For The People Pleasers

For The People Pleasers

And the ones who want to feel wanted.
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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a "yes" person. What I mean by that is I rarely say no to someone who needs my help with something. I don't say this to pat myself on the back- it really is my biggest downfall, and sometimes I am ashamed of this quality I possess.

I often take on so much that sometimes I am simply unable to give my 100% to anything at all...Even things I love doing. Even things that I'm very good at. Even things that I would choose to do wholeheartedly if I had absolutely nothing on my plate. And you know what? It all stems from my need to please people. My fear of letting people down. My fear of people thinking I am incapable.

That's honestly the first time I've ever admitted that, and now it's on the Internet for the whole world to read if they want to, but I'm not too proud to admit my faults. I am truly terrified of the people around me thinking I am incapable. Of anything and everything. Even things I've never done before. I long to be needed.

You need a deck built? Call me. I'll learn how to do it for you. You can't find the perfect pair of jeans for a night out? I'll make some for you. You have a flat tire? I can change it for you. What are the best beauty products for the type of skin you have? I'll do the research for you. Having an electrical issue? Just call me. I'm sure I can figure it out. Your relationship is hurting? I promise I can give some good advice. You need someone to move that 50-pound box for you? Let me help you. Please let me help you. Please ask me for help because I have built my worth on how much I am needed and whether or not other people think I'm capable of accomplishing a task.

I strive to be the "fix anything and everything" girl. I want to be the first person everyone thinks of when something goes wrong. I want them to think "I'll call Jen. She can probably figure this out!"

Where did this idea come from? That my value is dependent upon how many people need my help? That I place my worth in the hands of people who don't always really play a huge role in the course of my life.

Two words. Fear & insecurity.

Today, I woke up from this reoccurring nightmare of constant people-pleasing and self-neglect. I read in my daily devotional something that I will probably never forget.

"Fear is not our ally. It is not our destiny. The things we fear are in the way of our coming closer to Jesus, receiving his love, and being perfected by his love. We want to allow God to reveal what fears we have that we may not even know we have, and then we want to respond by raising the white flag of surrender. Surrender. Not to the fear. But to God. To His love. To allow His perfect love to cast out fear and then to receive what he desires for us instead."

So I prayed.

"God, what unknown fear of mine is keeping me from being closer to you? What is the stem of my anxiety and stress? What fear is shifting my focus away from You and on to worldly things?"

Immediately, a picture was painted in my mind. I flashed back to the mental breakdown I had just two days ago regarding a friend in need. She had just split with her boyfriend of four years seemingly out of nowhere. Why didn't she run to me immediately? Why did she seek love and comfort from someone else? Why didn't she need me?

I went on to read in my devotional.

"There is no shame here. The places where we still fear are simply places we have yet to fully receive God's love. Only by grace and in His love can we let go of our fear. Let go and receive. Receive His dreams. Receive His love. It is an exchange of fear for desire. It is an exchange of death for life.

There is no fear in love. And I can tell you this with certainty: God does not want you to live in fear.

When we actively, by faith, lay down our fears at the feet of Jesus, we pick up his love in return. It is an uneven trade. A heavenly exchange."

And so came the inspiration for this article. For so long I have feared how invaluable I am to others. Today, I lay that fear down at the feet of my savior. I trust Him to heal my heart, and bring peace to my mind in return. I choose to find my worth is God's image of who I am, and not in how those around me see me. I refuse to be a slave to the number of people who ask for my help each day, the amount of times I say "yes" in a day, and the number of circumstances that I was able to "save". This power belongs to God. No person is worthy of this control other than Him.

I encourage you, yes, YOU, reading this article, to do the same. Dig deep. What is the root of the stress in your life? What is the cause of the pain and suffering? What is holding you back from growing closer to God. What is holding you back from being who you are destined to be?

Release it and begin anew. You owe it to yourself, your Savior, and all those around you. It's never too late to begin again.

Cover Image Credit: Jen VerMeulen

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.

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We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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