It's dark, cramped, and suffocating. You're tired of aimlessly navigating this room. You're extremely parched but don't know how to quench this thirst. Then, numerous footsteps broke your train of thought, causing you to have a raging headache. As you clutch your head, you look up and see several versions of yourself. One is smiling, the other is smug-looking, and there's an affectionate variant. Suddenly, you hear your name. Now, as a people-pleaser, which among them will you wear to survive today?
Rejection can be scary for some since it is associated with “failure.” We can’t deny that our society still clings to the idea that when you’re rejected, you fail to belong. We, humans, are social beings; therefore, belonging is necessary. As a result, most of us resort to people-pleasing.
However, Gretchen Peiffer, author of Sharing My Light & Healing Energy: Journey to True Self, dared to break away from the suffocating room of people’s expectations. Through her book, she shared important lessons that enabled her to achieve her authentic self and maneuver her life into a fulfilling path. She has something to say, and she needs you to listen.
Ask yourself this: 'If you want to be constantly reliant on other people's approval, would you be able to grow? Would you go after the things you have always desired? Would you do the things you love?'
For Gretchen, people-pleasing isn't worth losing herself to. This behavior is counter-productive and isn't beneficial to oneself. When you always strive for someone else's approval, you are hindering your own potential by continually complying with their desires. With that said, Gretchen reminds you to take a small step by choosing and supporting yourself. You may make mistakes in this journey of prioritizing yourself, and it is okay. Through these mistakes, you will grow as your own person.
Part of self-growth is communicating. This is one of the hardest things to master, but once you are able to do it, you’ll realize how freeing being able to communicate your feelings and boundaries effectively. Setting your boundaries is important to gain control of life and slowly eliminate your people-pleasing behavior. Through that, you can finally start to say “no” without feeling guilty.
“Many people hold themselves back and the sad thing is, they don’t even know it. You’ll never know when you don’t try.”
The thought of being perceived as 'strange' holds you back. As a result, you're concealing yourself inside the box and, instead, propping up a version of yourself that just goes with the flow. However, you deserve better. You shouldn't be built based on people's opinions because that is beyond your control. Instead, you should evaluate yourself to see if the company you're in is enabling you to grow. Always remember that real friends will stay no matter what you look like and will correct you if you're in the wrong. Here's what you need to know: you are full of potential. Learn to unleash it, and don't let anyone dictate how you should navigate your life. Rejection doesn't always mean you failed; you are only redirected to a better path.
For now, you might still be inside this dark, cramped, and suffocating room. However, even small efforts in embracing yourself are not considered nothing. As long as you continue to walk the path of self-growth, you'll eventually get out of this stagnancy. Then, when your eyes start to water, don't cover them from the sliver of light. That's the sign that you're almost there, reaching your goal.
by Ella Mae Importado