I remember many years back a counselor I was seeing asked me what I was doing for my birthday? In those days, my life was so busy, I scheduled almost every waking hour. I listed the activities that I had scheduled feeling in a celebratory mood. He asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks, “Linda, who is your life about?” My mind slowed to a ‘hum’ as I felt that question settle in for a moment.

“My life is about ME?” I responded. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks that even on my birthday, the one day that was supposed to be mine to celebrate as I choose, I was still doing everything for someone else. Not one activity that I listed was what I wanted to do.

What an epiphany moment! I knew then that I was a “pleaser”. A pleaser is a person that attempts to make everyone else happy and in the process, ends up feeling unhappy. No one could live my life for me, and yet I was attempting to make my life about everyone else. Wow, what an awareness.

I started to notice that I would say ‘yes’ automatically when things were requested of me. It took practice to tune inside to what I really wanted before I would answer. In fact, to break the habit, I found it necessary to say ‘no’ for at least a minute just to give myself permission to do so. And during that time I could feel into what I really wanted for myself. What was my true answer? I was also coached to feel into whether my answer was 100% ‘yes’ before I said, ‘yes’? Or as it was said by a friend of mine, “Is it a full-body ‘yes’?” Do I feel that ‘yes’ all the way to my toes? Or is there a part of me that is still not sure it would be a good choice? If I couldn’t say a ‘yes’ with my whole being, then the answer was still ‘no’ until I felt clearly aligned to say ‘yes’.

With the ‘pleaser’ pattern being such an automatic response, I have asked that same question, “Who is my life about?” often to check in with myself. I have learned to take responsibility for my one and only life, and choose my own happiness.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Radford facilitates empowering sessions of healing where she helps people reconnect to their inner strength, guidance and clarity. She encourages them to tap into their own intuition to find what is true for them, rather than mostly relying on outside opinion. Her way of authentically seeing people in their highest possibilities opens them up to discover the best in themselves. Linda is a catalyst for clarity and purpose in all aspects of life from career to personal and professional relationships.