People Pleasing: My Road to Self-Sabotage

If you read yesterday’s post, then you know that I have a tendency to be self-sabotaging. It is not something I plan or consciously do. Most of the time it is in hindsight that I see what I did to sabotage myself, but it is something that I need to stop doing.

Yesterday we looked at the tips that Holley gives to stop sabotaging yourself and your God-sized dreams. One piece of advice that she gave was to decide to be on your side. In the book she talking mostly about negative self-talk and how we sabotage ourselves with it, but I think that one part of deciding to be on your own side is deciding that you are going to be obedient to God even if that means not pleasing others.

I am a people pleaser (most of the time). Oh, there are moments when I couldn’t care less what people think of me or what I am doing, but the majority of the time I struggle with worrying about what others think of me instead of worrying about being obedient to God. For example, in my last teaching position, I worried constantly about what my supervisors wanted and trying to be the “perfect” teacher. I was pretty miserable, and I was pretty miserable to be around too. I was striving so hard to please them that in the end no body was pleased–not me, not them.

The funny thing is that pleasing others isn’t wrong. We are so supposed to love others as we love ourselves. Pleasing others is part of loving them, but we can’t please everyone 100% of the time. We can’t do it all, and we can’t take on the responsibility for making someone else happy. It’s not our job.

Pleasing others becomes wrong when it means being disobedient to the Lord. When you put aside what the Lord is calling you to do because you want to please others more than Him, then it is wrong. It is a sin.

Here are some of the ways that I’m learning to stop sabotaging myself by pleasing others:

1) Knowing your priorities. Your highest priority should always be your relationship with God, and then depending on your season of life yourself, family, friends, work and ministry. The order is up to you, but you need to know your priorities. If you don’t know your priorities, then everything becomes a priority. And yes, I put you in the list because you should be a priority. You don’t have to be 1st or 2nd on the list, but you do need to be on there somewhere.

2) Learn to say “no.” One of the reasons that knowing your priorities is so important is because it helps you learn to say “no.” You can’t do it all. You can’t be everything to everyone, and when you know your priorities, you can say “no” more easily to things that aren’t part of that list.

3) Use your voice.  Next time someone asks you where you want to go eat or what movie that you want to see, speak up! Sometimes not speaking your mind can make people more uncomfortable than speaking your mind so use your voice and let people know.

4) Spend time everyday doing something for you. Just 10 minutes. Maybe it’s a bubble bath (if your a mother maybe not) or just spending 10 minutes reading a book. Maybe it’s spending those 10 minutes cuddling with your husband. I don’t know what this will look like for you. Your love language might be different than mine, but do something everyday to remind yourself that you are loved–by the Lord and by yourself. It is only 10 minutes but that 10 minutes can make a big difference.

If you are a people pleaser like me, then doing anything for yourself or saying “no” when someone asks you to do something feels selfish, but you are important. Your dreams are important. They were given to you by God who loves you and wants the best for you. Pleasing Him should be the most important thing in your life.

2 Replies to “People Pleasing: My Road to Self-Sabotage”

  1. yes, I can fall into the people pleasing trap as well. You shared some great tips though! Thanks.

    1. It is such an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it?

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