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,

Emilie

Sweating It Out, Together

by Melissa Cates

I have a new vice. It totally quiets my busy mind.  I am guilty of leaving my kids behind and indulging several times a week; it hurts so good.

Ok, ok, before you get concerned here it is: group fitness classes. 

Hold on to your leg warmers, Jane Fonda: this is not your momma’s group fitness. I’m talking muscle-shaking, iron-pumping, can-barely-walk-the-next-day group fitness. I know I’ve written here before about my gym addiction, but here’s the ugly truth: I was TOTALLY half-a**ing it for a while. The main objective for me was to have a break in my day from my kiddos and maybe take a quiet shower. Yoga classes exempt, I was not pushing myself or even breaking a sweat when let loose on my own to those endless rows of cardio machines and confusing weight contraptions. But, oh, I have seen the light. It is twice as gratifying to get a much needed break AND get whipped into shape by a trainer on a mini stage with enviable deltoids and a mic pack. 

Photo credit: Lifetime Fitness

Photo credit: Lifetime Fitness

My go-to fixes right now are a total body barbell lifting class and a barre class (which develops long, lean muscles and a love/hate relationship with the word “pulse”). I still squeeze in yoga classes for the stretching, strengthening, and moments of mental clarity I can’t get anywhere else. The biggest perk for me of attending these classes is the ability to be completely in the moment in my body. I don’t have to come in with a plan or wonder what to do next. Someone who really knows their stuff will shout it out to me over the bass-thumping music accompanied by some inspiring motivational phrases. All I have to do is push myself, do one more, stay with it to the end. 

My advice to you is to get pumping and add strength training to your wellness plan. Lifting weights, whether on your own with some dumbbells at home or in a class, has so many benefits. In addition to shaping your body, strength training exercise builds muscle fibers that improve balance, increase total body metabolism, and even fight osteoporosis as we age. Added to these benefits, it is encouraging and rewarding to work out in a social environment. The sweaty sense of accomplishment is shared at the end of the hour, and it gives me an opportunity to chat and meet new people. Blame it on the endorphins or the tighter buns, but I’m not cutting back on this addiction any time soon.

My 5 Favorite Beauty Products

by Melissa Cates
I will never forget when my mom first started allowing my sister to wear makeup to school. She had just started the sixth grade, which meant she had graduated to middle school. I was still hanging back at elementary school, but my infinitely cooler big sis had entered the elusive, desired, and somewhat scary world of preteens. Cheerleaders, pimples, and school dances… oh my! It wouldn’t be long before I applied my first swipe of mascara, tint of lipgloss, and necessary spots of concealer (thanks, hormones.) At first emulating my sister’s style, I quickly grew to love the artistry and creativity that came with applying all that “war paint.” There were some regrettable choices (goodbye, shimmery blue eye shadow), and some tricks that have stuck with me for almost 20 years (hello, white eyeliner for the inner rims of my tired eyes). 

I may have left the locker-lined, clique-filled hallways of middle school, and yes, I may spend most days before the eyes of two baby boys, but I still make a point to pay attention to myself. Spending a few minutes in the morning taking care of me makes me feel good and more… well…like a woman. Let me be clear, I am not saying that a woman needs a full face of make up and perfectly coiffed hair to feel good about herself. No, no, no. I am saying that she should know herself and be comfortable in her own skin and with her own wants and needs. It makes me feel more motivated, confident, and capable to take on my day when I take a little time to prepare myself for it. It is probably as much about the ritual of it as it is the way the eyelash curler wakes up my eyes. As you go through your routine, try to compliment yourself on your positive attributes, both physical and internal. 

“I have shining, blue eyes.”

“I am a generous person who cares for others.”

If a little, “I wish my nose wasn’t so wide,” slips in. Let it go. It’s only natural to scrutinize, but try to redirect your attention to your perks. There are so many!

Also important to note, I have a very simple daily routine. It works for me and the amount of time I have to devote to a little self-pampering. It's just enough so that when I catch myself in the mirror with a baby on my hip and a screaming toddler on my leg, I still think, "Go on, girl. You got this!" (Even if there's a little mac and cheese in my hair.)

Here are my 5 favorite go-to beauty items:

Grapeseed Oil- Momma knows best, and my mom shared this one with me. I apply it at night underneath my moisturizer. It is great for acne-prone skin with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps minimize pores, plump and moisturize to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even reduces under-eye circles. Love this stuff!

Stainiac Lip Stain- I once went through a no-lipsick phase in favor of nude lips, but these days, I am all about a pink pout. This stuff is AH-MAZING. It gives you just the right amount of cherry stain, lasts for hours, and can even be dabbed on cheeks for a pretty flush. Don’t be fooled by it’s appearance in the tube, it is a very natural wash of color that can be layered for a deeper hue, if desired. 

Mascara- Even if I don’t do anything else, I put on mascara. Maybe it is because it has always been my favorite cosmetic; maybe it’s because it makes me look more bright eyed and bushy tailed. I have used them all, and really, it’s a personal preference. I do always use waterproof. It stays put and holds the curl better, in my opinion. 

L’oreal Boost It Volume Inject Mousse-  That’s quite a name, but it is one worth typing out. This stuff is so inexpensive, but it works better than ones I have paid $40 for in the salon. I apply it to my damp hair from root to tip, followed by a little heat-protectant spray, and it gives my medium length locks a real volume boost (I guess it is aptly named). You know what we say in the South: “The bigger the hair, the closer to God.” I abide by this rule. Flat hair is not, and never will be, for me. (Confession: When I first saw the “Bump It” infomercial, I laughed and rolled my eyes… and then secretly considered it’s value… Don’t tell anyone, but I just had to get that off my chest.)

Water- I know, I know… There is a broken record that won’t stop telling you to drink, drink, drink! Water, that is. Put down the cocktail. Unless it’s after 5, in which case you may pick it back up and continue to sip as you read. But seriously, when I drink lots of water, the next morning I look like a better version of myself. I feel better, too. It’s not always easy to remember, and my best advice is to keep a water bottle with you and just sip all day. Big chugs can make you feel icky and averse to drinking more. I also love sparkling water, a lemon slice, or even a splash of Austin’s apple juice to make it more attractive. Chin, chin!

The bottom line? Confidence and a positive attitude are always fetching. Do whatever it is that makes you shine your brightest everyday. 

Wishing you a little pampering and some really big hair,

Melissa