People Pleaser: Personal Confessional and 5 tips to help you

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (1)Do you frequently put other people’s needs before your own? Does the thought of saying “no” make you feel anxious and uneasy? If yes then I can totally relate. Wanting other people to be happy and maintaining harmonious relationships is completely fine. However there’s a fine line between wanting other’s happy and people pleasing.

Confessional time, I am a serial people pleaser! Overextending myself and putting other people’s needs before my own is my weakness. I try to avoid saying no at all costs and if I do it’s usually accompanied by an excuse to why I can’t do something. This habit even goes as far as offering to help others when I do not have the means or capacity. People pleasing has caused me a lot of anxiety, disappointment and unnecessary stress.

The sad truth is people pleasers have an underlying fear of being disliked. They want to be seen as a good person. They hold guilt around expressing their needs and in some ways believe it makes them selfish. People pleasers accept most things even at their own detriment because they belief they have to constantly be in service of othersAs a result people pleasers have a difficult time setting healthy boundaries within their relationships. This can negatively affect relationships as they can become imbalanced, often leading to the people please overextending themselves to the other without leaving room to consider their own needs.

Also, people pleasers often have a hard time saying ‘no’ to people. The fear of saying no comes from an underlying fear of conflict, reprisal or loss. Saying ‘no’ is associated with the negative so people avoid using it and instead opt either do the thing they don’t want to do or make excuses. However I’ve learnt that in order to maintain healthy relationships it’s important that we truthfully express our needs and desires, even if it’s not a favourable response. People who respect you will respect your ‘no’ when it is said meaningfully and with good intent. If you keep saying yes, it will lose value and people will take advantage of it (knowingly and unknowingly). 

Based on my own experiences, I’ve been able to identify a few reasons why people try so hard to please others: 

Reasons for people pleasing:

  • Wanting others to be happy
  • Feeling like other people’s needs are more valuable than your own
  • Your worth is contingent on other people’s likeness of you
  • Fear of conflict and being disliked
  • Fear of not being respected
  • Over anticipating our ability to handle things and thus over extending ourselves

I’ve spent too many years navigating my life trying to please everyone around me.  I was so worried about what others would think of me to the point where I would put other people’s needs before my own. Currently I am challenging myself to say ‘no’ with love and integrity, and be honest about my capacity to extend myself to others. There are a few things I am trying and it’s working so far.

If you are a people pleaser and would to stop putting other people’s needs before your own, try the following: 

1. Become aware of how you feel when you have to compromise- Think about all the times you overextended yourself to please others when you really didn’t feel like it. Write down how you felt after you made the commitment. You might have instantly regretted it or felt drained, and under pressure to perform. Think about whether it’s worth going through these feelings again just because you didn’t say no or not right now. It will make it more clearer that being honest with ourselves and others saves a lost less stress in the long run.

2. Practice saying no- Saying no doesn’t have to sound harsh or mean. You can say no full of love and integrity behind it. If you’re not comfortable saying a straight up ‘no’, then try using phrases like this: “ I appreciate you inviting me but I will not be able to make that event. Thank you for the invite and have lots of fun.” “At the moment I can’t right now, but when I have capacity I will reach out to you.” 

3.  Figure out your needs and desires- When you are faced with a decision whether to extend yourself or not, think about whether the thing you’re committing to aligns with your present needs and desires. For example; You might need to spend sometime on the weekend studying so it’s in your best interest to stay home instead of committing to go out with friends. Make decisions that prioritize your own needs and desires.

4. Remind yourself that Social Media ‘likes’ is not an indication of your worth- It’s easy to think your worth is based on your following when we live in an age where people buy their followers and spend tons amounts of time figuring out how they can get more likes to their page. I fall into this trap from time to time. It’s inevitable that the lack of likes would make a person question their self-worth. It’s important to realise that the amount of likes you get does not determine your self-worth. The only person who should have control over the way you view yourself is you! No amount of likes will satisfy you unless you decide to validate yourself.

5. Find and repeat a mantra to yourself when you feel the urge to people please- You could try these or find your own that are suitable to you: 

“My needs are valid”

“I am overthinking this situation”

” I am entitled to boundaries and they are necessary for my own self-preservation”

“No is a complete sentence” – Lisa Nichols

“People who respect me will respect my no”

“If you keep saying yes, you diminish the value of your yes”

Anyways, I hope you learn to become comfortable with saying no and choose to give to others from our overflow. Remember no amount of people pleasing will substitute your self-worth!

Questions to you:

Are you a people pleaser? 

Do you feel comfortable saying no? 

 

Much love, Ash xx

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January 2019: The Gratitude Journal

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate (11)

It’s the first month of 2019! I just want to send out a gentle reminder to kick start the year

Every experience of rejection you face brings you closer to yourself. Do you know why? Because it forces you to decide whether to base your worth on that negative experience or use it to strengthen your self-belief. You have two choices in the face of rejection- either you stay knocked down or get back up and try again. Turn all that rejection into a muscle of determination and self-belief. Use it to become ruthless. Knocked down 7 times stand up 8!

Rejection is hurtful, I know, but it’s a part of life. Instead of seeing rejection as your worst enemy, you should see it as the perfect opportunity for personal development. Remember that rejection is leading you towards something more profound.

I will be practising this myself in 2019. I am making a declaration to no longer allow rejection to stop me from pursuing my goals.

Who’s with me? 

Love Ash, xx

2018 Overview: The Gratitude Journal

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As we wait patiently to usher in the new year, many of us take this time to reflect and make plans for the year ahead. I always find this time of the year very intense. Not only is it the holidays and my birthday month, I typically find myself in deep contemplative mood throughout December. The previous years I would have spent this time critiquing myself and pointing out all the thing’s that I have not achieved. However, this time around I made a conscious effort to show gratitude and celebrate my achievements.

I wanted to remind you (and myself) that whilst you consider what goals would like to achieve in the new year, it’s really important that we take the time out to acknowledge our accomplishments, even if they’re small. After all, celebrating yourself encourages you to continue making positive steps and builds self-confidence.

5 things I’m proud of in 2018:

1. Blogging- I started taking my blogging seriously at the beginning of the year. I can honestly say blogging has saved my life. It has given me a platform to finally express myself and use my experiences to help others. I owe a lot of my personal progress to blogging as it has allowed me to really look into myself and actively work on becoming a better person. I am extremely grateful for the continuous support that I’ve received and to all the people that I’ve connected with. I’m so thankful for this space and for all other bloggers who inspire me to do better.

2. Battling low moods- This year I did not allow my moods to stop me from living my day to day life. I was able to be more honest with myself about my moods and really sit with my feelings. I proactively did things to make me feel better. I minimized the number of times I used my mood as an excuse. This year taught me that I’m in control of my reaction and response to life’s negative events.

3. Moving out of my family home- I finally moved into my own apartment. I’m looking forward to the lessons that it will teach me (not so much about bills lol). I’m super excited for the memories that I will make in my own place and the solace it will bring.

4. Therapy- I finally came to the conclusion that I need to take my well being seriously, so I went to therapy. I’ve only had a few sessions so far but I already feel a weight lifted. I’m excited to see what revelations will come from going to therapy and how it will contribute towards my growth.

5. Travel- I traveled in South Africa and New York this year. I had an amazing experience in both places. I am happy I had the opportunity to immerse myself with the culture, the people and got to see such astonishing views.

My 5 hopes for 2019:

  • More self-discovery
  • Plant-based living
  • Improve my blogging
  • Experience lots of joy
  • Build fulfilling/positive friendships with others

A reminder to you

If you had a great year: Well done love! You should be so proud of yourself. You accomplished milestones and made some amazing memories. You have demonstrated that you can do anything you put your mind to. 2019 is going to the year where you reap the benefits of the seeds you planted. Cheers to a prosperous 2019!

If you had a not so good year: There is something you can find to be proud of achieving this year, like deciding to get out of bed despite your depression or making a new friend. This year for you created a foundation for you to build on. It’s through your struggles that you will make 2019 a better year. What’s below rock bottom? You’ve already been there- now it’s time to claim what’s yours in 2019.

What are a few things you are proud of yourself for achieving this year?

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

I wish you all a prosperous new year and see you all in 2019!!

Love Ash, x

Lack of Self-Belief: Personal Confessional and Tips to Help

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (1)

 

Is your lack of self-belief holding you back? You might want to create a wonderful life for yourself but a part of you feels like you are not good enough to achieve it. As 2018 is coming to an end I think it’s the perfect time to talk about something that can really have an impact on the upcoming year.

Low self-belief comes from an overarching message that you aren’t good enough. Suffering from low self-belief takes different forms in a person’s life. For example; avoiding pursuing your dreams because you don’t believe you can pull it off or feel uncomfortable to talk about yourself at social events. For some of us, self-belief doesn’t come naturally and is one of our biggest obstacles coming in the way of manifesting the life we want.

A lack of self-belief does not come in a vacuum. Many of us who suffer or have suffered from low self-esteem can trace the root causes back to our childhood or a negative experience that has affected the way we see ourselves. This is definitely true from my experience. I can trace this back to my school experiences. I always I tried hard in school but I would never get the grades to reflect my efforts. I didn’t have the experience of teachers who believed in me- in fact, they would usually undermine my capabilities by giving me low targets to meet. I believed I had the potential to do really well but my efforts were never acknowledged nor rewarded. When you’re the only one in your corner fighting to be better, it can be isolating and debilitating to one’s self-esteem especially when you put effort behind what you want to do. This experience ultimately created a sense of doubt in my ability to pursue my dreams.

At the end of 2017 I decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery which became the catalyst for working on my self-belief. I wanted to be self-confident and have believe in my potential to pursue my passion. I began searching for information that would help me and I remember coming across a video. She said something so simple yet it shifted my way of thinking: “ No Matter What”. For me those words mean having unwavering faith in my potential and capabilities no matter what obstacles I faced.  No matter what means believing in myself when others don’t recognize my potential. Those words mean that negative experiences are simply adding character to my journey and not evidence against my capabilities.

I wrote down a few declarations at the beginning of 2018 to help me on my journey towards truly believing in myself and they’re working extremely well. If you’re currently going through this battle, they should help you too.

Here are three declarations to make to yourself:

  1. No matter what- No matter what you go through you have to believe that you will make it through anything and be victorious. You have to make a declaration that nothing is going to take you out of this thing called life, despite how painful and hard it can be at times. Even if it takes you a long time to achieve your goals, you will not give up on yourself and will continue to take steps towards manifesting your dreams. The failures that you experience are lessons and teach you important life lessons that will ultimately lead to your success.
  2. If others can do it, so can I- There’s so much information available now that you can create a life for yourself unimaginable before. There are people out there who have experienced similar obstacles as you but have still been able to live their dreams. Even if you’re still figuring out how (I’m in the same boat), just know that we all start somewhere and sometimes you’ve just got to do it anyways and figure it out along the way. You possess all the qualities within you to live your version of success and happiness. There’s room for all of us to win, and a spot has been made for you to fill, if you put in the consistency and patience required.
  3. I am deserving of a great life- You deserve to wake up every morning and feel grateful for the things you have in your life. You deserve to live the life you’ve always envisioned for yourself. This is your world! Look at all the obstacles you’ve had to overcome to get to this point. You’re not on this earth to suffer but to live your best life.

And finally…

Having self-belief certainly does not come overnight. It’s still something that I struggle with and just like any other part of self-development, it’s a process which takes time. If you’re struggling with this, I want you to know that it’s not too late to start now. Even if you don’t fully believe in yourself, try living like you already have self-believe and trust me your life will change. Why not try a new feeling outside of doubt, worry and lack of self-confidence?

10 Affirmations: 

  • I am my biggest supporter
  • No matter what happens in life I can handle it
  • Nothing is going to take me out of this race called life
  • I refused to believe I am on this earth to suffer
  • I am not going to stop until I live my purpose
  • My faith in self is too big for anything to stop me!
  • In times of uncertainty, I will allow my inner child to guide me into following my dreams
  • I am proud of all of my accomplishments, even when they’re small
  • No matter how it takes me, I will manifest the life that I want
  • I will move towards my dreams, even if it’s a crawl on some days

Have you suffered or are currently suffering from a lack of self-belief? What are your experiences?

What is your personal development goal for 2019?

Love Ash, xx

December 2018: The Gratitude Journal

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Hey guys, happy December🌷✨

It’s the end of the year! There’s SO much to talk about but I want to start off this month by giving you a gentle reminder: 

Never compromise who you are in order to fit in. Simply by being yourself, you’re enough! Imagine how boring the world would be if everyone was exactly the  same. Think about some of the amazing, unforgettable people you know and you’ll realize that they have one thing in common- they stayed true to themselves. The world needs more genuine people. You are going to experience people who don’t understand you but you’ll also meet those who see your value. Life is way too short to mould yourself into something you’re not. So rather than emulating someone else, let’s strive to be the best version of ourselves. You want to live you life your knowing that you stayed true to yourself and your purpose on this earth. 

How are you feeling about this year coming to an end?  

Love Ash, xx 

Downplaying Compliments and Low Self-Esteem: A confessional

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (7)

Do you ever receive a compliment and instantly deflect the conversation away from yourself? I can relate. To give myself credit, this past year I have made a conscious effort to accept nice things said about me. However, I still catch myself feeling uncomfortable or deflecting from compliments especially when I receive them in real life.

Just a little background into why I am talking about this topic. I was out one night with a few friends and one of my friends complimented my hair. I began to downplay it and ended up rabbling on about how I purchased the hair. She replied back to me and said: “take the compliment and go”. I was shocked at her abrasiveness but I’m happy that she said it as her words led me to certain revelations that I had not yet realised.

The resistance I feel towards praise stems from many years of low self-esteem. The truth is for a long time I never felt like I was enough and would always find fault in my achievements. When I receive a compliment it’s unfamiliar language to me because I’ve become accustomed to believing my negative self-talk. When I get told nice things I automatically want to respond by saying “are you sure you’re talking about me”. I know that sounds negative but this was my thought process.

Another reason why I don’t respond to praise well is that I hardly celebrate myself. Rarely do I say ‘well done’ or reward me for my accomplishments. For example, I didn’t go to my graduation despite doing very well and being the first in my immediate family to go to university. I didn’t even acknowledge the fact that finally got a new job, one which brings me more joy. Not once did I organize a meal or self-care days to really celebrate my accomplishments.

Another revelation I had was that I’ve somehow conflated self-praise with bragging. I steered away from publicly sharing my accomplishments because I didn’t want to be perceived as showing off. There’s definitely merit in celebrating privately and knowing that we don’t need to be validated externally to feel proud of ourselves. But I think that I was being unnecessarily unkind to myself by downplaying and hiding my achievements from the world. I’m starting to realize that you can be a humble person whilst receiving praise and celebrating yourself openly.

I’m trying each day to tell myself I deserve happiness. I deserve to be complimented. I deserve to receive and believe nice things about me. Irrespective of what I’ve done in the past, right here and now I deserve to be celebrated. Breaking this learned behaviour which I’ve become accustomed to is proving to be harder than I anticipated. However each day I commit to being more aware of my response to compliments and to consciously celebrate my accomplishments, right down to the smallest things.

A Question for you:

How well do you take compliments?

If anyone can relate let me know your thoughts x

Gratitude list: Sept 2018

1. My ability to bounce back from adversity

2. For discovering writing as a form of therapy and healing

3. Waking up and seeing the sunrise

4. My travel experiences and being able to experience the richness of the black diaspora

5. Growing up on India. Arie’s music

6. Having friends who support and inspire me

7. For discovering Toni Morrison,my favourite author

8. Recently being exposed to the Tarot card world

9. For trees that give me oxygen

10. All the spiritual teachers in my life- my partner, my friends, strangers, the ancestors & people who battle with adversity on a daily basis but are brave enough to live within a love ethic.

 

HEY guys! At the beginning of each month I will upload a post on expressing gratitude. It’ll either be a written post, a video, link etc. I think it’s necessary that I utilise this space not only for self-analysis but somewhere to celebrate and appreciate the beauty and wonders of life.