The approval of others is something we all enjoy, but you don’t need it in order to have self-worth. In fact, people-pleasing will cause you to lose self-worth. You turn yourself inside out for others and just when you think you’ve succeeded, they change their minds. Besides robbing you of your peace of mind, people-pleasing makes it impossible to follow God’s direction—and that ultimately is your greatest loss.
If you’re a people-pleaser, changing the habits of a lifetime won’t be easy. It will require facing what you fear and asking God for the courage to follow through. David said, ‘I trust You and am not afraid. No one can harm me.’ When it comes to people-pleasing, you must understand two things:
(1) Breaking the cycle means risking rejection by saying no when others expect to hear yes. When the people in your life are used to meek, compliant responses, they’ll react negatively until they get used to ‘the new you’. Navigating these waters will be intimidating at first, but is it really any worse than living your life in fear of other people’s reactions?
(2) You may have to explain to others that in the past you sought their approval because you felt insecure, but that’s no longer the case. The important thing is to act now! Breaking any habit involves temporary discomfort, but your only other option is to spend your life feeling trapped. You can choose to suffer short term on the way to freedom, or long term by continuing to engage in the struggle to please others.
Today, make the right choice.