Holidays are wonderful, of course they are, but our recent trips have created a huge change in my mind set. Aside from the much-needed R&R being away in Prague and the Cotswolds provided me, the biggest takeaway has been the realisation that my people-pleasing ways over the last few years has been making me miserable.
My intense and perpetual worry that I’m failing others, with complete disregard for my own needs, fully came into view over the holidays.
I made a decision in week one to stop the pattern, to stop saying ‘yes’ when I meant ‘no’, of giving air time to, or spending time with those who consistently fail to bring light to my life on and offline (unfollowing etc), and to work on personal boundaries and protect myself.
I started therapy (CBT) late last year which has further helped with building stronger boundaries and trusting myself more.
This new approach has already seeped into everything I do and think: it’s changing the way I want to work here on the blog and what I want to publish (fewer guest posts, more me and more time to write) as well as what I’m committing to work-wise and when it comes to my social life.
Essentially, I’m not just trusting my gut but ACTUALLY following it. I’ve finally learned at 38 that when something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t right.
This is not to be confused with the necessary nerves which come with pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, but the overriding alarm bells our brilliant brains signal.
Being 30 + tends to mean we have a wealth of life experience to help inform and guide us when it comes to people and situations. I plan to use it more wisely moving forward.
I also won’t be spreading myself so thinly. I can’t give out endless favours to others because that time and energy takes me away from my family and friends. I have a big heart and want to help all but I’ve realised in doing so I’m doing damage to myself as I end up feeling frazzled, stressed and lacklustre when I’m pushed too far.
So there you have it, an end of an era of people-pleasing. I already feel far more empowered and content for it, even if I still battle the inevitable guilt that comes with saying ‘no’ when my default has been ‘yes’ for so long.
But it’s time. It was time, long ago.
Here’s a reminder that YOU too are in control of your life, I just hope you realise it quicker than I have.