That’s what little girls are made of, goes the 19th Century nursery rhyme. Innocent it may seem but it reflects an undercurrent of society’s image of girls which will powerfully effect the women that these girls grow into. How many women do you know, if they are truly honest with themselves, are people pleasers? People pleasing is basically a psychological and emotional pull to put everyone’s desires before your own, combined with a subliminal need to be liked and approved of.
This is something that we learn as girls, it’s part of our conditioning and it’s not until we become aware of this subconscious desire to please and be validated by others, that we can slowly begin to choose how we really want to behave. A choice which is in alignment with who we really want to be and is a genuine reflection of ourselves.
Our conditioning received from family, teachers, carers and peers is well meant. They genuinely want us to fit in, to be liked and therefore the logic goes have a more easy life. However this conditioning deeply effects how we grow into our adult selves and has ramifications in all aspects of our personal and professional lives. We are encouraged to be caring, to be nice, to be selfless and to put everyone else’s needs before our own and when we behave in this way as girls, we are praised and receive acknowledgement which reinforces the behaviour. I need to be very clear here that to be kind and caring is a wonderful attribute, however when we are looking for external approval and validation all the time we become people pleasers. This compelling desire to please has a directly negative impact on our work lives and personal relationships.
In order to feel confident and have a healthy self-worth we need to validate and approve of ourselves first. This is essential if we want to feel good about ourselves and become free of seeing our worth only reflected in other people’s eyes. This is such a vulnerable position find ourselves in and we deserve so much better.
How to start to move away from people pleasing and to start stepping into the woman you really want to be… Firstly, thoughts you have about yourself need to pass through a kindness filter. When we begin to understand our conditioning, where our beliefs come from and begin to notice when we are people pleasing, this is the first important step. Awareness is always the first step to changing behaviours and it is an empowering voyage of discovery if we choose to navigate these waters with self love and deep appreciation.
The beauty of life is that it is always bursting with choices about how we want to behave, how we want to show up as women in the world. Once we can break free from our limiting conditioning and feel wonderfully good about ourselves, then we can truly begin to live life on our own terms and have the impact we want to achieve. Kindness and appreciation towards ourselves are the keys to unlock our full potential and live amazing lives full of love, passion and heartfelt personal achievements.
What are you waiting for?
Carrie Brooks is a professional ICF accredited life coach with years of coaching experience. She is also known as an inspirational speaker, author, regular guest on BBC Radio and a newspaper columnist.
Carrie is known in the industry as the Results Coach. She is passionate about helping people to achieve success and live life to their full potential. Carrie has many niches and a broad expertise in coaching as she doesn’t believe that life fits into neat little boxes. When it comes to assisting people she feels she can go wherever they need to go to overcome any challenges they may have. She brings to the table a rich life experience, coaching expertise, with a knowledge of many varied coaching disciplines, combined with a down to earth, solution based practicality.
Carrie is the author of Minx Up Your Life! an inspirational call to action for single women over 45 to start embracing love, life and living for the moment. In the book Carrie deals with the challenges and issues that single, older women face in a positive and inspiring way.
In her twenties Carrie enjoyed a successful career as a session musician, which included extensive touring and live shows. When she stepped away from the spotlight and gave up performing, she worked as a professional photographer specialising in photography for the music industry. Carrie brought her son up as a single mother and throughout her life has managed to balance her personal commitments with a variety of successful careers. With a rich and varied life experience, combined with her extensive coaching expertise, she is finely poised to become the voice for the women of her generation.
Carrie believes that we all deserve to have inspiring and fulfilling professional and personal lives, full of joy and wonder. All it takes is a decision to commit to making it happen, to step into our own personal power and create the life we want.