Photo: Crazy Baby

When  I was in college I had a cute t-shirt that had a modified version of the Superman logo on the front.

The Superman logo was in pink with glitter and it had ‘Supergirl’ written across the logo. I loved that shirt! Every time I wore it, I felt as if I was telling the world that I was Supergirl. I prided myself on being a fixer and helper to those around me and after many years, I realized that my niceness had turned into people-pleasing behavior. I found myself saying ‘yes’ to people even when I actually wanted to say ‘no’. Unfortunately, I was caught in a cycle of people-pleasing behavior and I needed to get out!

Here’s the truth: people-pleasing behavior is unhealthy and it’s tiring.

I had to face reality and realize that being Supergirl was sucking the joy from my life because much of my time was spent doing for others. I had to learn that serving others is a good thing, but there can be a point when what started as well-meaning service transitions into unhealthy people-pleasing.

Are you afraid to say ‘no’ to someone because you think you‘ll lose the friendship? Are you always putting the happiness of others ahead of your own? Do you consistently say ‘yes’ even when you actually want to say ‘no’? Are you seeking validation from others by doing things for them? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’re a people-pleaser and it’s time to retire your superman or superwoman. Still need more convincing? Here are three reasons why I decided to retire my supergirl.

1. I had to start taking care of myself and making me a priority.

I wasn’t making time for self-care and I found that I didn’t have the energy to give to all my commitments. If I wanted to be of service to others, I first had to take care of myself. You, too must make self-care a priority. If you get to the point where you don’t have time to exercise, have a hobby, eat well, get enough sleep, or do things you enjoy, you’re doing too much. There should always be time for you to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

2. Every crisis is not a real crisis.

I found myself going from putting out one fire to the next. There was a time when it seemed that I was in constant rescue mode. That’s no way to live. Even the not-so-urgent seemed like it was urgent. Instead of trying to be the hero in every situation, I had to learn to step back, put things in perspective and think about whether this was something I really needed to get involved in.

3. People-pleasing was hindering me from making significant progress towards my goals.

I was always busy putting out fires for others, so it was hard for me to find time to work on my own goals and dreams. You should make your goals and dreams a priority if you actually want to see them come to fruition. Once you’re clear on your priorities, use them as a filter for your decision-making and how you spend your time. Ensure that you’re not spending more time on the priorities of others than on your own.
Now that I’ve given you three reasons why you should stop being a full-time hero, it’s time to start focusing on yourself and your dreams. It’s time to start living YOUR life. What’s one thing you will do this week to stop your people-pleasing behavior? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Hanging up my cape,


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