The Pleaser Mind Hijacker
I, like many people, struggle with people pleasing behaviors and making others happy mental makeup. I like to say, “I’m a recovering people pleaser.”
See, I was conditioned as a child and a female to be a “good girl”. That you don’t speak out, you don’t rebel, and you certainly don’t upset other people.
I get this from family dynamics, the US public school system (in the 90’s anyway), being raised in the church, and other societal domains that knowingly or unknowingly created the “good girl” trope.
So you can imagine why I felt the need to identify “The Pleaser” as an important Mental Hijacker to discuss.
Reminder, a Mind Hijacker is just a consistent or pervasive theme of thoughts that interrupt your happiness. When bad things happen they come to add salt to the wound, or in the case of The Pleaser, it is there to maintain the status quo and to be loved.
My Struggle with the Pleaser
Let me give you an example of when my Pleaser spoke really loudly.
I can get really grumpy with my husband. I generally know The Pleaser has acted out when I start to get witchy (with a b). Now there is nothing wrong with being upset with other people, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with having those moments when we’re so frustrated that we raise our voices to make our point. However, I know that it’s my Pleaser because I was feeling resentful.
See, as I’m going down people pleasing road, trying to make everyone else happy around me at all times, doing more housework than my spouse or children, or taking the burden of parenting off my partner’s’ shoulders so he can do other things – some more important like school work and some less important like golfing with his buddies.
This reached a culmination recently as I was cooking, trying to watch the children, and my hubs came out and said something like, “I’m not hungry.”
I’m not proud of it, especially because it happened in front of my children, but I lashed out. I got really upset and accused him of all kinds of silly things.
See I use people pleasing as a way to get love and, if I’m completely honest, my way. The Pleaser lies to me and tells me people will love me if I do everything for them and enable them.
I told you that my Judge Hijacker, Mitzi, is a grown up high school mean girl. My Pleaser is nasty. She’s a sweet child until she gets vile and turns into a monster straight out of some movie.
She gets so hurt and starts to lash out.
Addressing my Pleaser tendencies can help me to better communicate my needs, my wants, and my desires so that I’m not manipulating or being passive aggressive.
Solutions to Overcoming The Pleaser Mind Hijacker
So here are 6 Ways to Address The Pleaser Mind Hijacker
- Self-Awareness: I know I shared this one last week (and it will come up again) but it’s important. So, take the time to reflect on your own patterns of people-pleasing. Notice the situations, triggers, and emotions that lead you to prioritize others’ needs over your own. Developing self-awareness is the first step towards change.
- Identify Your Needs and Prioritize Self-Care: Recognize that your needs and desires are important. Prioritize self-care activities that nourish your well-being. Taking care of yourself allows you to show up more authentically and effectively in your relationships.
- Practice Assertiveness: Learn to express your thoughts, feelings, and boundaries in a clear and assertive manner. Practice saying “no” when you need to and communicating your limits respectfully. Remember, setting boundaries is a healthy and necessary part of maintaining balanced relationships.
- Challenge Negative Thoughts and Beliefs: Often, people-pleasers hold negative beliefs about themselves, such as the fear of being disliked or seen as selfish. Challenge these beliefs by recognizing your own worth and embracing self-compassion. Remind yourself that it is okay to prioritize your own needs.
- Seek Support and Accountability: Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or even a coach (hint, hint) who can provide support and guidance as you work on overcoming people-pleasing behaviors. They can help you stay accountable and offer perspective on healthier ways of relating to others.
- Practice Saying “Yes” to Yourself: Make a conscious effort to say “yes” to yourself and your own needs. Start small by incorporating activities or commitments that bring you joy and fulfillment. Gradually, you can build a habit of prioritizing yourself alongside others.
So back to my blow up with my husband. I took a breath. I reflected on what was actually going on, and I figured out that I needed more help around dinner time. That it was a lot for me to cook, set the table, make sure everyone’s drinks were ready, keep the kids calm, etc. etc.
The solution was simple. Let my husband know I needed help. I didn’t need to do it all, and he didn’t know I needed help because I was so busy listening to my Pleaser that I had to do it all to make everyone happy and to love me.
You don’t have to let your Pleaser dominate your head space either. Schedule a call with me to see if working together can help you deal with this Mental Hijacker and simplify your life as well. Here’s the link to jump on my calendar.
Whether you like or not, your inner Judge is a part of your life.
More specifically The Judge is a psychological archetype that when gone unchecked, can make life very difficult.
Maybe you’ve already done some self-improvement work in this area and have managed to dim the voice of the Judge, and if so, good for you! It’s hard to do and you should celebrate any improvement made in this area.
But for most of us, The Judge is tough to shake.
The judge lies to us about other people, causing us to judge them, but mostly the judge lies to us about ourselves and makes us judge ourselves.
According to the website for Positive Intelligence, “The Judge is the universal [Mind Hijacker] that afflicts everyone. It is the one that beats you up repeatedly over mistakes or shortcomings, warns you obsessively about future risks, wakes you up in the middle of the night worrying, gets you fixated on what is wrong with others or your life, etc. Your Judge activates your other [Mind Hijackers], causes much of your stress and unhappiness, reduces your effectiveness, and harms your relationships.”
My Judge’s name is Mitzi.
She’s hysterical (when I remember it’s her). See she’s dressed in a 90’s velour suit with “juicy” on the booty. She has a small yappy dog, a martini, and her dark hair is pulled up in a messy bun. She’s a super judgy lady, but really she’s funny.
She says things to me like, “You’re not good enough.”
“Why do you think you can do that?”
“What makes you qualified to XXX?”
Yeah, she would be a threat, but unfortunately for her, when I picture her all I can see is the 90’s outfit and the chaos and I recognize the high school mean girl that she once was. Then I’m able to reframe her judgments with positive affirmations.
5 Ways to Disarm the Inner Judge
- Practice self-awareness: Start by becoming aware of The Judge’s presence. Notice when it arises and pay attention to the thoughts and criticisms it generates. By recognizing its voice, you can begin to detach from its influence. Like I have by naming and picturing “Mitzi”.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Whenever The Judge starts criticizing you, challenge those negative thoughts. Ask yourself if they are based on objective evidence or if they are just self-limiting beliefs. Replace them with positive and realistic affirmations that empower and encourage you.
- Cultivate self-compassion: Develop a kind and compassionate attitude towards yourself. Treat yourself with the same understanding, support, and kindness you would offer to a friend facing a similar situation. Embrace your imperfections and acknowledge that making mistakes is a natural part of growth.
- Focus on strengths and achievements: Shift your attention from self-criticism to your strengths and accomplishments. Make a list of your achievements, skills, and positive qualities. Remind yourself of these regularly, especially when your inner judge becomes overly critical.
- Surround yourself with support: Seek out a supportive network of friends, family, or a community that uplifts and encourages you. Share your struggles and challenges with trusted individuals who can offer guidance, understanding, and positive reinforcement. Their perspectives can help you gain new insights and counterbalance the voice of your inner judge.
It can really help, unless your Judge is just super scary, to create an image of this archetype. Because, like mine, it may disarm the situation by realizing the humor. You can laugh at yourself and say to The Judge, “Oh Mitzi!” like the 90’s sitcom she came out of and into my imagination.
If your Judge is overwhelming, loud, or terrifying, feel free to sign up for some time to talk to me. You can find the link here.
If you would like to talk more about Mind Hijackers in general, I welcome a conversation. Schedule some time to chat here.
I don’t know about you, but life would be so much easier if our brains would stop hijacking our thoughts and distracting us from our goals.
What am I talking about?
You know the thoughts…
‘You’re not good enough.’
‘If you make everyone happy then you’ll be happy.’
‘You MUST achieve or you’ll be worthless.’
‘Well, naturally this isn’t going to work out because statistics show it’s impossible.’
‘Let’s not have this conversation, we don’t want to ruin anyone’s day.’
You may not know you’re thinking these kinds of thoughts, but when you step back from a challenge, put off something you could do today, or feel worthless, I’m willing to lay good money down that you’re “Mind Hijackers” have taken over.
The Mind Hijackers By Name
We all have them. They want to sabotage your success. They want to protect you from yourself.
They come in different combinations, but the one constant is The Judge. The Judge shows up in all of us. It’s when we tell ourselves we’re not enough, too much, or no one will like us.
I myself also struggle with The Pleaser, The Hyper-Achiever, and The Hyper-Rational.
There are several others like The Avoider, The Victim, The Restless, The Stickler, The Controller, and The Hyper Vigilant.
Let’s spend the next few weeks talking about five of these. We’ll start with The Judge. We’ll talk about who The Judge is to each of us, and what we can do to better silence our inner Judge.
If you’d like to talk more about these things, feel free to sign up for a 30-minute chat fest with me. Follow this link to schedule some time.
Let’s Talk About Essentialism
I have been practicing Essentialism for many years now, but didn’t know it had a name. You see, Essentialism is a mindset and approach that emphasizes focusing on the most important things and eliminating non-essential elements. It involves identifying and prioritizing what truly matters to you and making deliberate choices to allocate your time, energy, and resources accordingly.
By embracing essentialism, you can streamline your life, reduce stress, and create more meaningful and fulfilling experiences. It’s about simplifying and aligning your actions with your core values and goals.
So here are five things that I find interesting about Essentialism:
🌟 The Importance of Focusing on What You Can Control 🌟
When you constantly worry about things you cannot control, disappointment and frustration can quickly creep in. Instead, shift your focus to the things within your control and take action to improve them.
By doing so, you empower yourself to make positive changes and avoid unnecessary stress.
Remember, your energy is best spent on what you can influence!
✨ Overcoming the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) ✨
FOMO can create anxiety and stress, but you have the power to overcome it.
Redirect your attention to your own life and pursuits.
Remind yourself that everyone has their own unique journey, and what truly matters is aligning with your own aspirations.
Don’t worry about missing out on what isn’t meant for you or what you can’t pursue.
Embrace your path, and incredible opportunities will unfold!
🔑 The Role of Essentialism in Decision-Making 🔑
Essentialism is a powerful approach to decision-making.
By focusing on what truly matters and eliminating the rest, you gain clarity and enhance your ability to make effective choices.
When faced with decisions, identify what is truly essential and what is not.
By removing non-essential elements, you free up your time and energy to invest in what brings you the most value and fulfillment.
🌱 Creating a Culture of Essentialism in Your Life 🌱
To foster a culture of essentialism in your life, start by establishing clear priorities.
Ensure that everyone understands what is truly important. Get your family, friends, and co-workers to understand your new priorities and boundaries.
Next, eliminate anything that does not align with those priorities.
This may involve scaling back projects at home or work and reevaluating work processes and home systems.
Finally, celebrate successes and learn from failures, creating an environment for yourself that encourages focus, productivity, and growth.
💫 The Benefits of Living an Essentialist Life 💫
Living an essentialist life can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling existence.
By focusing on what truly matters to you and discarding the rest, you create space for what brings you joy and purpose.
With increased time and energy, you can fully invest in the people, activities, and goals that align with your values.
Embrace essentialism, and watch your stress diminish as your satisfaction and fulfillment soar!
If you want to talk more about the benefits of Essentialism, set up a self-discovery call with me. I coach utilizing these practices, they have changed my life, the life of my clients, and they can change yours too.
Change is inevitable
An old slogan for my business was, “Change is inevitable. Transformation is optional. Choose wisely.”
I used this because, yes, change is inevitable, but also because we can either resist it, and suffer the consequences, or we can allow it to transform us more and more into the person we want to be with every opportunity change brings.
If we’re going to be forced to change, then understanding how it works, seems like a good idea.
I remember teaching the Transtheoretical model years ago when I was doing some training for a former employer. The Transtheoretical Model, aka The Stages of Change, is one interpretation to how change occurs in our lives. Although there are many different takes on the different stages, five stages seem to occur in every explanation.
Stages of Change
The five agreed upon Stages of Change include:
1. Precontemplation – starting to have an awareness that something needs to change.
2. Contemplation – beginning to really think about what life might look like if a change is made, but resistant because, well, change can be hard.
3. Preparation – actually trying out the change, testing strategies, fortitude, mindset, but not yet actually making a change – although one is on the horizon in the next six months.
4. Action – making THE change and having sustained it for at least 30 days. This one is interesting because technically all of the stages of change include some form of action, but social scientists seem to agree on the 30 days of action being the “Action” stage.
5. Maintenance- one continues the action stage into an ongoing pattern or habit of transformation.
Limitations of the Stages of Change
Like all theories, the Transtheoretical Model has its limitations. The most glaring is that we are constantly changing although mostly subconsciously because we’re not really thinking about it. Another is that the process of change isn’t quite so linear and the timeframes for the stages can be quite arbitrary.
That being said, it’s interesting to look at a change through this lens. If you’re starting to recognize a bad habit (smoking, worrying, poor eating or drinking habits, lack of daily movement, whatever), it’s interesting to hold the possibility of change up to this model.
Processing through the Stages of Change
What would change look like for you in the precontemplation stage? Would you recognize it? How would you know if it’s something that needs to change or not?
What about during the contemplation stage? Do you like a good “pros and cons” list? Or do you like to weigh the good habits against the bad?
What does action really look like for you? Is 30 days enough for you to say that you are taking positive action?
Or maintenance, how do you prevent yourself from going backwards and returning to the former misaligned habit?
You don’t have to have this all figured out, because I can help you to take on change with courage and presence of mind.
See, if you’re really interested in changing something (a job, your relationship status, your mindset, the options are limitless), and yet you don’t know how you’ll go about it, or how you’ll continue, or how you’ll overcome the challenges along the way, that’s where I come in.
I’m happy to help you work through your change and turn it from a begrudgingly difficult task to an opportunity for transformation. If you’re interested in getting help for any kind of transformation, book your free Discovery Call today.