Is it time to take action on your people pleasing?

Does this sound familiar?

“It’s not even 9:30am and I feel like I’ve done a full days work already!!”

“I can’t even face looking at my inbox.”

“My to do list never ends.”

“And if one more person asks me to do something I think I’ll scream in their face.”

“I can’t even remember the last time I did something for me!!”

I’m seeing a pattern of behaviour time and time again that results in fire fighting, fixing everyone else’s problems, and not doing anything to help yourself.

People pleasing will give you a career you are not satisfied with

Why? Because you put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. And that leads to…

And worst of all, burnout

And if you are also a hyper achiever, or a perfectionist…then the problem intensifies!

Here’s the reality. You are making people dependent on you so they will never want you to move from where you are. You’re actually holding back other people’s development. And you’re definitely holding yourself back from success.

5 steps to tackle your people pleaser


You need to spot it. For me it’s like a sense of panic and knot in my stomach that makes me jump into action to sort things out. You’ll say things to yourself like… ‘it will be easier if I sort it’, ‘if I just get this done then I can focus on my stuff’, ‘if I don’t do it nobody will’ and other such stories!

2.Step back

Accept that most things are not your problem to fix. They may feel like they are, and people may get you involved…but what if you stepped back and asked yourself who would be best to take action on this? What might they learn? How might they grow?

3.Stop volunteering…count instead!

It’s time to keep your mouth shut. I know you’re used to jumping in (and often regretting it). So instead of speaking, start counting in your head. Or just focus on your breath. The moment will pass and someone else will pick up the problem freeing up you to focus on your priorities.

4.Be a coach

If you can’t resist getting involved, the best way is to be a coach to help someone take action themselves. You have to promise yourself you won’t take any actions. Instead you can ask others questions like…what would be the best outcome here? What’s the real cause of the issue? What would you need to know to be able to fix it? If you were to take action now, what would be your first step? And so on…

5.Reflect and reward yourself

When you manage to hold back and avoid people pleasing, it’s crucial that you recognise it. Congratulate yourself for your ability to watch from the side-lines. And consciously give yourself a little reward for making that positive change. With practice you will break the cycle of behaviour.

Remember, you are working on years of a bad habit here so things won’t change overnight. Even recognising after the event that what you were doing was ‘people pleasing’ behaviour is huge progress. It’s remarkable what an impact making a change like this has.

You will start to notice you’re more relaxed, you have more time, you’re more conscious in how you use your time, and the really big benefit…you’ll see others grow and take more responsibility.

And when it comes to your career progression, you should always be working yourself out of a job. If you’re too integral to the success of something, nobody wants you to rise!

If you want a personalised plan to take your career to the next level, why not check out my new Career Audit!