After listening to an inspiring conversation from one of my most favorite spiritual mentors, Matt Kahn I felt moved to write this next blog.
The title is indicative of the many costumes and hats we wear throughout our life; by acting, saying, doing and being a certain way rather than being ourselves. Do we realize that these shape shifting/people pleasing behaviors deny us being true to our biggest ally- ourself? It keeps us playing small rather than owing our inner personal power.
Somehow we have come to believe that people pleasing helps us to gain another’s mutual attention, it keeps us safe from rejection by not becoming the next victim should others get triggered for one reason of another.
For example: if we are with our family or a group of friends, we may say and do the things that we believe they would like to hear. In essence, we are matching and mirroring other people’s thoughts and feelings rather than just being ourself.
The very fear of not fitting in, or being in the community can be frightening for many people. They could be rejected from the tribe, and this rejection appears to come at a high price. A price that is at the expense of our own personal dignity.
So many of us are seeking validation from others that we lose sight of the values and ethics that we hold near and dear to our hearts -we give up our personal power by denying our own inner authority. In our innocent minds it seems OK, but in truth we are matching and mimicking others to just fit in. People pleasing can be seen as a false sense of protection because we think we are keeping ourself safe and protected from beings hurt, abandoned, or devastated by others.
I played this role many times in my life because I had this need to be accepted. Many years of childhood conditioning: bullying, neglect and fear etc. led to a healthy dose of low self-esteem and deep-seated feelings of unworthiness. I believed it was better to fit in “with the Jones” rather than be true to myself because I might be standing on my own, and the thought of that was completely frightening. In fact, it’s frightening for many people and that is why they don’t speak up by compromising their truth.
Emotional maturity and many life experiences will eventually help us come to the realization that we are courageous and very capable of speaking up. What we have to say is important, and when we value ourselves it is easy to have healthy conversation an opinion on various topics. Of course, not everybody has to agree with us, and that’s just fine as long as we are comfortable in our skin and remain authentic to ourselves.
Consider these 2 questions…
“Will we follow our own intuition or will we remain an extension of other people’s journeys?
-We are not responsible at how they choose to feel, as their emotional responses are based on their experiences and their life lessons. It has nothing to do with us. So, don’t take things personally, (sometimes this is difficult but eventually, trust me, figure it out).
Will we stand true to our own ethics, values and morals or will we buckle under the pressure of society’s restriction and limitations?
-It takes a lot of courage and a willingness to stand for what you believe but when you do , you allow the best version of you to come forward which has an impact on everyone else you touch. A win- win situation for all. What could be better than that?