Updated: Jan 13
Okay, before we un-f*ck ourselves - I highly recommend reading my first blog post on this topic ("How people-pleasing f*cks your happy hormones").
It has important information about what these hormones do for us and how people-pleasing has been f*cking them up for you...so if you don't already know, go read that post first.
Read it? All set? Okay. Let's dive in to the un-f*cking.
Yessss! In this one, this delicious little blog, this sweet little apple-pie wonder of love and redemption and healing and beauty - this one is all about un-f*cking your Happy Hormones (oxytocin, seratonin, dopamine, and endorphins).
You know why?
Because you DESERVE to be happy.
Yup! I said it, honey!
And you can say that to yourself in the mirror EVERY SINGLE MORNING because EVERY SINGLE MORNING it will be just as true!
Your first step in ditching the people-pleasing will be learning to pay attention to your own happiness.
I'll show you how to do that by getting your Happy Hormones on POINT. The best part is, it's about to be sooo fun. And you DESERVE to have fun!
Going from a toxic lifestyle to a constructive one, you will be doing the gorgeous, exciting, delicious work of re-wiring your brain.
understanding the basics of your Happy Hormones (read the first blog post),
identifying how people-pleasing has f*cked up your access to them (first blog post), and
re-gaining your access to them by intentionally making new choices about what you do with your time and energy.
It really is that simple.
Imagine a life in which you regularly experience authentic connection, feel comfortable being yourself, open up and receive support from friends, invest your time and energy in causes that matter to you, take good care of your body because it feels good, and feel truly loved and deeply proud of yourself.
Yeah, that shit is possible for you. And you can't hate yourself into it!
You gotta use that good good LOVE stuff!
But in all seriousness, if you're coming out of a painful cycle of people-pleasing, I want to honor how raw you might feel even thinking about taking better care of yourself.
Do you already feel guilty, even reading this blog?
Are you already putting yourself down, telling yourself how pathetic you are for even "needing it"?
Stop it right there. I'm doing the first step for you. Here are three things that are SUPER COOL ABOUT YOU for reading this blog and even just expressing curiosity in better self-care:
You believe in yourself enough to seek a solution to your problem.
You are self-aware and wise for realizing that you may not have to live this way.
You are already prepared to live and love way deeper just by acknowledging that you want a change.
PLUS (a lil bonus here): you're mature, strong, and generally badass for daring to work on yourself - a lot of folks choose to suffer their lives away instead! (What a snooze!)
You are worthy of your own love. I'll never stop telling you that.
But it isn't easy to even know what that means when you've been abusing yourself (even just passively) for years.
That's why mindfulness + your Happy Hormones are gonna be your new best friends.
In our wondrous human brains, our habits form our thoughts and then our thoughts form our habits and it can either be a vicious or delicious cycle.
With your old habits (going for the blue ribbon in people-pleasing), you were reinforcing these messages in your brain:
"Other people's opinions of me matter more than my own." "Others' approval of me determines my safety and success." "I need to serve others before serving myself." "I need to serve others or I have no self."
With your new delicious special fantastic habits, you'll be reinforcing messages like this instead:
"I know my loved ones look out for me." "I take good care of myself because it feels so good." "I reach my goals and they make my life better!" "I trust myself and know that I am worthy of my own love." "I can get through anything!"
Um, yes please!! Let's do it!
Here's how to take action steps toward this beautiful re-wiring.
And remember: you are here for a reason and YOU ARE WORTH IT!
OXYTOCIN: "I am deeply loved."
To get that beautiful oxytocin release that lasts, you have to allow yourself to be authentic and vulnerable.
For a recovering people-pleaser, the best way you can do this is to trust someone enough to actually confide in them.
You can start by telling them you're working on this problem in your life! Give them the chance to support you - you may be surprised how good it feels when they actually do!
When I started openly telling people how much pain I was in after years of people-pleasing, I was amazed at what a burden was lifted.
And yeah, I lost some "friends." I lost people in my life who were only there because they benefited from my low self-worth.
But I also gained something - deeper connection to the people who had been beside me the whole time, genuinely wanting to know the real me. The people who accepted me and created friendships of mutual respect and trust.
If diving right into this feels like a leap you're not quite ready for, start getting some good oxytocin flowing by simply spending more time with animals! Connecting specifically with intelligent animals like dogs and horses can give that super comforting oxytocin release and ease you into doing the thing with humans.
But trust me - there are LOADS of good humans out there who would accept the real you in a heartbeat. You'll never know until you try!
SERATONIN: "I am proud of myself."
I invite you to write down ONE "cause" that matters to you.
It doesn't have to be global, or even national. It doesn't have to be a cause you would read about in the news. It totally can be, but it can also be as micro-scale as "I care about my sister getting the support she needs during her pregnancy," or "I care about completing my assignments on time."
Choose ONE thing, and make it your "cause" for the week. As you establish how you'll use your time that week, make that the only cause that gets your attention for that week - other than your self-care.
It's self-care, and this ONE other cause. That's it. The other things that you want to put all your love into will still be there at the end of this week, and you can choose a new one each week.
Maybe you space it out month-to-month, or yearly.
But for the love of all things beautiful just SPACE IT OUT.
You will enjoy a beautiful seratonin release making yourself proud and contributing to a vision you have, without running yourself absolutely ragged by going CRAZY with the task list.
YES - humans are all interconnected and the way we show up for each other is very important. BUT you burning yourself out by desperately seeking more and more approval/seratonin overkill is NOT. SERVING. ANYONE.
So choose one thing this week, take care of yourself, and give your excess energy there and only there. Just try it and see how it feels!
And when you kill it (cuz you always do), practice patting yourself on the back. There are so many fun ways to congratulate yourself, and this could be a great chance is explore the options. (Solo dinner date, anyone?!)
DOPAMINE: "I did the thing!"
Oooohh, this one's gonna be funnn!
Grab a pen, grab a piece of paper, or grab your phone. We're makin' a LIST.
Dopamine LOVES a good list, and we're about to make the funnest list you ever did see.
You are going to make a to do list that is ALL. ABOUT. YOU!
But I see you. Most recovering people-pleasers don't really know what it means to do things that are "for them" and the brain is incredible at justifying bullsh*t. I can hear it already: "well when I do all my BF's laundry even though he doesn't need me to, it does feel like it's for me in a way because it makes me less worried that I don't bring enough to the relationship..." YEAH NO. Not that.
So, to avoid certain kinds of understandable human bullsh*t, I've made just TWO requirements for your to do list.
Everything on your to do list has to...
be constructive for your mind, body, and/or soul, and
be possible to complete without anyone else being involved.
Write the list down somehow and each time you complete one of the items, check it off, cross it out, whatever you need to do to mark it complete! That sends a message to your brain that you did the thing, and then hello, Dopamine! And hello, re-wiring your brain to reward you for taking good care of your own sh*t!
Prime examples of good dopamine to do list items include "make myself a nutritious dinner," "do all my laundry," "put on a fabulous make-up look," "take a walk in the beautiful fresh air," and more, more, more! Ooooh you're gonna have so much fun.
ENDORPHINS: "I can get through this!"
Ahhh, endorphins. Sweet, predictable endorphins.
To use these babies in your journey, the best tool you have at your disposal is - you guessed it - exercise!
But maybe your relationship to exercise is one that's riddled with emotional suppression and self-hatred.
Relatable! Those used to be my only reasons for doing it at all!
So the journey with this one is going to be one of integration.
Using your body, getting your heart rate up, and challenging yourself physically is good for you. But telling yourself horrible stories while you do it is not. And having a sh*tload of anxiety around the way you look never serves anyone.
So we're saying f*ck all that and practicing integrative movement with a new mental story - which is a choice that will really seal the deal with your brain and self-love.
Start by choosing exercise that you think is FUN. Walking the dog at a brisk pace, or dancing to your favorite song, or doing a deep stretch yoga class, or maybe some resistance training. You may have to force yourself to start the first few times - but as soon as you push through that wall, you will already be experiencing the yummy endorphins you love so much.
And how can you "force yourself" with love, instead of hate? Try these affirmations before and after your exercise:
I use my body because I am capable and want to be capable my whole life long.
My body serves me all day long, and I serve her back by giving her attention.
Movement makes me happy (it literally hormonally does) and I deserve to be happy.
Integrate these while exercising, too! When you notice your mind slipping into mean sentences, criticizing you instead of encouraging you, flip the script and say those magical words instead!
It sounds cheesy, but it's straight facts: if you want to change your life, stop people-pleasing, and live with real love and happiness, you will eventually have to take radical personal responsibility and tell yourself a new story about yourself. It only takes consciousness, which we are so fortunate to be blessed with.
Omg you're so cool already! You're reading this blog because you're ready to make a change! That is f*ckin awesome! Proud of you. ;)
You are worthy of your own love. (I told you I'd never stop saying that.) But no one else can do this work for you - that's what's so goddamn empowering about it.
And trust me, the world needs an empowered you. To be a people-pleaser in the first place, you have to be so empathetic and attentive - now give some of that sugar to YOURSELF, sugar!
And remember: this is my sh*t. It's what I do. I help people get over their people-pleasing and fall back in love with themselves so they can do REALLY cool things in the world.
So when you're ready to up level into a way more fulfilling lifestyle, book a call with me. I did it myself and I know just how to get you there, too!
Hormones, habits, and pleasure, oh my! Tell me how this goes for you by hitting me up on IG @theaishadelilah. You know I love u.