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Transitioning from Pleasing Others to Pleasing Yourself

November 12, 2012

By Corina Andronache

I used to be a determined people pleaser. I wanted to improve the lives of many and made sure they knew how much I cared. At the expense of my own well-being, I sacrificed my time, money or any other type of resource helping those “unfortunate souls” facing hardship. In my mind, subconsciously I believed that I can mend the world and that there was nobody that can do a better job at fixing people’s problems than me. There was no sacrifice big enough, for the pleasure of making a difference filled every void I had in my own life. And boy, did I have many…

Because I only knew life as a chameleon modeling constantly the outside world, back in 2005 when my new journey began, I was confronted with new ideas which forced me to let go of the persona I have created. Recognizing that there is such a thing as selfish altruism woke me up from the fantasy in which I was living for the past forty years.

The biggest paradox that people pleasers must reckon with is the fact that on one spectrum they don’t want people to see that secretly they believe they are the best people that ever lived and at the opposite side of the spectrum, subconsciously believe that they have no value and worth and they don’t matter and are never enough, no matter what they do. The goal for the people pleasers and the emotionally co-dependent is to close the gap between the two extremes and begin creating a reality in alignment with higher laws governing the mind, heart and soul. It is absolutely imperative that people who suffer from the need to please understand the dichotomy occurring at the subconscious level. Awareness is key when transitioning from the pleasure of pleasing others to pleasing the self.

I began to hear from books and other sources that there is such a thing as fulfilling our own dreams and setting goals. The ideas were as strange to me as knowing how it is to walk on the moon. I asked myself, “Isn’t it selfish to have wants and wishes?” Others began telling me that we must know what we want in life and pursue our desires. How in the world would I know what I want, I was thinking? Nobody ever asked me that question. On the contrary, I was taught that a woman is designed to be a caregiver and a nurturer. Her role is fulfilled by caring for others…

Transitioning from pleasing others to pleasing my own self, was a difficult path. There was so much to undo before I was able to accept that the image I created about myself was not real. I have built a reality on a story that did not exist…the wind of transformation was about to threaten the only reality I have ever known, caring for others and finding pleasure in doing so.

We, humans, are equipped with response to stimuli that ignite in us pleasure or pain. The tendency is to move away from pain and seek pleasure. People pleasers have a difficult time accepting that the pleasure of pleasing others is not consequential to being happy. In fact, it represents the unhealthy need to approve of themselves by the virtue of continuously making sure other people’s needs are fulfilled. They have a heightened sense of responsibility rooted in the need to control the environment with the purpose of making it safe and less threatening. It has nothing to do with goodness and altruism…

So, transitioning from the pleasure of pleasing others to the pleasure of pleasing ourselves resides in the very awareness that just like we find pleasure in being good to others, so we can find it rewarding to be good and kind to ourselves. In fact, it is imperative to do so, for only when we know how to love ourselves in a healthy way we are able to care for others from a place within detached from the outcome of our actions. We become good for the sake of goodness alone, understanding that our worth is ascribed by who we are, not by what we do for others. Only when we learn how to honor our own selves through fulfilling our own needs, can we be authentically helpful to others.

So, the first question that we must find an answer to is: “What makes me happy? What do I want?” As we seek answers to these basic questions, we will begin to understand that what the world really needs is real and authentic people that take their gifts and talents seriously and do everything in their power to be in alignment with their highest calling and purpose.

Truly, we can only help others after we have learned to help ourselves…Frankly, the only way we can help others is to let them see who we are becoming and how we find the strength to overcome all inner and outer obstacles. We can only lead by example. The best caregiver teaches others how to fish. What good is it in handing others the fish without teaching them how to get it themselves? If we don’t teach others by example how to care for their own needs we fall into the trap of creating co-dependent relationships, becoming enablers of other people’s dysfunctions. In fact, we are as dysfunctional as those that constantly want our help. By the virtue of our own lack of self-worth, we attract into our lives others who reinforce how we truly feel inside. We have the power of breaking the cycle when we become aware that we can truly find pleasure in fulfilling our own needs and wants. This is not selfishness. It is self-love and self-care…It is the true way of the world and the evolved soul.

Therefore, the pleasure must come not from helping others through our own sacrifice, but through showing others how to become grounded while ascending to a place within that transcends the need to be loved for what we do…Instead the love we receive from others is truly the love we have for ourselves…attracting to us that which we already are.

So, who we are becoming truly makes a difference…How true we are to ourselves is what really makes a difference…

So, transitioning from pleasing ourselves by pleasing others to experiencing the same pleasure through living an authentic life of self-love is a huge paradigm shift. Notice that what changes here is our ability to recognize our own needs and make sure we fulfill them. In fact, it is our duty to find out who we are and follow the path and destiny we were born to live.

People pleasers are known for being experts at sensing their environment and how others feel. They have an overdeveloped ability to sense the needs of others. They price themselves by knowing what others need and come to their rescue before they have a chance to ask for help. However, people pleasers are totally detached from their own feelings and emotions. All their lives they have learned how to scout the outside world for signs that would tell them that they are safe, manipulating every detail in their favor. On the other hand, they have no tools to help them take the journey within and be in touch with their own wants and needs. They are experts at navigating the outer world but fall short of knowing the depth of their own heart and soul.

So, for the beginning…just ask yourself: “Who am I? What was I born to do? What is my calling?

Here it is a powerful quote that exemplifies the need to know what ignites our heart and soul…Because life is not about making others happy by doing their work, but about finding out who we are and manifest it into the world so others can mirror their own greatness into the eyes of our soul as we live true to what we are meant to be.

“We are not born with unlimited choices. We can’t be anything we want to be. We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle…Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find who we already are and become it.  

~Steven Pressfield~ The War of Art

The answer you are seeking is within. Remember your childhood and all the things that used to make you happy…Spend time alone and remember who you were before you decided to make others happy by sacrificing your own passions and desires.

“Are you born a writer? Were you put on this earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace?…If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter further along its path back to God…Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” 

~Steven Pressfield~ The War of Art

All this being said, let us transition from the pleasure of pleasing others to the pleasure of pleasing ourselves…It is, in fact, the only real path to pleasing others and the world…

Falling in love with your own self is the only path to experiencing true love, meaning and fulfillment…Transitioning from the pleasure of carrying for others to the pleasure of carrying for yourself is embedded in knowing your worth, value and significance…. Please, stop putting others ahead of yourself. When you know how to love yourself authentically, others will follow you to the end of the world!

 

About the author: Corina Andronache (http://evolvingyoursoul.com/) is a Transformational Coach, Archaeologist of the Soul, Teacher, Poet, Writer and World Changer, specializing in working with individuals who suffer from the “People Pleaser Syndrome” addicted to other people’s approval, acceptance and love. Corina’s passion is to create for her clients a safe environment conducive to life-long powerful transformations. Her unique style and breakthrough approach leads her clients to a whole new life of inner peace and freedom, ready to experience life from a deep sense of self-love, self-respect, self-confidence and self-worth, emanating from an authentic image and acceptance of all aspects of the self. Corina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Union Institute and University in Vermont. She also trained to be a co-active coach at Coaches Training Institute, and is a certified Hypnotherapist, Psych-K and Kinesiology practitioner and Enneagram teacher. Corina is a seeker of knowledge, wisdom and truth. She is an advocate for justice and freedom, a true Renaissance Soul who loves to cook as much as she loves to read and spend time in nature, surrounded by trees, plants and birds. In addition to being a Transformational Coach, Corina carries her own line of jewelry, Terra Nostra Gems and Jewels. She loves to work with natural stones creating unique design meant to pay tribute to the beauty and splendor of our Earth.
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