How to Stop Feeling Guilty for Choosing Yourself

Hi, my name is Kenya and I am chronic people pleaser. I detest the mere possibility of letting someone down, sparking conflict, or simply making someone upset that I will put that person’s needs before my own even if it’s to my detriment. They say the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you have one. So, there it is a ,written, statement of admittance.

I’m not too sure where my need to please others comes from, I just know that I’m tired of doing it. I have found that when the people around you begin to catch wind of your natural need to incline to their wishes, they begin to take advantage of it. It’s unfair, but true. Instead of continuously painting myself as a victim, I’ve decided to recognize the role I’ve played. People took advantage of me because I allowed them to. Though I don’t have control of the actions of others, I do have control of my own actions. This was just one of the many things I realized while reflecting on my past of putting others before myself. Here are a few others…

It’s ok to be selfish 

I struggled with believing that I was allowed to be selfish, because selfishness gets such a bad rap. If you’re being selfless to the point where you’re  losing more than you’re gaining, it is time to be selfish. By selfish, I don’t mean always have a “me me me” attitude. Rather, if you find yourself stressing over the happiness of others instead of your own, consider taking time to invest in yourself and do what makes you happy. There are times when it is definitely ok to be a bit selfish.

It’s ok to say no

Even when I knew I didn’t have the time or it would be inconvenient for me, I would say yes whenever I was asked to do something. I thought if I said no anyone asked me for anything, a huge conflict would arise. Turns out, when you say no, nothing happens. Often, the person asking the favor simply finds someone else to complete the task.

Don’t seek validation from others

I think a reason why us people pleasers are the way we are is because we want approval from others. We don’t want to say no to anyone at the risk of them not liking us. If someone only wants you in their life for the favors you do for them they don’t need to be in your life at all. Which brings me to my next point…

Take advantage of me once…

When people show you who they are the first time, believe them. That being said, if someone in your life has clearly taken advantage of you, don’t allow that person to do it again. Surround yourself with relationships that are 50/50. Like I mentioned earlier, people will treat you how you allow them to. Additionally, we have the power to decide who stays in our lives and who doesn’t. If you sense someone is taking advantage of your giving nature, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with them and consider if you want this person around for the long haul.

Never feel guilty for choosing yourself.

I would feel so guilty any time I said no to someone or opted to take care of my own needs over someone else’s. I have come to a point where I’ve realized that there shouldn’t be guilt when it comes to picking yourself. If you’re causing yourself more stress and anxiety by taking on a task, it’s not worth doing. Sometimes we have to slow down and remember to put ourselves first. After all, at the end of the day all we’re left with is ourselves.