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Episode #29 Say Goodbye to People Pleasing

If you struggle with being a people pleaser, this week’s episode is for you.

You might say, “I’m not a people pleaser!” but so many of us have an unconscious programming that keeps us in a pattern of playing small that we don’t even realize we’re doing.

If you struggle with visibility and stepping out and being the best version of yourself, or if you have difficulty executing on things or calling in and receiving the things you want to create, you might be bumping up against this internal block causing you to get the same results over and over.

Nicole shares her secrets for overcoming people pleasing, including how to stop getting stuck on getting it “right,” how to be fully enough on your own that you don’t need others approval, and how to step out in faith instead of fear. You don’t want to miss this!


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Hello, and welcome to the limitless entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host, Nicole Laino. And I am here today to talk about a topic that has been on my mind for a long time actually put a post up about it on my Instagram and on my Facebook page, and it got a really great response. And I know that this whenever this topic comes up, it resonates pretty deeply with a lot of people. And I know that it’s it’s one of those topics that everybody knows that we do it. But we don’t necessarily know how much it’s affecting everything that we do and everything that we want to do, and so many problems that we have. So what we’re talking about, so So let me let me just back up and say that, if you have trouble with visibility, if you have trouble with stepping out, and being the best version of you, that you know, and we talk about this a lot on the show about, about tapping into who you feel you innately are, what your what your inner calling is. And we hear that call, and we believe it to a degree. So we follow it a little bit. And we take courses and we start businesses and we do all of these things. And then we realize that as we have difficulty executing on things are calling in and receiving the things that we are trying so hard to create in our lives, we realize that we are bumping up against things that are internal inside of us that there’s some way that we’re being that’s causing us to kind of have the same results, and to experience the same things in our business and in our life. And there are lots of things that contribute to this. But we’re going to talk about one today. And it is about people pleasing. And being a pleaser. And I’m going to share a little story just because I think that this sets the tone and shows you where I’m coming from with this. And it this was this was something that I shared. And so if you read it already, we’re just going to kind of run through it again. But I for those of you who didn’t hear this, I do think that it helps to illustrate the point. Because sometimes we think that you know, I’m not a people pleaser. But we don’t realize how it is just sneaking in there and how it’s working against us, or technically for us, but not in a way that that is productive to the world that we want to live in right now. And the life that we want to create. So like 20 years ago, or ish, dating myself now, but I was dating a guy, and I’ll never forget it. We were in a hotel room and a W he was staying in a New York City. He was in town from out of town he did not live where I lived. I lived in New York at the time. And I was so excited to see him he was in for the weekend. And I was just super excited to see him. It had been a few weeks since we had been together and we were just having a lot of fun together. It wasn’t like this crazy, serious relationship. But I liked him. He liked me and we had a good time. And we’re in his hotel room. And we were trying to figure out what to do that night. And I think it was between going to like a barbecue with a bunch of people or going to a show or kind of just hanging out and like going to dinner. And I my response to that was and he presented all these ideas. These are the things that are going on. And I was like, well, I could really honestly do any of them. They all sound really great. And I meant it. i They sounded like good options. None of them. I was like, Oh, I don’t want to do that. And he looked at me, and very sweetly. Now this was not this was him really being a really good guy. And he looks at me and now I’m like 22 years old at the time. So I’m like I’m young. But I think I know everything. And he looks at me sweetly. And seriously, and he takes my hand and he said, Listen, I know that you are a pleaser. And what I want you to know is that I know that you mean well but I am interested in what you want. And I want you to know that it’s safe for you to say what you want with me. And even though I missed the whole end of that all I heard was, I know that you’re a pleaser. And I was just I was like I’m a what? And you think I’m a what? I lost it. I was like Who Do You Think You Are you think you know me? You think that you know that I just you present me with three decent things and I don’t tell you that, you know, I want to do this and it’s got to be my way and I’m a pleaser. You know what screw you buddy. And I was all pissed and I left and a big half And I, looking back on it now I see what he was trying to do for me. And I wish that I had heard him differently then, but I was not ready to hear that message at the time. And I, you know, I’m grateful to him, because I do think about it. And like I said, I can transport myself right back to that moment. And I have a feeling in my body when I think about that moment, because I feel really bad for that girl. I feel bad for that version of me. Because the truth is, is that that was a strategy that I had been using to get through life. And it was a strategy that had been developed out of survival. And I’m telling this story, because I want you to understand, and I want you to pay attention to when you do things like this, too, when you just don’t make a decision. When you defer to others. When you don’t, sometimes you don’t even know what your opinion is, you’ve done it for so long, that you are so used to just putting others first and not paying attention to what you want not even asking yourself, do I want this? What do I want in here? What what is my choice, that that this strategy can be so ingrained that we don’t even know that we’re using it. And usually where it comes from is that we were taught at some point, that that was the best way for survival, that maybe you had a parent that was always on edge or combustible or it wasn’t safe to really just be around them. So you were always kind of trying to make sure everything was okay. You were a peacekeeper, maybe you had parents that were fighting a lot. So you were peacekeeping. Maybe you had friends that kind of picked on you or when you spoke up, they they kind of they picked on you, they didn’t support you. So it was easier if you just if you toed the line, if you stayed in line, if you did things a certain way, then you aren’t attacked. And this gets ingrained in us. And this becomes a strategy that we use through life. And what it ends up being later on, is it’s a hindrance to our power. And when you are when if you’re pursuing a career and entrepreneurship, you are pursuing this level of success that we want, what you are truly pursuing is you 100% of you. That is the calling that you are hearing, you are hearing the 100% version of you calling out saying this isn’t it, there’s more, keep going, dig deeper. And in pursuit of that, you have to let this go. And recognize that people pleasing is a way that one’s kept you safe. But in entrepreneurial speak, and in the entrepreneurial world safe, equals stuck. So I don’t care what level you are at, I don’t care if you have a million dollar business, or a $5,000 business or you’ve never made a dime in your life online, I don’t care. If you want to be someplace else that you are not currently at. If you have a million and you want 3 million, if you have 100,000, and you want a 200,000. If you are at 5000, and you want 10, or you are at zero, and you’re wished you made 100 bucks, and you can’t seem to get there, then you are stuck and you are playing in safe space. Now I’m bringing up pleasing, because this is a very, very typical strategy for women. Because what it does is it has a little sister called playing small and pleasing is sort of a way that keeps you playing small, because it’s this very safe zone, you toe the line, you call her very much within the lines that somebody else Drew, not your lines, not your boundaries, the boundaries that you now perceive, are safe with other people. If I show up this way online, if I talk about these things, if I smile this way, if I show up in this type of energy, if I wear these clothes, if I have these friends, all of these things are ways that we are pleasing the external world and sacrifice to what we truly want.

So this is an unconscious program that keeps you in this pattern of playing small and all All small means is that you are not playing full out, you are playing your version of small, you are dimming your light to make others comfortable, or because you think that others will find it acceptable. But there’s part of you that saying, I want to be a big, bright shining light. And to the pleaser inside of us, that can feel very unsafe, it can feel selfish. And it’s not going to seem the none of this is going to be necessarily out there in the open, some of it will be, but but there will be tricky little ways of keeping you here, your subconscious is going to throw you evidence of why this strategy has worked for you, and I’m sure it has, but it’s gotten you to where you are, it won’t get you to where you want to be. And that is what I wanted to bring to light and bring to the forefront with this episode. Because if you are putting everyone else’s needs before your own, if you’re waiting for permission to go after what you want, if you are shrinking, so that others can feel bigger, or out of fear that they will not accept you in this bigger, stronger, brighter version of yourself, then that is going to hold you back from doing all the things. So if you’re buying courses, and you’re signing up for programs, and you have a list of things to do, but somehow they just never seem to get done. You never do show up online the way that you want. And energetically, when you’re showing up just as the formulaic version of what somebody else gave you. So they said, This is the way you write a post, this is the stuff that you should talk about. Or you’re taking scripts that somebody else gave you caption templates, maybe, and trying to make them your own, and it doesn’t seem to work. Because you aren’t showing up as the full unapologetic version of yourself. You’re trying to do it right, is another thing that comes up with pleasers, we try to get it right. And this is I’m speaking as a pleaser, as a lifelong pleaser, I have worked this strategy for ever, I and then I I’m proud to say I’m happy to say that I do it less now, it does not mean that I do not slip into it, you have to be very, very aware of it. And you need to get in touch with your feelings around the fear of not pleasing people, of being somebody who doesn’t color within the lines to be ready and to be fully enough on your own. That you do not need anyone else’s approval. That if they don’t like how you show up, that that’s okay. Not only okay, it’s, it’s a confirmation that you’re on the right path. Because it feels good to you. As long as you are being authentic to you, then every action you take will feel good. And that is how you start attracting the right people to you. Because they are tracked attracted to something actually authentic about you. Not something you have to think about. I always used to say I used to think about like liars, people who lie a lot. And I think like that must be exhausting. Just because you have to remember who you lied to, and what was the lie and all the details of it. And there’s just the weight where my mind goes I picture like being on like a witness stand with a lie. And they’re grilling you about it and you get one detail wrong. And they’re like, that’s not what you said before. And and I feel like it’s the same thing with this when you are trying to be somebody else, you’ve always got to be looking at your notes and going back and being like, is this the correct way to imitate someone else? Am I doing this right? And and the answer is? No, you’re not. Because it is not an authentic reflection of who you are. And what ends up happening with that is nobody engages with that because they feel your detachment from it. They feel that inauthenticity because you are not showing up in that full version of yourself in that complete version of yourself. So when I posted this, and I shared a real story, this is why story sell because if you can tell a real story from your heart. And this is what being vulnerable versus being fully vulnerable is that when you You’re up and you share something that’s, that’s personal to you. And maybe it This isn’t like an overly This isn’t I don’t consider this an overly personal share. It’s a vulnerable post, because it is something that happened to me. And it doesn’t paint me in the most flattering light. I’m not like telling a story about how it conquered the world or how like, I met this guy, and he was just so in love with me, and I’m so awesome. No, I’m talking about how, when I was 22 years old, I was dating a guy, and he kind of called me out for being a doormat. And I was really, really pissed. And, you know, so it’s, it’s not a comfortable story necessarily to tell I’ve worked through it, it is no longer emotional for me to tell it. So it’s safe for me to share online. But I got a lot of response because it was true. Because it was an other people, it was true to them, I touched something. And we connected on that. And so So what I’d like you to take away from all of this is recognizing, first of all, what your opinion is on things? What is it that you would do? And I asked this of all of my people, I tell them, you know, like this is a journaling prompt, always. What would I do today? If I didn’t give a fuck what anybody thought? What would I do today? How would I show up? What would I share? How would I share? What would I do if I wasn’t worried about getting it right? And when you can start when you practice that practice instincts. This is one thing when I was in my corporate job, I felt really desensitized because it’s a very people pleasing environment. I shined like a diamond there, because I am a very adept pleaser. I could color within those corporate lines and get paid for it. That was the rat race. That was that that’s that’s what the rat race is, is are you good at pleasing these people in this way. And I was.

But part of my exit strategy they’re part of as, as I was nearing the end of my time there and I was getting really frustrated with it. And I started to go into my depression, I got tired of pleasing everybody. And one thing that stood out to me was I remember saying to my husband, I said, I feel like I have dulled all of my senses. Like I don’t know who I am anymore. Because I’m just so used to doing what other people want, and filtering everything through, like what will be acceptable, what will be what will look good on my review, what is a good thing for me to say in this meeting like it, I felt so filtered, that I went and took improv classes, to just get used to reacting without thinking, to just go with my gut, because I couldn’t locate my gut with two hands a flashlight and a map at that point, because I felt so disconnected from who I was that I was completely living for the outside world. And quite frankly, it almost killed me. Like it was a depression, I got sunk into it, you’ve heard me talk about it on the show, I’m sure that that was completely a result of me being disconnected from my core from who I am. So to kind of sum up this episode, I’d like you to think about how you can connect to your core. Its star starts with knowing what it is that you want. And it starts with you knowing noticing, when you are deferring. That’s usually the first place it starts showing up. And then the next thing that I want you to pay attention to is when are you when do you like sit down to work or to do something in your business? And you have all of these ideas, you think you know what you want, but then you get stuck on whether you will get it right. There’s I would get this way with video a lot. I would be like, Okay, well, I’m going to do this video and I had the whole idea together. And then I would get stuck on getting the video part right? And I’d spend like 40 minutes Googling, you know, the right way to film the video and the lighting and I would, I would and that’s me trying to please other people with it. I’m trying to this is my fear of really being seen, and we’ll talk about that in another episode. But this was my fear of being seen. This was my fear of of putting myself out there and pleasing the rest of the world by having this perfect video. Perfectionism is another way that we kind of put this cloak of control over are people pleasing and a strategy that we use to keep us where we are. Everything is about a strategy of keeping us safe. And remember safe equals stuck, and it will keep us right where we are. And any attempt to go outside of that and achieve more success, earn more money, have more followers and, and connections with people and, and more clients and whatever it is that we are trying to call in all of that is very unsafe. So these are all strategies that we use to keep us in this little box that we’ve placed ourselves in. But it’s up to us to make start with just making a little bit of light, come through in the box, and then start opening the box. And finally ripping the whole damn thing down. So I hope you got value out of this episode. I hope that this stays with you, I hope that you’re able to see where you are people pleasing and how it’s affecting you. And understanding that the more you stand up for yourself and the more you have an opinion that you have an opinion on everything, and that you step out in that faith instead of fear. And pleasing is a form of fear, just playing out in a way that’s making life seemingly easier for you, but truthfully, is making it harder that I want you to see that that that just by having your opinions. And by stepping out in your power. One little choice a day starts to change you forever. And change everything that you are able to create around you. It can start with just looking at somebody and saying we’re having this for dinner because I decided it. And it’s not about being a tyrant. It is about owning your choices, making them standing in that power and seeing how that feels. Okay, so I hope you found this helpful. I hope as always, that you get value out of this podcast. And if you do, please share it with somebody who you think needs to hear this or who would get value from it. That’s how we spread the word and we get more people taking in this content and hopefully changing their lives and becoming limitless. And I will leave you as I leave you with every episode saying that you are only limited by the limitations that you accept. And when you stop accepting those limitations. That is when you become limitless. I’ll see you on the next one.

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