to be there for them.”

I’m sure you are reading some of these client’s stories and wondering “what’s wrong with that?” or “isn’t that what we are supposed to do?” 

I know – I totally understand. I used to think the exact same thing.

Each of the examples shared comes from amazing women who are working really hard to take incredible care of the people in their lives. They want to do the right thing, make other people happy, not hurt anyone’s feelings. They were raised to be kind and loving. They’re doing the best they can, every single day. They just want to feel good, except, they don’t.

Each of these women has fallen into a pattern which on the surface seems like no big deal, but underneath is causing them to feel absolutely terrible.

Client 1 is gaining weight because she is eating more than her body requires to fuel itself. She is unintentionally over-eating because she would rather eat when she is not hungry than hurt someone’s feelings at the dinner table.

Meet client 2, who is constantly searching for external approval to feel good about herself. She is worried that nothing is ever good enough and spends a lot of time trying to make everything perfect. She’s stuck in cycle of over-compensating.

Here’s client 3, who thinks that her son’s happiness comes from having all the things he says he wants. She over-spends to ensure that his needs are met and then has little to no money left to do the things that she would like to do for herself, like take a class or join the gym.

Client 4 is exhausted and overwhelmed. She constantly over-commits herself and says yes to every request from friends and family. She never wants to let anyone down, but in the end, she is letting herself down because she is so tired and run-down all the time.

These are the negative consequences that happen when we fall into a pattern of trying to manipulate other people’s feelings.

We want people to like us, we want them to be happy, we don’t want to disappoint them, we don’t want to hurt their feelings….and yet, we do not have any control on how other people feel, ever.

We work so hard to try and control this and it is ultimately beyond our control. The way people feel or what they think is always their own responsibility. Just like our own thoughts and feelings are our own responsibility.

So, how do you overcome being overwhelmed with an over problem?

How do you stop a cycle of manipulating other people’s emotions so that you will feel better?

I help my clients move past being overwhelmed by teaching them how to manage their own emotions first.

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Know that you create your feelings from your own thoughts 100% of the time
  2. Understand that feeling are just vibrations that pass through your body, caused by your thoughts
  3. Be willing to fully experience your own emotions – even the negative or uncomfortable ones
  4. Accept that others get to think and feel anything they want, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable or you don’t like it
  5. Believe that you wouldn’t want anyone to try an manipulate your feelings, so it is unfair to try and manipulate theirs
  6. Notice where you are ultimately hurting yourself because you are trying to avoid a feeling or trying to hard to manage other people’s feelings. Notice what you do and ask yourself why you do it.
  7. Now ask yourself, if it’s worth it? Is the negative consequence worth the potential temporary discomfort of a negative emotion? Chances are, that it is not.

This is a process and it is hard work. And the upside is spectacular!

Clients who learn how to manage their own emotions (all of them) – also learn how to lose the weight, gain their own approval, save their money for what they really want and feel less exhausted and overwhelmed.

Emotional management allows you to focus on what you can control and to direct all the actions in your life to the results that are most meaningful. It allows you to quite spinning your wheels trying to manage other people and circumstances that are really beyond your control.

If you are overwhelmed with an over problem, I would love to show you exactly how you can move past it, so you can get back on track in taking exceptional care of yourself and everyone else, in a way that is positive and energizing. I believe that you deserve that and I would love to show you how it’s possible.

Let’s schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session to talk about it.

The Busy Syndrome.

people-pleasing

How many times do you hear people use the excuse that they are too busy?

Do yourself a HUGE favor and don’t use that as a reason for not doing anything ever again.

Your future will thank you. I promise!

“Busy” is the generalized excuse we use for not going after our dreams.

It’s the ultimate dream stealer.

It is important to remember that we define our busy.

We are the ones who choose what we will do with our time and our day. We create this state for ourselves.

It is important to look at it regularly, question it, and decide if it is in line with how we truly want to be living.

Instead of saying that I was too busy to work out, say, “I chose to lie on the couch and watch TV instead of working out.” Or, “I chose to see my daughter’s play instead of going for a walk.”

Everything you do in your life is a choice even if it doesn’t feel like it.

You choose to go to work, you choose to take care of your family and you can choose to take care of yourself.

“Busy” is a dark hole of vagueness that will never help you get a handle on anything. Be specific so you can identify what it is in your life that is and isn’t working.

Kick “busy” to the curb.

One of my clients was a high-level executive who was too busy to do anything she really wanted. I asked her to define busy. She went on to describe her day of running errands, going to meetings, picking up her kids, going to the store, making dinner, doing laundry, and answering clients’ calls. She had lumped these activities into a seemingly unchangeable busy.

Busy was living her life, but it was at the expense of what she really wanted.

I suggested she change her plan by writing down everything important to her, putting these priorities at the top of the list and then shifting activities from the busy pile to the bottom. At first, she thought it would be impossible to add even one more thing to her day. By evaluating how she was spending her time, she saw ways she could delegate and eliminate some of her busy.

It really worked. She had the mantra, “Me first, busy second.”

The ultimate result was that she was able to fulfill her own needs and actually handle the rest with much more peace because she saw it as a choice, not a forced reality of life.

Don’t confuse being busy with living your life.

One of the best secrets to eliminating busy from your life is to learn how to say no. Many times we say yes when we really want to say no. We go to parties and functions we don’t want to attend, we buy things that we do not need and we eat food we don’t want to eat.

When should you say no? Whenever it’s the truth.

Living a life that is based on truth is freeing and wonderful.

You eat when you are truly hungry, you spend time with people you truly like and you live a life you truly want. When you begin to tell the truth about your real desires and real emotions, you can begin to live your truth.

The truth really does set you free and allows you to get the right perspective on how you spend your time. “Busy” will stop becoming an automatic excuse.

And you will instead experience the joy of creating the life you want to live.

Do you want some help kicking “busy” to the curb in your life? Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can recreate your priority, so you are spending more time choosing to do exactly what you want and less time using your”busyness” as an excuse.

Denial.

katie pulsifer coaching

denial.
de·ni·al
dəˈnīəl/
noun
the action of declaring something to be untrue.
the refusal of something requested or desired.

We all have dreams and desires and I would venture to say that most of us try to keep them a secret. We are afraid to share what we really want because of fear, self-consciousness or perhaps the belief that what we most want isn’t realistic. We keep our dreams and desires a secret if we think they will make other people uncomfortable, require significant change or cost a lot of money.

When we deny that we have dreams and desires, we settle for living in half-truth. We argue with ourselves about our dreams being frivolous or unnecessary or unproductive or inconvenient. We declare them to be untrue, just so they will stop distracting us. We refuse to acknowledge that they live inside of us. We work hard to make them go away by trying to ignore that they exist.

Sometimes when I ask people what they deeply desire, they can often become very quiet. They will say something like, “I really don’t know – I haven’t really ever thought about it.”

I believe that it’s not that they haven’t thought about their desires as much as they’ve just become disconnected from them because they have become habituated to ignoring them. They have fallen into a pattern of denying what they most want.

When I try to inquire a little further, I always hear the various reasons that have prevented their dreams and desires from becoming reality –
“I don’t have time”
“What I want just doesn’t work for my family”
“I can’t start over”
“It’s not practical”
“They will never understand”
“I can’t afford it”

Hearing these reasons always hurts my heart a little because I know that these are all just excuses. Excuses to keep their dreams and desires locked up. Excuses to avoid the potential fear of claiming what you want. Excuses to steer clear of the potential judgement that you might experience. These excuses perpetuate in a cycle of denial. These excuses keep your dreams and desires just out of reach but close enough to create the discontentedness, pain and frustration that many people feel when they have a secret – an unfulfilled dream or desire.

What is it that you keep thinking and dreaming about?

Is there something your soul has been burning to do, be, or offer, that keeps trying to get your attention?

What is your secret dream or desire?

How would your life change right now, if you decided to shine light on your inner secret desire?

What would happen if you made that desire your top priority and shared it with the rest of the world?

What would be possible for you, if you stop denying yourself what you most want?

In my experience – happiness is what happens! I see it all the time. For the people that pursue their desires and stop denying what they truly want – they are rewarded with genuine and authentic happiness. They experience a deep sense of calm and inner connection. They experience the ultimate gift of living in truth. They no longer hide or try to keep secrets from themselves. They no longer say one thing and mean something else. They no longer refuse or deny themselves what they most want.

In choosing their truth – they ultimately choose freedom. Freedom over fear, self-consciousness and other limiting beliefs.

There is a simple exercise that you can do today, to stop denying what you really want and to start experiencing the freedom and happiness that you are craving. Click here for access to the Stop Denying and Start Dreaming worksheet.

Be Good Company.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

You are stuck with yourself for the rest of your life.

How does that thought make you feel?
Do you like to hang out with yourself?
Are you kind, loving and sweet to yourself?

Many times, we wait for someone else to pay attention to us and to make us feel good. We dislike being alone because it means that we have no one to entertain us, to make us feel better and to distract us from our own thoughts.

Our thoughts can be very damaging and destructive, especially if we have made it a habit to think unkind things about ourselves. Without knowing better, we convince ourselves that what we think is 100% true and therefore we become reliant on other people to convince us otherwise.

Here are some example thoughts that my clients have shared with me – thoughts that they have carried around with them on a daily basis, for years.

  • They will never like me
  • I am ugly
  • I have no will-power
  • I will never be able to figure it out
  • I look old
  • I am too old
  • I have no follow-through
  • I don’t like to get my hopes up
  • I am not good enough
  • I will probably just get hurt (again)
  • I will never be thin
  • I will never lose the weight
  • This is just as good as it will ever be

When my clients share these thoughts with me – they are usually very attached to them. They have held these beliefs for a long time and feel that their only option is to believe that they are true. They don’t like what they think, but they feel like they don’t have a choice. They often go to great lengths to distract themselves from their thoughts – trying to avoid them, to push them away and to ignore them. And what ends up happening is that they begin to ignore themselves. They stop paying attention to themselves or keeping themselves company. They dread being alone. They forget their joy. They stop being their own best friend. They forget what makes them happy.

This is when I tell them the good news!

Thoughts are just sentences that run through our minds. They are opinions. They are judgements. They are impressions. And they are ALWAYS OPTIONAL. Thoughts are never facts. Thoughts are changeable. There is an infinite supply of thoughts to think. There is always a choice. Our brains do not know how to distinguish between negative thoughts and positive thoughts. Our brains do not try to hurt our feelings on purpose. They just want to be efficient and process the thoughts that we usually think. So, it is our job and our responsibility to direct our minds towards what we want to think about ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone in your life who adored you all the time and told you how amazing you are on a regular basis? You can! You can feel joy by remembering how exceptional you are. You won’t need anyone else to tell you because you are telling it to yourself every day. You don’t have to wait for compliments – you can always give them to yourself.

Start right now. Write your 25 Things that I Love About Myself list. You can give yourself some serious credit for everything about you that is amazing. Creating your own joy and love is a skill that just takes practice and you can begin today with creating this list. If it is hard to begin, then just start with writing down the smaller things – like getting up on time, eating a healthy breakfast, providing an education for your kids, not yelling at anyone, being a good driver, being kind…etc. – start anywhere and just keep writing until you have 25 Things. Then do it again tomorrow and every day this week until you have a substantial list that you can refer to, often. Write it and read it. This list will help to retrain your brain to create more positive thoughts than negative ones. With practice, these new thoughts will become habit.

When you love yourself, you will never mind being alone. It will give you time to reflect and connect with yourself. You can give yourself credit for what you have done well, and you can allow yourself to be filled with gratitude for all the joy you have in your life. When you love yourself, you can genuinely have a good time hanging out with yourself. You can be good company to yourself. Talk to yourself in a wonderful way, find out what you love to do and then do it. You will never feel “stuck with yourself” again – instead you will feel grateful and inspired by your own company.

Fall Goals.

Katie Pulsifer Coachingask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care
It’s the time of year again, signaled by the end of August, back to school and fall around the corner – the time when we often re-evaluate routines and patterns, and consider making changes. It can literally feel like the new year and awaken in us, the desire to set new goals or resolutions about how we will move into the new season and the last four months of the year. It can be an inspiring time. Full of possibility and hope, for bad habits to be replaced by good ones – to foster more structure, follow-though and consistency in our daily lives.

Exciting, right?

Absolutely!
And then we get to work creating our new fall routines – getting organized, signing up for activities and classes, cleaning and purging from summer vacation, travel and camp. This will keep us very pre-occupied for the month of September. The days will be full and schedules packed, and we will let ourselves believe that this means that we are making real change and progress towards our goals.
But this often isn’t the kind of change that we are ultimately craving. This is just busy-ness. Busy-ness being recreated all over again, like last fall and the fall before that. We step right back into the same pattern of over-scheduling and over-whelming ourselves with huge to-do lists and obligations. We forget to make time for ourselves and to think about the bigger goals that we secretly desire. This can be challenging and very frustrating. It can be difficult to figure out what it is that we really want for ourselves, especially when we become so habituated to being busy.
Here is what I like to suggest if you want to move into the rest of this year feeling more empowered, grounded and connected with your goals. This is a great exercise to put in place this week of transition, before fall really starts.
Answer these two questions:
  • What are my strengths? Make a list of them.
  • How can I better utilize my strengths to create a happier, more joyful and successful fall?
By answering these two powerful questions, you will generate amazing feelings about yourself, realize what is possible and increase your excitement motivation to follow through on goal-setting.
Now answer this question.
  • What are my weaker qualities that need strengthening, compassion and attention in order to reach my goals for this fall? Choose three.
This is a great question to help make your goals become even more crystal clear.
Once you have answered all the questions above and have chosen the three qualities you would like to strengthen, follow this 3-step process:
Step 1: Write a Fall Goal Card for each goal with a positive affirmation to go along with it (keep it in the present tense).
Step 2: Put your Fall Goal Cards where you will see them, every day. Look at them a couple of times every day (remind yourself what matters and why).
Step 3: Choose three actions you can take this week to begin to strengthen a quality within yourself that needs your attention (add extra love and compassion).
As you consider the qualities you would like to strengthen, remember that the quickest way to create a better life is to focus on taking action. Release yourself from focusing on what you haven’t done or still need to do. Even the smallest of action steps will create amazing momentum. Momentum combined with everything that you captured on your list of strengths, will help boost your confidence and get you closer to achieving your goals.