I was raised to please others. Were you also?

By Eilat Aviram

I was raised to please others.

And it has hindered me.

Which is why I teach what I do.

You probably don’t know this, because I don’t talk about it much…

But now I’ve gone and written a chapter about my story in my new book, so I may as well practice talking about it here with you…

The thing is, I had a rather strict and violent childhood and to survive it, I learned to make the people around me happy.

In the environment of my childhood, there was no space for me to be my own person or consider what I might need.

Sometimes I knew what I wanted – in a dreamy ‘I wish this could happen’ kind of way – but I didn’t actually expect what I wanted to come true.

Because my life wasn’t about me.

It was about pleasing others.

My needs and desires didn’t seem relevant in the bigger scheme of things.

Nowadays, even though I have healed so many of my old traumas, I still sometimes have this hangover of considering other’s happiness and approval as though my survival depends on it.

Which is partly why putting myself out publicly in this way has been so very scary for me.

I mean, there’s no way I can please everyone, is there?

And that’s actually one reason I choose to do this.

To help myself understand a new concept of internal safety.

You see, what I’ve realised over my twenty-six years of supporting people as they heal and recover and come home to themselves, is that our task in life is to follow the signs of our OWN happiness.

My goodness, that’s SO not what I was taught. It’s not what most of us were taught.

But I’ve seen it again and again.

When we use other people’s happiness or approval as our guidance, we go horribly off-track.

But when we tune into our own happiness and approval to guide our choices and behaviours, we find ourselves living a life that feels magical.

And the surprising thing is, that doing this benefits everyone else as well!

As I teach and practice this new skill, I am constantly learning more about how to know what my own inner guidance is saying, unlearning the skills of trying to anticipate other people’s pleasure that my childhood gifted me with, and instead becoming attuned to what will bring me joy and confidence and a still quietness in my heart and soul.

This is what you need to remember:

This life is between you and you. 

No-one else has to live it.

Nobody else is inside you as you lay your head on your pillow at the end of the day.

In that quiet moment when it’s just you and you, you know if the choices you made today nourished the life you want, or they didn’t.

And you know how that feels.

So never mind if your ghosts and current people are pleased with your behaviour. 

Are YOU?

That’s what we need to be asking. 

Not, do they like me? Do they accept me? Do they approve? Do they want me?

Do I?

If you loved yourself, what affirming and accepting thing would you say to yourself right now?

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Eilat Aviram is a Daring-Decisions Teacher.

She's worked with people for 25 years as a clinical psychologist, hypnotherapist, best-selling author, speaker and energy-healing teacher and she is passionate about helping people dare to love themselves in their moments of decision and find the courage to live their truth.

Eilat Aviram