Without realising it, many of us are people pleasers – we go along with what others want for the sake of a quiet life. But after a while, it can cause a lot of anger, frustration, and resentment. Niki Kinsella is a Spiritual and Empowerment coach (www.nikikinsella.com) and the Author of The Feminine Energy Guide – from Self Rejection to Conscious Connection, which is available on Amazon. Here’s her take on how you find yourself after being a people pleaser...

Niki Kinsella writes an exclusive piece for Female First
Niki Kinsella writes an exclusive piece for Female First

For almost three decades I put everyone else’s happiness before my own.

I just thought that this was something that everyone did. Although, it should have been very clear to me on numerous occasions that my good nature was clearly being taken advantage of, I just chose not to see it because I didn’t want to cause any problems or create any confrontation.

Is this ringing any bells for you?

From being born into a narcissistic environment, to being bullied at school and then marrying my first husband who was also a complete narcissist, people pleasing was all I had ever known.

People pleasing is something that we learn as a coping mechanism when we are very small. To keep us safe and not anger the bigger or stronger people we just do as they say. Even if this means WE feel unhappy.

When we do this, it leads to us feeling anger, frustration, and resentment. But, because we are people pleasers, we just suck it all up and carry on.

Fast forward another decade, I had escaped from this marriage, met, and married my soul mate, had two kids, overcame addiction and everything that comes with that, and buried both my parents.

Life had spun me around, slapped me full on in the face and made me realise that this is NOT a dress rehearsal.

I decided things needed to change. I started my own healing journey and retrained in holistic and spiritual healing, yoga, meditation, and life coaching. I also made it my mission to empower as many women as I could along my way.

Here are the top three things that helped me to find MY self:

1. Boundaries

This is always a little but tricky, because often the people we want to distance ourselves from are the people who we are closest to in our lives. Boundaries though, are an essential form of self-care.

Healthy emotional boundaries mean that you value your own feelings and needs and that you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for how others feel and behave. And this can feel tough at first.

Boundaries allow you to let go of worrying about how others feel or behave, and places accountability squarely back with them.

All relationships need boundaries, as without them people will not know what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. There are a lot of takers out there in the world, who will take FULL advantage of a kind heart.

So, protect your gorgeous giving heart. Get your boundaries in place. What is and isn’t ok for you?

2. Meditation

A lot of people roll their eyes when you say the word meditation, it’s like they imagine someone sitting with their legs crossed, chanting om, floating on a cloud. And I used to think the same. But meditation is proven to:

*Help bring you back into the present moment, so you can quieten the noise of the outside world and notice how you feel in your body and mind.

*Give you more clarity around your own thoughts and notice what you think and how you feel about things.

*It helps you to become less reactive, so before you just say ‘Yes” to everything like your normally would, you can start to feel in your body, and notice if this is the right answer. You won’t feel any resistance if it is, but if resistance is there and it’s not a 100% yes, then it should be a no or a maybe.

Meditation is simply sitting comfortably (like how you would sit when you are watching tv) and becoming aware of your breath. Breathing in through your nose slowly, and out even slower through your mouth, like you are blowing out a candle. Relax your body more with each exhale. Every time your awareness floats off and you notice yourself thinking of something, simply bring your awareness back to your breath. It is that simple. Start by doing this for two minutes every day and gradually build up to 10. The changes are unbelievable. Meditation changed my life.

3. Give yourself permission to take time out and try new things

This has got to be the toughest one. When you have been a people pleaser for so long, the thought of doing something for yourself, or taking time out just for you feels super uncomfortable. The best way to make this happen is to schedule in some time just for you to do something that you like to do, that makes you feel happy. And if you’re not sure what this is yet, it could be something that feels yummy like self-care, maybe having a bubble bath with your favourite book, getting a massage, or going for a walk? You get to choose because this is your time just for YOU.

The Feminine Energy Guide, by Niki Kinsella, is out now
The Feminine Energy Guide, by Niki Kinsella, is out now

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