People Pleasing: a little blog chat

Hey Loves,

Are you a people pleaser?

Be Honest.

There's no judgement here.

Most of my clients identify as people pleasers. Which on the surface feels like a very positive trait - especially if you're a female in the business world or managing a family - or BOTH! Understanding how to identify peoples needs and meet them is a highly sought after skill for everyone - except, it doesn’t always work out for you. So, here's the thing... People pleasers are blocked from living their best life. They don't feel true joy because, they live & thrive off others slight praise. Living off external influencers will NEVER allow you to feel whole, within. Which, my dear, is no way to live. 

Now let me pause here and recognize that I could totally take a page from your book. I could learn to take things in the stride, go with the flow and accept more. My entire being says CONFRONT. CONFRONT. CONFRONT. I get uncomfortable when stones are left unturned. When I’m out of my comfort zone. When I don’t feel valued. So, I ask the tough questions - but, constantly. Which helps me to be a killer coach, but sometimes less than desirable to a loved one. I'm always learning from my clients.

So - let's just put it out there: at the end of the day, the grass may be greener, but we all have a lawn to manage. We can learn so much from each other. This post is about understanding one small aspect of your sweet, human self and learning how to improve it - because you're beautiful, my darling, and you don’t have anything to prove. 

one of these mornings the chain is gonna break but up until then, child, im going to take all I can take
— aretha franklin, chain of fools

The thing about people pleasing is that the chain always breaks. You always end feeling less than. You don't get credit for your effort. Your effort becomes expected, not praised. Expectations are raised right at that moment you're at capacity - but, you say yes. Yes! I'll take on the project. I'll pick up the kids. I'll bring the homemade, gluten free, nut allergy compliant cupcakes. I'll make the costume. My kid will wear the orange shirt. I'll pay the money. I'll go for drinks with the client. OMG I'm exhausted just typing it all. You do it all, and NEVER feel enough.

I'm a big fan of homework and reflection, so let's talk about solutions. Below is an activity I give clients. Do it. Take your time. 

How are you valued? (reliable, the sweet one, the clean one, the smart one...)

What's your real value? (shed the labels - who are you really???)

What are you saying yes to right now? (what obligations have you committed to? what upsets your partner, but makes you genuinely happy? What conversations do you cave to? what foods do you eat that aren't inline with how you want to eat?)

What do you wish you could say no to or stand up for?

OK, so what can you change? (there are so many things out of our control, but so many things in our control that we just give to others)

What is the impact of your change? (who/what will be impacted from your change? Is it livable?)

Being less of a people pleaser doesn't mean you become a selfish asshole. It means you take ownership of your skills and time. It means you own your value. It means other people will SEE YOU and value you as well. Because you have so much value. 

This is a heavy post, so reach out with any thoughts or feelings - I'm here for ya!

Much Love,


New Year, Same Me, by Melissa Cates

New Year, Same Me 

It’s a new year, and I have to start with an admission: I really don’t like the whole idea of resolutions, and I get irritated with all the “New Year, New You” magazine covers. Maybe it’s my aversion to clichés, or maybe it’s the scores of people griping in March about how they have already “failed” to keep their resolutions. I used to buy in, vowing to lose weight, run a marathon, avoid all processed food, always be mindful, ditch needless stress, save money, and on and on. The superlatives were abundant; the results were elusive. These days, I do appreciate it as a jump-start and the reason to reignite my intentions to live my best. I believe we all need that from time to time. Whatever my reason for refusing to etch in stone my one, single goal for 2015, I do make the promise to myself to move closer to my own goals, to accept setbacks and bad days, and to the forgive myself and others. Oh, and to put my new blender to good use. So, there. Sounds curiously close to a resolution…

I am entering this new year with guilty feelings about not spending enough quality time with my two boys. That may sound hard to believe as I stay at home and take care of them everyday. I have felt a little crazed with the holidays, and A’s birthday, and getting settled in the new house, 13-hour road trips home and every other little chore and task that intrudes into my otherwise peaceful thoughts... (well, maybe peaceful is too optimistic a word to describe all of my thoughts.) My mantra seems to be, “Okay, let me just get this one more thing done, and then I will get down on the floor and play with them like I should be doing right now.” Basically, I “should” on myself all day long. The day ends with me still feeling like I have a lot to do on top of the guilt for not making my kids my priority. Of course, they are my priority, but there just never seems to be enough time in the day to “do it all.” For someone who hates clichés, I do know this is a universal human complaint. And, since I also know I can’t count on a few extra hours popping up like extra lives on a video game, I had better start making my peace with what I can do with the 24 that I am grateful to have.

My strategy so far in 2015 has been to stop whatever I am doing when I have a fleeting “I should…” thought or guilty emotional blip, and just be with my boys. Sit down and help Austin with a puzzle, snuggle Graham or make faces at him until he erupts in giggles. My gray cloud bursts, and I either go back to finishing what I was doing feeling better about the mom I am, or I decide I would rather put it off and just be there with my kids for a while longer.  What works for me may not work for you, but at the end the (hectic) day, it’s all about love. Love yourself, love your family, love your friends. Love the life you are blessed to have because it is short. We were never guaranteed that it would be painless. The highs owe their sweetness to the grittiness of the lows. So will be 2015: ups and downs, goods and bads. I pray that we have more good news than bad and more smiles than tears. And more full nights of sleep now that Graham is older will be nice, too. Cheers to that.

Wishing you a happy, healthy new year (resolution, or not),