September 22, 2019

Are you a People Pleaser?

Did you see this interview with the incredibly talented singer Adele (watch her perform here) on Jonathon Ross on Friday night? I must confess I have only ever heard her songs on the radio (and sung along enthusiastically but badly) but never even seen what she looks like let alone heard her speak.

Well. There she was on Jonathon Ross. I was just blown away by her sheer authenticity. She shone. She was funny. She was a bit rude. She was 100% unapologetically herself.

She is the anti-manufactured pop star. She’s not skinny, with perfect teeth and a honed dance routine. She is just a north London girl with an astounding voice, raw song writing ability and an incredible way of wearing her heart on her sleeve. She is quite literally What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).

Her WYSIWYG will not appeal to everyone. She doesn’t care. She is 100% herself anyway. Is she on a diet? No. Is she speaking in politically correct sound bites? Has she put on a posh accent? No. She also out swore Jonathon Ross which is something of an accomplishment.

I just loved her.

Many of my clients, fall into the ‘people pleaser’ trap. They come to me so we can resolve out their life/work balance; generally we will find that some kind of ‘people pleaser’ belief usually lies at the heart of their unhappiness.

When we try to please others by trying to fit with what we perceive their expectations of us to be, we become less of ourselves. Sometimes we give and give so much of ourselves to people pleasing that we do not know our own wants and preferences any more, much less realise they are just as valid and important as anyone else’s needs. This is a crying shame.

Why do we people please? I know I used to people please because I was an approval junkie. I thought that by doing/saying/being what I thought would please others I would gain their approval/love.

Big Mistake.

It made me a pale shadow of the woman I really am.

I think Adele is the perfect antidote to this.

The less she tries to people please and the more herself she is: the more people love her. Not everyone. But the ones that do love her, love her even more. It dials up the strength of the love of the people who are her people.

I honestly think more of us could do with taking a leaf out of this girls book. In order to have more love in our lives we should be MORE of who we truly are not less.

More of who we are; absolutely and unapologetically.

Some people will not like that. But that’s okay. Life is not a Pleasing Competition. It is, to paraphrase Mary Oliver ‘our one wild and precious life’.

We were not put on this planet to be Pleasing Machines.

We were put here to be true to ourselves and to let our own unique talents, needs and passions shine. To live our one wild and precious life to the full.

We can only do that be being more of who we are not less.

Dare to me MORE of who you are this day. Say no to something. Go do something unexpected that surprises or pisses a few people off BUT MAKES YOUR SOUL SING.

That’s why you are here. And the people that really matter will love you more for it.