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My Secret Mind Hack to Unlocking Your Dream Life

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

Is helping others and pleasing people the same thing? How can you tell the difference? If you’re unsure, I will explain how people-pleasing goes far beyond helping others and how it prevents you from living your dream life.

After reading this post, you’ll be able to recognize when people-pleasing is taking you off the path to reaching your goals and how to fix this counterproductive thought pattern.

What is People-Pleasing?

People pleasers go to tremendous lengths to keep the peace. As a people-pleaser, you prefer to avoid conflict at all costs, which results in your needs being put last.

Some signs of people-pleasing include:

*You have difficulty saying no.

*You want everyone to like you.

*You put everyone else first and have a hard time asking for what you want.

*You go into fixer mode when conflict arises to keep everyone happy.

*You feel overburdened by your responsibilities to others.

Pleasing people feeds off of the guilt associated with advocating for yourself. That guilt blocks you from making the changes you want in your life, which is keeping you stuck in life.

How Does People-Pleasing Keep You Stuck in Life?

People-pleasing can affect three critical areas of life. The first area affected by this faulty thought pattern is your relationships. People-pleasing creates a barrier to intimacy because it prevents you from being your authentic self.

While I was training to become a Life Coach, my classmates and I took turns coaching each other. Afterward, we received feedback from the instructor and our peers. I remember some of my classmates struggled to give constructive criticism. They thought that giving an objective opinion of their peers’ abilities would hurt someone’s feelings.

You can see how that mindset intends to ensure that everyone remains happy. But as a new coach, not knowing what to improve is way more harmful than hiring someone’s feelings, in my opinion. In this context, my classmates were showing signs of people-pleasing to avoid conflict.

The second area of your life that people-pleasing influences are your personal growth and development. When you avoid conflict, you rob yourself of the ability to improve your interpersonal skills, learn different perspectives, and solve new problems.

Conflict doesn’t always have to be viewed as antagonistic. I believe there are many opportunities for self-growth that can arise from disagreements. If you’re having a hard time having healthy disputes with others, it could be directly related to your people-pleasing tendencies.

The last area that people-pleasing impacts is your self-worth. People-pleasers tend to look outside themselves for approval. Over time, people-pleasing erodes your self-trust and confidence in your ability to make the best decisions for your life's unique circumstances.


If you’re freaking out because you’ve identified with some of the people-pleasing behaviors, RELAX. The good news is that you can manage your people-pleasing habits with practice. And I have a technique to share with you that will help you stay focused on creating the life you’ve always dreamed about living.

How to Overcome People-Pleasing

To manage people-pleasing, you must start by observing when this thought pattern occurs. Let’s say one of your colleagues asks you to help them complete a work-related project over the weekend. Before committing yourself, ask yourself the following questions.

*Does fulfilling this person's request help me or block me from living the life I desire?

This question is designed to identify potential outcomes resulting from agreeing to honor a request made of you. If saying yes could potentially take you off your path, you may be putting others' needs before your own. And that won’t help you make progress towards living your dream life.

This is why it’s important not to mistake helping others with pleasing others. Remind yourself of the commitment you’ve made to yourself and remain focused on what’s most important to help you reach your goals. When responding to your colleague’s request, think about maintaining clear boundaries to avoid overcommitment.

*How important is this person in my life?

Consider the role the requestor plays in your life. Remember, everyone’s opinion won't have the same value. You may be more flexible with your family compared to your colleagues and casual acquaintances.

Compromising is a great negotiation tool. But be upfront with your colleague about how much time you can devote to them without distracting yourself from the work you need to do to live your dreams.

*How would advocating for myself make me feel?

Your feelings are important because they drive your actions. Pay attention to how advocating for yourself makes you feel. It may take some practice before you notice that you feel less guilty about honoring your personal commitments by saying no to others. So, have some patience and treat yourself with kindness as you work on chaining your people-pleasing habits.

These questions can help you stay centered when there’s a disconnect between your responsibilities to others and staying committed to following your life’s most ambitious dreams. So, don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. It takes practice. Give yourself some space and grace to improve.

Now that you know the signs of people-pleasing and understand how it prevents you from living the life you want, it’s time for you to practice what you’ve learned. If you’ve been in the role of provider or caregiver for some time, you’ll need to be patient with yourself as you begin to address your people-pleasing habits. Practicing my technique will help you advocate for yourself and stay committed to achieving your goals.

Stay tuned for the next installment of this three-part series. I will discuss another thought pattern that holds you back from living the life you want. And that thought pattern is called a Fear of the Unknown.

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Dr. Mario Jackson 
Lifestyle Transition Coach & Speaker

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Empowering Gen Xers to ditch the idea of waiting for retirement to enjoy the lifestyle they crave in life NOW!

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