Whenever an invite, opportunity, obligation, or something similar comes up – I go through quite the mental battle in my head if it’s something I really don’t want to do or dread doing.
You might think, “Why doesn’t she just say “no?” Well, you see…. I’m a good girl. A people pleaser. And a people pleaser doesn’t JUST SAY NO. She stresses about it instead. She stresses about the fact that she will have to participate, attend, or be involved in something she really doesn’t want to, or doesn’t feel comfortable doing. But if she says “no?” She stresses about letting someone down or looking bad.
Yes, that’s what goes on in the head of a people pleaser. Someone like me who hates to let others down.
I have grown over the years. I’ve made progress in my people-pleasing ways. But I’m not quite cured. I still battle and struggle with it daily. I so enjoy it when people are happy and I know that my answer or participation has made them joyful. This includes my own family.
But at times, it can be overwhelming for me. I am constantly being stretched to the edge of my comfort level and zone because of my inability to say “no” and feel at peace about it. I’m constantly being pushed into areas I fear or dread because I do something when it’s not really my heart’s desire.
I’ve been trying to grapple with how to handle this dilemma. And I came up with a new little saying. It’s, “Say no or go, and then let it go.” It’s a saying that reminds me of the power in my choice. I need to choose sides and do so ready to let the outcome or the effects slide off of my shoulders. I need to learn how to let the stresses of the decision go and simply make the decision that I feel is best for me. I need to learn how to feel the peace that comes with knowing you made a choice based on your own personal giftedness, character, desires, and life bent.
It will take time. But I’m confident that I will make another stride in my battle of “people pleasing.” It is a joy and delight to serve others with compassion, empathy, and love in my heart. But it is not healthy for me if that bent to do for others comes from obligation, fear, or self esteem issues. I am not meant to do everything or grab every opportunity that comes my way. It’s okay to say “no.” And it’s okay to “go.” I just need to learn which is best for me in which case. And may God teach me to let the rest go.
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