“You can’t ever do anything brave if you’re wearing the straight jacket of what will people think.” - Brené Brown
For most of my life, I thought it was possible to please others. I also thought that this was a way I could stay safe and even "get ahead"; whatever that means. If only I could make others around me happy, I could feel at peace inside myself.
It struck me some time ago though that this is not really a game I could ever really win, and yet I kept playing it this way. It felt so ingrained, almost like a second skin.
If I could just get them to like me, approve of me, love me, all would be well. It put so much of my focus outside myself. I can see now why it was difficult for me to really trust the unknown or hear my wisdom in any given moment because I was seeing pleasing others as necessary wisdom.
But playing life this way was causing pain internally and taking energy I needed for my own well-being so I continued to look for the Truth about all of this. By continuing to look in this direction, I started to see more and more that it isn't really possible to please someone and that it isn't my responsibility.
Of course it's nice to lighten up a room or help bring a smile to someone's face, but I started to see the difference between radiating my love and thinking that in order to get love, I needed to please the person in front of me.
The more I have seen that peace, love and joy is our True nature underneath all the thinking I may have, the more I have seen that no other person can determine that for me.
It still occurs to me to do the thing that will make someone happy. It has long been ingrained. But the waking up from this thinking seems effortless when it occurs.
For example, for the longest time, in work, what was causing the stress I was feeling was the thought that I would disappoint the person I was working with.
It was such a foreign concept when someone said to me, "You can't disappoint someone." I strained for awhile wanting to understand what they were pointing at.
One day though, it simply dawned on me, when I was feeling relaxed and open to hearing new thoughts and wisdom. I saw that someone is only disappointed when they're buying into thoughts that are disappointed in nature. In the exact same situation one person may have those thoughts while another may not. And the person who felt disappointed may not feel the same way the next day given the same circumstances simply because their mood had changed. I started seeing that low mood thinking can include thoughts of disappointment, while high mood thinking can create thoughts of creative solution ... all within the same situation.
The illusion that I could please people looked so real to me, that my behaviors were unconscious and compulsive. And now that the illusion has started to lift like fog, I can see that when I'm feeling the pull to please, which I recognize more easily now, all it takes is a pause to come back inside of me and see what the Wisdom of the moment is offering me.
This simple shift has dramatically changed the structure of my business, which took courage because I knew it might disappoint people. I saw that I was taking on projects and working in such a way to please the people I was working with. This was causing stress and burnout and feeling like I was only as good as the persons perception of the work.
Once I saw past this thinking, I realized it was time to restructure the way that I work so that I have space and room to nurture the inspiration that is coming through me in service to my coaching clients and projects that seem to want to come through me.
Doing this shifted the feeling that I was working as a secretary, even though I own my own business, to actually feeling like a business owner who is capable of responding in the moment to the needs of the business.
I can see that people may be disappointed or upset at times when it comes to work, and that's ok. We are allowed to be human. AND, I can see more of the time that I have everything I need to respond from a place of wisdom simply because I see wisdom as the best way forward. I have noticed that responding from this place almost instantly wakes the person up to their own wisdom as well. I don't know how or why that happens, but I am so grateful that it does.
I'm sure more insight will continue to dawn on me as I continue down this path, it always does. For now, just seeing that my main squeeze is wisdom, rather than other people's perceptions of me, has created a new game for me to play, and it feels like a game that is filled with unlimited creative potential.