“So, if you’re looking for permission to do something differently, seeking permission to try something new – consider this your sign from the universe. Permission Granted.”—Ep. 75 Permission to Be Human
People pleasing… something I’ve been asked countless times to cover on the podcast and yet the timing never felt quite right. It’s a conversation that has surfaced in many of my circles, under many different circumstances and yet because it wasn’t front & center in my world – I wasn’t sure what value I could add to conversation in that space.
And then I started to notice a recurring theme in many of my 1:1 client sessions – from setting goals to ‘ditch the inner people pleaser’ to committing to action steps where ‘no’ is actually a full sentence, it seemed like the desire to heal this wound was surfacing at every corner. I was hearing it from peers, coworkers, executives in the hallway. It came up on nearly every coffee date with a friend. The message was loud and clear – millennials are done with people pleasing…
And so I started to note the similar sentiments, observe the associated feelings, and to describe the environments in which these thoughts surfaced in my journal. And that was where I realized it was connected to this craving… this desire… for permission to come from an external source.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I found myself in a similar place in life seeking external permission to make any change even when deep down I could feel what was aligned & right. So – WHAT CHANGED?
I stopped WAITING for permission and started to GIVE myself permission to do the things that felt right to me, even if it went against the grain. For me this meant permission to podcast my way. Permission to build my business without a timeline. Permission to post & interact on social media in my own way. Permission to sit in my own mess & lessons for as long as I needed before sharing them on the podcast & social.
Fact – people pleasing is exhausting. But so is doing the work to care for your inner child. Doing shadow work can be… hard, unpredictable, uncomfortable. And so we avoid it. People pleasing is often an act of self preservation and as women, it feels culturally ingrained. Breaking free from that narrative was really freaken hard.
On a personal level, seeking permission from external sources has a direct correlation to being conflict avoidant. For others anxiety, trauma, inequity may play a more prominent role. Truly understanding what is at the root of why we crave this external permission is not only necessary but can be the secret sauce to healing a core wound.
“And at the end of the day, for me, craving permission and wanting to people please consistently tied back to wanting to feel accepted & wanting to feel safe“—Ep. 75 Permission to Be Human: My Journey to Healing my Inner People Pleaser
Over time, I’ve learned that these tendencies are most likely to surface when tired, feeling resentful, when I am overworked, when I feel a loss of identity, when I am neglecting my self-care. And your triggers may be different from mine.
So I started small. I started by practicing saying ‘no’ to myself and worked my way up to bigger scarier moments like saying ‘no’ to podcast guests that only record on weekdays.
The big takeaway: We can give ourself the permission we need & feel the same as when someone else gives us permission. It’s wild but awe inspiring at the same time.
Permission granted, my friend!
Journal Prompts to help you on your journey:
Alyson Pallanck is a Life & Leadership Coach and host of the 'But, What if You Did?' Podcast - a life & leadership podcast where we normalize what millennials leaders are up against in the messy middle. Alyson is on a mission to build leadership ability within our millennial communities. She does this through personalized one on one life & leadership coaching and through sharing raw conversations with friends, thought leaders in the personal development space, and holistic wellness advocates who have been where you are and are here to show you what is possible!