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What People Pleasing costs you

In our previous article, we looked at the intricacies of people-pleasing and its pervasive impact on women leaders. Today, let’s shine a spotlight on the profound costs of this all too familiar behaviour.

Perception is Reality: our people pleasing tendencies shape our worlds

As women leaders, our reputation is invaluable and often hard won. Yet, the pursuit of pleasing others can lead women to a distortion of how we’re perceived. We risk being seen as overly accommodating, lacking in assertiveness, or even lacking in authenticity. Over time, this erodes our credibility and undermines our ability to lead with confidence.

The impact of these behaviours and associated thoughts is not just on our reputation.

It is on our wellbeing. The toll on our mental wellbeing cannot be overstated. Constantly prioritising others’ needs over our own leaves us vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and burnout. We carry the weight of overthinking, worry, and fear of judgement like burdens on our shoulders, draining our energy and dimming our inner light.

We create a perpetual crisis of confidence and diminishing our self-worth. People-pleasing robs us of the opportunity to cultivate self-confidence and self-worth. When we focus solely on meeting others’ expectations, we lose sight of our values, desires, and aspirations. Our inner critic grows louder, drowning out the whispers of our true potential.

Our time and energy are precious resources, yet people-pleasing consumes them voraciously. We find ourselves stretched thin, juggling endless tasks and commitments, all in service of others’ needs. The more we give, the more we deplete ourselves, leaving little room for self-care or personal growth.

As the heart of people-pleasing lies the insidious presence of the Martyr, Different to the Critic, instead of being in constant judgement of who you are, Martyr is hyper-vigilant to others’ reactions – both the ones in real-time and the ones we conjure up ahead of an event or situation. We sacrifice our own needs, boundaries, and values in a desperate bid for external validation. We become adept at saying “yes” when we mean “no”, all to avoid disappointing or conflict others.

Finding Freedom: Embracing Authenticity and Boundaries

It’s time for a paradigm shift. As women leaders, we must reclaim our power and prioritise ourselves over the relentless pursuit of approval. This means establishing clear boundaries, saying “no” with grace when necessary and protecting our time and energy like the precious resources they are.

Letting go of people-pleasing isn’t easy, but it’s essential for our growth and success as leaders. By embracing authenticity, setting boundaries, and prioritising self-care, we can break free from the chains of approval-seeking and step into our true power.


Together, let’s embark on this journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Your next step is to delve into our masterclasses on overcoming people-pleasing and reclaiming our authenticity. You can register here.

Our 6 month programme, SOAR: Take Flight & Lead, enables you to establish your essential foundations to flourish without people pleasing. SOAR enables you to discover your priorities, your courage and your motivation for a different future. One where you are at the heart of your life, not the back of the queue. The early bird prices and scholarship applications end soon – don’t miss out.