Mid-week three Purpose Relationships Stories

Already worthy: 3 strategies to break free from people pleasing

Do you have trouble telling people no without explaining your decision?

Do you make decisions to protect the feelings of others?

Do you consistently inconvenience yourself for the convenience of others?

Do you go out of your way to make sure others are happy even when it is not something you want?

Do you make decisions out of duty or desire?

Do you stay awake at night wondering what others think about you?

Do you have difficulty being honest with others for fear of being rejected or from others withholding love or affection?

If you are anything like me, I could say yes to every single one of these. After all, don’t we want those around us to be happy? What’s wrong with that?

Nothing.

Wanting others to be happy is entirely different from living a life bound to the validation and approval of others. We wait for others to put that stamp of approval, like an addict waiting for the next high. We walk around hoping to be seen, to be liked, to be invited. Our decisions are less about what God wants for us and more about what will people think about us. This my friends—this is bondage!

When you live a life in bondage to people pleasing, you are constantly swayed by the fickle opinions of people instead of living free in the steadiness of our unchanging God.


If you are ready to break free, here are three steps to help you live a life already validated.

Choose to live like Jesus

Choosing to live like Jesus must be the first step. You see, when we study the life of Jesus, he was not swayed by what others thought. The only opinion that matter to Jesus Christ was His father’s. He trusted and followed what His father planned for Him. In doing so, HE was able to live FREE.

And a voice came from heaven, You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased—Mark 1:11

Living free did not mean free from persecution, trouble or conflict, quite the contrary. Instead, living free meant having peace to walk out God’s purpose boldly. Jesus lived a life about His father’s business, knowing He would have to make difficult decisions, follow a different path, and have a vision beyond what others could see. He did not wait for the approval of others to prevent him from following God’s destiny for His life.

Can you say the same thing?

For a long time, I couldn’t. I was afraid of the rejection. I was afraid of the comments. I didn’t want the conflict. But it also meant I put limits on what God could do in my life. I kept trying to explain and gain support for decisions that God had only revealed to me.

When we choose to live like Jesus, then we choose to live for Jesus. The guidance of the Holy Spirit leads every decision and every step. Making that decision means people will not always agree with your choices, they may not support the dream, and they may say things we don’t like. Guess what? They did that to Jesus too! So don’t get caught up in their words, but caught up in HIS words.

Know your identity

People pleasers seek validation because they are insecure. (Ouch, right?) Deep within our being, we somehow have accepted the lie that we are not worthy. So preserving our relationships at all costs become our mandate. We place our feelings of security and self-confidence in gaining the approval of others. Your thoughts run rampant wandering what people think and whether you’ve done something to make them dislike you. You lose sleep replaying conversations and interaction in your head. You become emotionally and physically depleted walking on eggshells waiting for others to say that you are good enough and worthy enough to be loved.

This lifestyle is hard on the body. Your muscles stay tense. Your mind constantly wonders. Your body never gets enough rest. Plus, you don’t get to enjoy the moments of your life because your happiness is placed in the hands of your children, your spouse, your family members or friends.

To break free and stay free, you have to know who you are, whose you are and what you are called to do. You will ONLY know this in Christ. He alone reveals to you His purpose and the divine plan for your life. He alone reveals the gifts and talents placed within your being when He created you. So, be intentional in your time with Him in His word and in prayer. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit directing your steps and expanding your vision.

1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2)

When God’s word becomes rooted in your heart, you are not looking for approval from people because you have already been approved by God. It’s done. Finished. Nothing else has to be added. Get in that WORD!

Take ownership

Once you decide to live like Jesus and root your identity in Christ, now it is time to take ownership. Own your actions, your thoughts, your happiness, your decisions. Being silent to avoid conflict, maintain a relationship, or gain approval hurts you and prevents people from being able to accept and love the real you. You waste time deferring your decisions and your opinions over to others hoping they will stay a part of your life, while you live unhappy and unfulfilled. You silent your voice and hide who God created you to be. When you do this, you rob the world of your gifts and talents plus you deprive yourself of living a full life in Christ.

A few areas to take ownership are:

  • Own your boundaries: establish boundaries that allow you to cultivate healthy, Godly relationships.
  • Own your no: Just because you’re asked doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Take time to decide if this is the best choice for you.
  • Own your emotions: You are responsible for your feelings, no one else. You get to choose if you will be happy, upset, angry, etc.
  • Own your health: It’s important to take care of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Self-care is not selfish.
  • Own your yes: When you can say no, then you can say “yes” to areas that are genuine and meaningful.
  • Own your thoughts: Every look, comment, or emotional response is not about you. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you when there are situations that warrant a response. Otherwise, let it go and get some sleep.

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34 comments on “Already worthy: 3 strategies to break free from people pleasing

  1. I love this post! I like that you mentioned that wanting to make people happy is not the same as people pleasing. I have a hard time distinguishing sometimes. I needed to hear the own your no today. May we remember our approval in Christ!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Absolutely! When we live for Christ, we can love like Christ. Not out of obligation but out of desire.

  2. This was so great! I definitely needed to read this! It’s a must share! You are so right when you said that you have live FOR Jesus and most people can’t handle that commitment. It makes me reevaluate myself and my commitment to Christ. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Oh, thank you for your kind words. Living for Jesus changes everything. We just have to give it all to Him!

  3. Latascha Williamson

    Im saying No to worries and fretting! I’m getting some well deserved rest tonight because I am worthy of it.

  4. Love the take ownership tips! I saved the areas where we can work to take ownership. Great article <3

  5. I don’t know what I thought I was going to read but definitely didn’t expect this. First thing I saw was being like Jesus and I was taken aback. The simplicity but powerfulness of that statement alone. I love this! All of your advice is sound. Number one was definitely my favorite! Great great post!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Awwww! Thanks. I am so glad you enjoyed the article.

  6. I am so guilty of being a people pleaser and it eventually caught up to me. It’s so very true that you can’t focus on Jesus when you are to focused on what everyone else wants from you.

  7. While I am not religious this article was very insightful!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Thank you! I am glad you were able to find it helpful.

  8. Denise Sutton

    I absolutely love this post and it’s allows you to recheck yourself and regroup. So amazing just what I needed. Thank you.

  9. I definitely needed to read this today. Thank you <3

  10. I love this! I have had such a problem with people pleasing for so long in my life and it is time to fix that. Taking ownership of things like owning your no makes so much sense. Can’t wait to try it out!

  11. These are great tips, I really like the one about living like jesus!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Thanks Autumn!!!! Yes, living like Jesus changes so much.

  12. Great post!!! Love the Know your Identity section. When your identity rests in Christ you can make decisions for Him and not wprry about what others think!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      How our life changes when we live more for Christ. We stop living to please people and focus more on loving them.

  13. This is such a great post. I never thought of it this way. Loved this!!!

  14. Loved this . particularly, knowing your identity. This is so so important and once we have conquered that we are unstoppable and aware of our limits. Great post ❤️

  15. “Do you make decisions to protect the feelings of others?” — this is sooo me at work!!! your entry is so helpful. Definitely reading this again tomorrow AT work to make my day less stressful (cause I know it’s going to be “one of a kind”) again 😛

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Hope things at work went a little smoothly 😉

  16. justbusylovinglife

    I used to be such a people pleaser and the best thing I ever did for myself was stop! Those who left my life because of it were never meant to be there.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Yes! We cannot live a life to please people or for their validation. That is not a healthy relationship. It’s important to live a life that honors God.

  17. This is such a thoughtful and insightful post. I saw the pin and knew I had to check it out because one of my struggles is people pleasing for sure. It was refreshing to be reminded that when we refocus on our identity in Christ the insecurity dissipates. Thank you for sharing!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Thank you Tessa!!! When we riot ourselves in Christ everything changes.

  18. randomlyyayar

    I need to share this with a friend who has a HARD time saying no to other people, but then puts himself in a bad situation

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Please be sure to share! Saying no can be challenging.

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