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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The Gratitude Journal: February 2019

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate

(Photo taken by me, Spain Catalonia 2019)

Isn’t it beautiful knowing that everyday is a new day?

The sun rises each day to reminds us that everyday we have the opportunity to truly shape the course of our life. From the moment we wake up we get to decide how we choose to lead our lives and how we react and respond to circumstances around us. A new day is another chance to start again.

I am grateful that I’ve been able to wake up today and given another chance to start again. A new day should remind us that despite our negative experiences, we get to decide how we choose to live our lives in the present moment. We don’t have to be confined by our past or defined by the choices we’ve made previously. You are not here by coincidence- you woke up to fulfil a purpose. You get to choose how to make the most out of the day that’s available to you!

What are you looking forward to this month?

What are you grateful for today?

I would love to know!

Love Ash, xx

 

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

December 2018: The Gratitude Journal

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate.png

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 

Toxic Family

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (2)

There comes a time when you start to analyze your family relationships and ask yourself whether they are fulfilling or not.  It’s painful to admit that certain family members are toxic and don’t always have our best interest at heart. You might have to make a decision whether to cut ties completely or maintain a relationship from a distance.

Speaking up about toxic family members is a very difficult. There’s an unspoken rule that some things are kept within the family. As a result we maintain unhealthy and unfulfilling relationships simply because you share the same DNA. But what’s the point of family if they aren’t compassionate, caring, understanding, kind and loving?

There’s plenty of conversations around toxic friends or partners but not enough about toxic family relationships. This is something I’ve been very reluctant to talk about because of the stigma I’ve placed around talking about family affairs publicly.  However I no longer believe people should be shamed for speaking their truth. I refuse to tolerate any abusive behaviour simply because we share the same blood. I don’t want to keeping hiding the fact that some family members have inflicted more harm than good and have negatively impacted my well-being. I came to the conclusion that if maintaining certain relationships means to compromise with own sanity and well-being then it’s not worth it. I know people close to me who are struggling with having toxic family members around them but feel obliged to put up with abusive behaviour.

For any one who’s currently stuck in a predicament where they feel obligated to put up with a family members abuse, i’m here to tell you that it’s not your responsibility to deal with their demons. You should not feel obligated to put up with abuse simply because they bear the title of your parent or have your last name.

4 things you should know about your toxic family:

1. If someone is abusing you they are not loving you. Love is not abusive. When someone is inflicting violence onto another, it is not a display of love. That family member may have treated you with care or could have even provided a roof over your head but that doesn’t excuse their abusive behavior. Bell Hooks summed this up in All About Love
bell hooks

2. Putting yourself first is not selfish.  You are not obligated to sacrifice your peace of mind for your family. It can be difficult to release the notion that we have to be self-sacrificial for our family members, having to put our feelings aside to maintain the family image. However by doing this you compromise your integrity and normalise dysfunction that should not exist in the first place. Sometimes family issues make life more difficult and stressful than it needs to be. If they are affecting your well being and put you in a negative space then you have a right to keep your distance.

3. Quit trying to change them if they don’t want to change. You might have expressed  to them that you don’t like the way they treat you but they still have not corrected their behaviour. You can tell someone to change plenty of times but they won’t until they make that decision to change themselves. It might be time to accept them for who they are and lower your expectations that they will change. By lowering our expectations we won’t be constantly hurt by their wrongdoings and we find peace with our circumstances.

4. You don’t have to carry the burden of their issues. People who inflict abuse onto others have typically been victims of some form of violence themselves. Whilst we should acknowledge the reasons why people inflict violence onto others and the fact that they’ve normalised that said violence, we must not excuse their behaviour when it’s detrimental to our own well being. You can emphasize and understand someone’s pain but it can’t come at the expense of your own happiness. That person has some form of agency and ultimately you’re not obligated to coddle someone who cannot recognize the depth of how their issues affect others around them.

Have you experienced a toxic family member?

What advice would you offer someone going through this dilemma?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love Ash, xx

Social Media is draining: How to preserve your energy and keep engaged online.

Copy of The ugly truth about self love

Do you sometimes feel drained by social media? You experience days where being online felt more like an obligation than fun. However, it feels impossible to escape due to your personal and career goals. 

We all know the importance of online branding and posting content frequently to engage with other like-minded people. There’s a whole industry dedicated to helping people improve their online presence and becoming a successful brand. We are told that by constantly posting and interacting with others we can grow our brands and create a lasting impact on those who support us. However, this dependency on social media and this desire to be constantly visible can have negative impacts on our own well-being. Navigating in such a fast pace environment where it never switches off can be detrimental to our own inner peace.

If you’re someone like me who’s hyper-sensitive to other peoples energy, being online can sometimes be draining. I find this is especially the case with my social media accounts like Instagram and Facebook. To be honest, I’ve never experienced this with my blog and I think this is because I don’t feel the same pressures to be constantly visible like I do on other sites. Over the past year, I’ve actively surrounded myself with people who talk about well-being and self-care to help me on my own journey. However, I’ve found that so many of us offer a lot of advice to others but don’t talk much about our own self-care practices.  Or at least I find that there’s a lack of transparency when it comes to talking about how we cultivate the time to practice these things we talk about. It leads me to ask the question- If we are constantly posting and offering other people advice on how to practice self-care then when do we really get the time to practice these things ourselves?  

Recently I’ve made a commitment to use social media in a way that is better suited to my own personal needs. I love connecting with others and I want to maximize the benefits of social media. However, I want to be able to switch off without feeling guilty. I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out and I don’t want to feel drained.  I’ve been practicing a few things over the past few months and they seem to be working well so far. For anyone who finds themselves in this dilemma, this list should be helpful to you. 

5 things you can do to not feel drained by social media:

1. Take breaks- Plan a day every month where you go completely social media free. If your brand/business is reliant on you constantly posting, then plan your posts in advance and set a timer to post them on that specific day. That way all of your work is done for you and you can enjoy your social media free day without feeling guilty. More importantly, taking breaks is good for your mental health. It makes you realize that there’s a life beyond social media to explore and needs nurturing.

2. Plan the amount of time you want to spend using social media- Prioritize certain time periods throughout the day or the number of hours you spend on your phone. Set yourself a maximum amount of time you want to use being online and aim not to exceed that limit. The chances are that when you’re exceeding that limit it’s because you’re wasting time aimlessly scrolling on your socials out of boredom.

3. Set times where you absolutely do not check social media- I have this rule that I don’t check any of my social media accounts first thing in the morning. In fact, I won’t check my socials until after 9:30am. I am a firm believer that what you consume as soon as you wake up can have a lasting impact on the rest of your day. If you’re feeling pressure to post or you see something negative first thing in the morning, you’re going to be anxious and overwhelmed. You want to start your day in the best state of mind possible. I’ve found that by implementing this rule especially I feel much more confident and less drained.

4. Have a hobby that does not involve using social media- I find reading and doing crafty activities keeps me grounded. It’s important to enjoy other things outside of being online. Imagine if the internet goes down for a whole week? You have to think about other things you’d enjoy doing and do those things on a frequent basis.

5. Decide whether being constantly active on social media is necessary- If you find being overly present on social media more draining than fun and you aren’t using it for business purposes or to push a greater cause then you should re-evaluate whether it’s necessary to use so frequently. I know there’s a lot of pressure to be on social media but you don’t have to use it because of everyone else. You are in control of how much you use it and you get to decide when you want to switch off.

Questions for you: 

How do you carve out time for yourself?

Can you relate to anything above? Or if not what is your perspective on this topic?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Ash, xx