Today’s inspired post is about another fabulous book I received* for doing the review. It took me longer than usual to finish reading the book and to finally do this post- which I’d planned doing six months back! Therefore, I apologize to all my readers for sharing the details about this must-read book- that I’ve added to my list of books I would like to re-read. My sincere apology to author Ilene S. Cohen too for the long delay in doing the post.
When we’re caught up in making everyone happy by saying ‘yes’ to everything they ask for, we lose our voice, and our identity. This book is all about,” recapturing that lost value, the lost voice, and finding back our best self.” After reading the book, I was able to muster the courage to stop saying “no” to everything that didn’t honor me and my values anymore. I was able to let go every relationship that wasn’t bringing me joy and peace; and that didn’t seem to be deeply mutually connected.
When you aren’t acting for self, you lose your identity, agency, and competency. You lose yourself, getting caught up in the urge to please others. This makes you susceptible to things like perfectionism, anxiety, and addiction. All of this because you’re living as the person you think you should be for society, family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. You’re left adrift because you’ve abandoned your inner voice, authenticity, and self. As a result, you start seeking fulfillment outside yourself. You end up dependent, relying on others’ opinions of you to give you worth.”
I could so well relate to these above lines from the book. How very often we get caught up in listening to others and doing everything they ask for- while sacrificing our health and happiness? Don’t we?
“For the longest time, I tried to make everyone else happy while forgetting about myself. It was a tireless, thankless, fruitless effort that always left me falling on my face. I knew that something desperately needed to change; I needed to strike a workable balance between selfishness and selflessness, because what I was doing wasn’t working. That’s when the idea of self-fullness came to me. I realized I could strike a healthy balance that would allow me to stay connected and kind to others in a way that also allowed me to prioritize my own needs.” _ From the Book.
“Going through life people-pleasing is kind of like sleep-walking; you’re disconnected from your true self,” says author Ilene.
Looking back I realized I spent a lot of my precious time being perfect for others. Trying to fit in, and trying to be liked and appreciated by everyone! But we don’t need to be accepted by everyone, or to accept everyone. The more we crave for likes and appreciation from other sources, the more we shift ourselves away from our true-self. And I’m glad how author explains the ‘role of being your own self’ in the book. She says, “When people fail to develop a strong self, their well-being and functioning usually depend on what others say or don’t say, instead of on what they personally want. Essentially, their sense of self vanishes in the presence of others, and they start to want to be what other people want. “
‘Being yourself’ means knowing who you are as a real person, what are your values, beliefs, and truths apart from others’ opinions of how you should be. People-pleasers find it extremely hard to say no when they go on saying yes to everything people ask for. Therefore it is extremely important to be self-full and realize your abilities to do what you want to do and be who you are- on your own terms.
Author Ilene in her book, ‘When it’s Never About You’ shares many examples and insights to show how to stop being a people pleasure and finally say no, she shares suggestions on how to build better boundaries in your relationships that can make you feel accepted, heard, and loved.
The last chapter of this book delightfully talks about, ‘acceptance of self.’ How accepting yourself will give you the freedom from fears like; “criticism and disapproval, and how you can gain other’s acceptance just by being you!”
This book was such an eye-opener to me that added to my courage to be more attuned to my personal needs and demands, rather than seeing my values through others eyes. Ever since I started my journey of self-discovery and self-awareness, I have mustered the courage to voice my needs, to be available for myself, and to accept myself without any judgement, and this book will be my guide forever to becoming a new me- who doesn’t need any more approvals and validations to be included in someone’s life.
If you have been in dilemma how to stop being a people-pleaser or how to find yourself worthy in any relationships, I want you to read this book now! Author Ilene has made it easy to understand every bit of the complexity we face as people pleasers- through some real life examples and experiences in all the pages.