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Article: Notes On Pleasing

Notes On Pleasing

Notes On Pleasing

I feel very lucky to love what I do for a living, and I love the business I've built with the team that I get to work with every day. And I love to work hard... it's very satisfying to feel I'm accomplishing things on a daily basis. That said, I do wonder if perhaps some of my desire to work hard is driven by wanting to please. Does the desire to make sure everyone is ok outweigh everything else? How much is my passion for the work about me pleasing myself, and how much is a fear of letting myself or other people down? These are some of the things I occasionally think about. And, so, I thought I’d share my thoughts on pleasing…

A big part of me wants to please people which can be a good trait that many of us share. It can also become problematic if there’s an attachment to the idea that if I don’t do my best to please, my character will be called into question. We live in a time where our connectivity to people is constant, and when you add in a business that runs 24/7, it’s a very stimulating cocktail. And it's tempting to respond to just one more text, one more email, one more message on social media, but we all know it doesn’t end. There is no moment when everyone’s questions have been tackled, when I’ll reach that metaphorical open meadow where I can lay in the grass and gaze at the sky and reward myself for finishing the job. There is no such moment. I -- and perhaps we all -- have to go and find that resting point and decide when it happens and what it looks like. It could be 10 minutes sitting under a tree in a park and eating lunch or it could be ending a work day by 7pm so I can get on a walk with my dog and think about cooking dinner. None of those things take away from anyone around me. In fact, I can give those around me more if I do take those pauses. 

And yet, feeling as lucky as I feel to be doing what I still love 21 years later, a self imposed idea creeps in that if I carve out those little moments in the “open meadow”, somehow I’m taking it all for granted. “How dare I not feed something, 24/7, that has given so much to me?” my inner voice says.

I’m writing this to share that people who you think have it all together, don’t. None of us have figured everything out. And, none of us should be held to a different set of standards because we appear to be “lucky” in life. I am lucky but I’ve also worked very hard to get to where I am and I’m still trying to master how to give as much of myself as I can whilst still holding onto some sacred space for just me. I’m learning that pleasing yourself isn’t a negative. And it doesn’t have to come at the expense of doing a good job at work, being a good friend or partner - it can be all inclusive, a package deal. It doesn’t need to have the, “I’m just pleasing myself... you do you, boo” sentiment. It’s more of a feeling that I know myself well enough to know that there is joy and purpose in working really hard, and, in equal measure, there can be joy and purpose in finding a cocoon to daydream, recharge, connect with friends, family, hobbies, and achieve a sense of well being. They’re all ingredients, and too much of any one can tip the scale.

Having the right mindset is a physical, spiritual and emotional daily practice because self doubt is a real feeling. It can be very isolating when I feel like I’m steering the boat and I so badly want to please everyone on it... sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I wobble. But each day, knowing I have support from those close to me and a dedicated team, I start again, setting out with the intention of having a healthy mindset. And that’s half the battle towards giving to others whilst saving just the right amount for myself.

Sending lots of love,

1 comment

Sometimes finding the energy to stay grounded in gratitude can be more challenging than we ever imagined. Thank you for the inspiring words.

Amelia

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