As a recovering pleaser, I’ve spent much of my life trying to be a ‘good girl’. Conscientious, hardworking, respectful, putting the needs of others before myself. I’ve tried to do the right thing, step up and take responsibility, be dependent and reliable. And I like to think, by and large, I’ve succeeded.
But of late there’s been a subtle yet powerful shift; I no longer do what I ought to do – instead I do what I want to do. I please myself, rather than seek to please others. I claim my own needs. And what is wondrous to me, is that for the first time in my life I don’t feel guilty about it. And that’s because, paradoxically, when I only seek to please myself I find I have much bigger capacity to be of service to others. I feel centred, content, at ease, free – and from that place I willingly give without resentment.
Freed from the burden and weight of ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘ought tos’, I have energy, compassion and the desire to help others, but on my own terms.
I find I have a strongly held values set, and being congruent is massively important to me. But I now do what I do because I want to, not because I feel obligated to do so. Freedom. I think I’ve freed myself from the tyranny of duty and stopped martyring myself on the altar of goodness.
And the key? What was it that enabled this wondrous internal transformation? Oh, it was there under my nose all along. Something I willingly give to others but until now only rarely to myself. Something I teach to others when I share my OAK TREE principles. Can you guess what it is? Email me or comment if you think you know the answer!