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5 Unconscious Traps Keeping You In A Rut

And 5 Healthy Beliefs to Help You Out

original content by the great Beverly Engel

Most women I speak to will voluntarily tell me that they are People Pleasers. It’s a more commonly used term these days and we’re becoming more aware as a society about the conditioned state of people pleasing.

And People Pleasing is a conditioned state. No one wakes up one day and decides, ‘Gee, this feels like a great way to live…’

These women are tired, confused and generally feel isolated in the way they experience their emotions- if they are still willing and able to feel them, that is.

And this is the rut- the lack of energy, the indecision and the assumption after years of isolation that they must have something fundamentally wrong with themselves to be feeling this way.

But no. The thing that is fundamentally wrong is the unconscious belief system that has been- not just handed down, but -shackling generations of women: that you are an extension of others and your purpose is to serve and make others comfortable in this world.

5 False Beliefs that are unconsciously keeping you in a rut:

1. Other people’s feelings are more important than my own.

This looks like prioritizing everyone else’s needs, demands and whims above your own. It might even be to the point that you don’t know your own needs- you’re no longer checking in with yourself to know you have any.

This sounds like silence or nervous laughter. It is the amiable, acquiescing in a conversation to make sure the other feels comfortable and free from disharmony.

2. If I am nice and fair to people, they will be nice and fair to me.

This looks like showing up for others when they have treated you unkindly. It also looks like making disproportionate efforts for those who make little to no effort toward your needs in the relationship.

This sounds like accepting verbal abuse and continuing to positively engage the individual doing the verbal abusing.

3. What other people think about me is more important than my self-esteem, my health and my safety.

This looks like exhausting your own mental, emotional and physical resources without consideration of your own time, energy or desire.

This sounds like ‘Yes, no problem’ when there is very little left in the tank or when your gut clenches with a ‘No’.

4. It is better to avoid conflict at all costs.

This looks like head nods, tight lips, slouched shoulders and forced smiles. It can even look like active participation while your own needs and desires are set aside.

This sounds like ‘Sure’s’, ‘okay’s’ or silence. It sounds as though there is only one voice instead of two.

5. There is good in everyone and if you just give someone enough chances, they will eventually show it to you.

This looks like trusting or depending on another after they have proven themselves time and time again to be untrustworthy or unreliable.

This sounds like comments about their ‘potential’ and statements that deny evidence of their immaturity or selfishness.

These are 5 False Beliefs keeping you in a rut, unconsciously at work advising you how to conduct yourself.

But there is a way out of this conditioned state, this rut of fatigue and loneliness.

We can uproot this belief system and plant healthier seeds from which we learn to live by:

Healthy Beliefs

  1. My feelings and needs are just as important as anyone else’s.

  2. I can protect myself and be fair to myself.

  3. It is far more important to know and take care of myself than it is to look good to others.

  4. Conflict is a part of life and can be an opportunity for greater intimacy.

  5. It is more important to take care of my emotional and physical well-being than it is to give someone a second chance.

Uprooting a belief system is difficult. And upon first glance at the False Beliefs, we can know in our minds that they are in fact false, but observe ourselves to still be operating as though they were true.

This is tough work, but it can be done. And it must. Because as long as these False Beliefs are thriving in our subconscious, we run the likely risk of first and foremost losing ourselves even further to others. We also risk passing on these unhealthy seeds to others in our lives by the example that we live and passing down these unhealthy seeds in the way we teach younger generations to think about and perceive themselves in relation to this world and others. But like I said, first and foremost YOU.

The truth of it all- what the false beliefs don’t want you to know- is that you matter.

Cheers from a recovering People Pleaser,


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