If you don’t like your life as it is, why not create a different future? Here’s how

You don’t know what you don’t know, do you?  I had no idea that my life could be any different.  This is what it looked like the last 6 or 7 years of my marriage:

I get up, I have breakfast, I go to work, I do my job, I go back home, I have something to eat that Jim microwaved, we watch the telly, I go to bed.

I get up, I have breakfast, I go to work, I do my job, I go back home, I have something to eat that Jim microwaved, we watch the telly, I go to bed.

Read moreIf you don’t like your life as it is, why not create a different future? Here’s how

If you didn’t care what people said, what would you do differently?

I remember the first time this thought popped into my head: my stomach clenched with anxiety. I imagine this is a common reaction amongst us people pleasers or, as I prefer to call myself, recovering people pleaser.

shutterstock_63866632Just the idea of deliberately doing something that might displease somebody scared the hell out of me. In those days, the thought of rocking the boat felt threatening.

But here’s the thing, many of us reach a point when the status quo is no longer an option because we finally know we

Read moreIf you didn’t care what people said, what would you do differently?

What stops you from being true to yourself

shutterstock_189619739A favourite refrain of my parents’ when I wanted to do something or other that didn’t meet with their approval was, “What will the neighbours say?”

The idea that I had to make sure I did nothing that might

Read moreWhat stops you from being true to yourself

Self-sabotage and other destructive behaviours

‘Sabotaging yourself’, ‘letting yourself down’, ‘betraying yourself’ – each of them are very strong expressions. The obvious question would be: “why would we do a thing like that?”.  My answer is “probably because we don’t realise we’re doing it”.  But we do experience the results even though we don’t realise we are the ones who have created it.

Common self-sabotage

So what does it look like when we sabotage

Read moreSelf-sabotage and other destructive behaviours

Scared of Conflict?

My parents’ experience of war and their enforced dependence on other people’s goodwill caused them to instil into me the importance of getting people to like me. My very survival might depend on it, they said again and again. I grew up with that belief deeply embedded into me and I invested a great deal of effort into presenting myself in a way that I believed would appeal to others, get them to like me, give me work, even love me.

It is, therefore, not surprising that, for most of my adult life, I was not only intent on being all things

Read moreScared of Conflict?

How to Transform Your Relationships

I was brought up to always be friendly, agreeable, charming and cheerful. My parents believed that my very survival depended on people liking me and being a people pleaser was, clearly, the way to be accepted, acceptable and liked.

I grew up, got married and over the years I developed a variety of friendships of varying degrees of superficiality.

I worked as hard as I could at all these relationships. One of the approaches I had developed was to avoid conflict at all cost. I actually believed that conflict signified the end of a relationship, that if I ever told someone how I really felt, they would walk away and I’d be alone – forever. This “walking away” might be physical or psychological.

Read moreHow to Transform Your Relationships

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