For longer than I care to admit I was guilty of putting the desires of others before my own. At times, what they wanted was undeniably hazardous and unreasonable, but that didn’t stop me from trying to grant their wishes. I wanted to do what they expected—with a smile on my face—to avoid fallout and discomfort. Saying no seemed too disruptive. What I failed to acknowledge was just how disruptive I was being to myself. Thankfully, self-preservation stepped in and demanded more.
There are times when we are no longer allowed to do what we’ve always done. It can manifest as perpetual internal nagging or physical symptoms like chest discomfort, stomach pain, trouble breathing, fatigue, inability to concentrate, or nervous behaviors. Don’t ignore the signs. When we ignore the quiet, less explicit signs, we are (thankfully) hit with a louder or harder sign until we take notice. The key is to take notice and take action before the hit is too loud or too hard to be reversed.
If you’re people pleasing instead of practicing self responsibility or spending more energy portraying instead of discovering who you are, it's time to stop. People pleasing will only lead you on a path to more people pleasing. Portraying a persona will only lead you further away from your most fulfilled and authentic self. Failing to take care of yourself will always leave you feeling empty and insufficient. Change your course. Take the path to self-discovery and you'll find that those who genuinely love you are already pleased with you and will continue to be supportive as you reach the fullness of who you are.