The Disease to Please

So many times in my life, I have been that person yearning to please others, to help out, to be there and rescue, to drop my desired plans just to say “yes” when I wanted to really say “no” — thinking and putting others’ needs first before mine.


The Disease to Please

Last June, I heard something strikingly profound on my drive to lunch. A huge fan of Oprah and all her insightful shows, she talked about the “disease to please” and how setting the right intention can “cure” that. Of course I couldn’t slam on my brakes while driving, but I did feel as though the brakes within me all stopped and I was supposed to be right where I was to hear this message loud and clear. So many times in my life, I have been that person yearning to please others, to help out, to be there and rescue, to drop my desired plans just to say “yes” when I wanted to really say “no” – thinking and putting others’ needs first before mine. As I consciously step more into an active self-examining role of my life, I can see more clearly now that my “disease to please” in the past was for reasons that no longer serve my present and new self-beliefs.

And yet as parents this can be a difficult task as we want to “please” our children and give them all we can, all that we did not have or receive – believing that is through a form of our love. We think our intentions are good at heart however the effects / outcome are usually counterproductive. By teaching our children we are “pleasers” (to them, to others), we are paving a road with lots of cracks and bumps along their journey. They do not learn the difference between healthy boundaries and setting no boundaries at all. They have unrealistic expectations of people and of themselves, they sacrifice more of their being; depleting their souls, they make bad choices and lose their self-esteem in the process, they are easily disappointed and let down, they are waiting for the same “pleasing” in return, they reach a point and wonder who they are and what their purpose is.

At the prime, healthy, vibrant and full-of-life age of 42, I dare to BEcome more! My purpose is bigger and my daughter inspires me to re-shift my internal compass and steer my life on a more self-pleasing path. It’s not selfish to please ourselves, to keep our dreams alive and to make goals, have hobbies, etc. By BEing more of a self-pleaser, we teach our children to love themselves. We teach them that we as their parents have needs too and by taking care of ourselves first, we show up more fully, abundant and whole for them.

It takes courage, consistency and calm to find our intention. When we start to understand our intentions, we operate from this platform for all we do in life – not just with our children but in our marriage, relationships, careers, friendships.

How often to you find yourself saying “yes” to something that you really want to say “no”? What holds you back from speaking your truth? Next time you want to please someone, let them know you need to check your calendar and get back to them. Then ask what your intention is by wanting to say “yes” instead of “no” and if you realize you are doing it only because you want to make them happy but it won’t make yourself happy, then respectfully decline. Value and use that time instead to better serve your soul, spirit and higher being.

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Here’s quick snip-it to enjoy! - The Power of Intention | Super Soul Sunday OWN