If you are a fan of the Sex and the City series, you may remember one of the final episodes when Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) makes the decision to quit her job as a newspaper columnist and move to Paris with "the Russian." And then came the questions. Her friends bombarded her with:
"Where are you going to live?"
"What are you going to do?"
"You can't just give up your life!"
When Carrie grew tired of the questions, she exclaimed, "I can't stay single for you!" She could just as easily have said "I can't stay small for you!"
Breaking Free of Living Small
Although our friends and loved ones say they want what's best for us, what they really want is what they think is best for them. They want us to live small so they won't feel so uncomfortable about their own choice to live small. Or they don't want us to change, because those changes disrupt their status quo. They may ask, "Why can't things stay the same?" Or, "Why can't we go back to the way we were?" And sometimes we do just that, live small to please others - so we won't feel guilty and won't make others feel uncomfortable. But doing so serves no one.
In 2015, my daughter made a big decision. She took a leave of absence from her job to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,600 mile trail through the Western U.S., from the Mexican border to Canada. And then the questions started:
"You're hiking all that way alone?"
"Aren't you worried about your safety?"
"How can you leave your job and just hike for 5 months?"
"Why are you doing this?"
I have to admit I had a few questions of my own. I am human, after all! And it wasn't easy for her to let go of people pleasing to live big-- especially when that choice caused people she cared about to feel distress.
Letting Go of People Pleasing
Here are 5 reasons to let go of people pleasing.
1. Living small. When we make life choices based on what would please others, we live from a small part of ourselves.
2. Disempowered. When we live a smaller version of ourselves to please others, we give our power away to those we want to please.
3. Compromised health. This disempowered state disrupts energy flow and decreases energetic frequency, which directly impacts our health.
4. Life interrupted. Every person on this planet has a unique life purpose that only they can fulfill. While there is no deadline to your purpose, when you live to please others your movement on your unique life path is interrupted.
5. Inspire others: When we make life choices based on what is in our highest good, we inspire others. In choosing to live big and hike the Pacific Crest Trail despite the the fears of others, my daughter inspired everyone she is connected to, to live big as well. If we all live big, we change the world!
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