Nov. 25, 2021

Get Rid of Your People-Pleasing Habit with Dr. Christine Li

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So many of us suffer from people-pleasing. Why do we do this? Why do we allow the needs of others come before our own? 

My thoughts on the subject are covered in this podcast episode. From conditioning as children to do things we really don't like or want to do to receive praise, attention and appreciation to not respecting ourselves and our own time enough as adults, the act of people-pleasing can be a difficult cycle to break.

Overbooked, overcommitted, and stressed out? It’s time to find the strength, the courage within you, to speak up, communicate your needs, let your expectations of yourself and others be known and set boundaries. 

If you would like to learn to let go of false belief systems and create healthy connections with yourself and others that embrace and reinforce mutually respectful, beneficial, and thriving relationships, then this episode is for you!


  • [1:38] The habit of respecting our own time
  • [3:11] People-pleasing is a difficult cycle to break  
  • [6:13] You will do your best when you are communicating what your needs are  
  • [7:56] Let’s get out of that false belief system where you feel less than others   
  • [11:11] It’s ironic that focusing more on yourself makes you more powerful and a change agent for others  
  • [12:52] Getting your mind out of a fear state, focusing more on yourself and deciding that things can only get better 

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Dr. Christine Li -




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Christine Li  0:01  
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Christine Li and I am so very proud, excited and happy to say that this is episode 50! Whoo! Have you ever wondered why you're feeling tied to other people's opinions of you, so much so that you feel the need to please them? Your so called people pleaser. I thought I would tackle the subject of people pleasing today, because I've seen in my own life, and in the lives of so many others that spending too much time focusing on what other people are thinking of us and on what we can do for other people to make sure they like us can really be a drag is a drag on both our time, and our precious energy. And you know, I'm all about conservation of time, and energy. So let's do a deeper dive into this phenomenon of people pleasing, and help you get to a better place in your relationship with yourself and with other people. As a result. Let's Go listen to the episode now.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they could begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together. So that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast.

Hi there, I wanted to talk about people pleasing today. And I think this is such an important topic to address, especially when you are interested in creating success. Because I think we need to know our relationship to helping others in order to be able to make time for success in a real way. Without time or not going to be able to do the things that we want to do, we're not going to be able to create the big things that we're dreaming about for our own selves. So let's take a look at the dynamics inside people pleasing in this episode. When we are giving away our time to freely or without for thought or even worse, under pressure or duress, then we are giving away our energy and that will sap our ability to create what we want to with our own time. So I want to ask and consider with you. Why do we do this? Why do we forget to pay attention to how we're using our time? Why do we give our time away? As if we have infinite amounts of time and energy? Why do we do this? Here are my thoughts about people pleasing, and many of these thoughts are taken from my own very long history of people pleasing. The first thought I have is that we are just not in the habit of respecting our own time, we don't really know that we need to and perhaps we were taught this. When we were growing up in our homes and in our schools, we were taught that we need to do things even though we didn't really like them. They didn't really work for us. And we didn't really want to. And as adults, I do believe it is super important to get that sense of power and control over our time back so that our time doesn't dribble away. And we don't give our time away too freely thinking that we're going to end up winning everyone's appreciation. When we do we really want to disconnect doing things and creating things and serving others with the idea that we're going to get everyone's attention and appreciation when we do we really want to just calm that system of needing validation and appreciation down so that we can really focus on what is inside of us what really needs to be expressed from within us. And the good news is what really ends up happening when you start to pay attention to what you need to do and your own time is that people end up truly appreciating you and respecting your time needs and want to help you out to they start focusing on you which is a nice thing. Okay, the second thought that I have here is that people pleasing is a cycle that is really difficult to break, at least it feels that way. Because, you know, what is hard about people pleasing is that when you do it a lot, you end up feeling exhausted short on time. And you end up having bad feelings, like you feel resentment towards other people, because other people seem to have a lot of free time, but you never seem to have any for yourself. So if you are feeling like you can never get on top of your own stuff, you can never be on time for meetings or projects, because you're helping everyone else. I want you to stop and take a look at this. Because you're probably going to end up feeling like, you need to apologize to people, you owe people things. And that might spur you into feeling like you owe people more of your time or more of your effort. And there you have it. That's that vicious cycle that you're caught in. And you might even end up feeling like you need to be sad, because how can we feel good if we're not doing what we said, we would and our time is all given away already. And we can't really help people in a meaningful way. So let's stop this vicious cycle of people pleasing. Right now, you don't have to wait a week or a month. Or any time at all, you can decide right now that this cycle is not a healthy one for you, and that you're going to start gradually taking your time and your energy back from this vicious cycle. next thought is that people pleasers have trouble speaking up. This is what used to be my situation, having difficulty noting, when I was too tired when I was too stressed when I was too overbooked. To commit to something I just never really had the wherewithal communication wise to speak up. And I think I am not alone in having that area of whack. I think people pleasing and not communicating what needs to be said go hand in hand, actually. So take a look at your schedule right now. Take a look at the upcoming week and look at it for yourself. Is there something on that schedule that really isn't a good fit for you? Is there something you need someone to do for you before you meet with them on Wednesday, have you told them is there something you need to reschedule so that you can get some breathing room or so that you can attend an event that is really meaningful to you. Of course, we need to respect each other's time. So I don't mean that you can throw other people's time and schedule into chaos. But I do want you to know that you will do your best when you communicate very clearly what your time needs are. And when you defend those needs by making sure that other people know what you expect of yourself and of your time. Let's just all respect each other's time. I think that's a great goal to have. Alright, the next thought is that people pleasing is built on the false belief that in every situation there is a winner and a loser I hate this belief. Because it is so limiting when relationships are good. And we've all been in some type of good relationship and I hope you are in the present moment. But when we are in good relationships, we know in our hearts that everyone gets to benefit everyone gets to thrive, everyone gets to feel good and happy and everyone gets to grow. Trust is there trust is core in that good relationship. Trust is reinforced when relationships are good and they proceed. So when we are stuck in people pleasing mode, we end up doing the opposite of building a healthy good relationship we end up reinforcing the belief that we are not powerful as individuals we are not stable. And we are not in a desirable position we are one down from the person we are working with. We are two or three notches down in comparison to our boss or to our neighbor. And who really wants to be stuck in relationships where you consistently feel like you are less than the other person you are working with. So let's get out of that false belief system. You are just as good, just as worthy. Just as powerful and beautiful as anyone else. You will come across so let's start acting that way. All right, and now we're going to move on I have two more thoughts here that people pleasing goes on and on. Because we've been convinced somehow somewhere, that we shouldn't rely on our intuition or our gut, to choose our next steps that we have to look around to see where we can be of service. And where we could spend our energy instead of checking in with ourselves to think is this really going to work out what would be the best way for me to contribute? So checking in with your core needs or core curiosity, your core intuition, before acting. And I think when we rely on people pleasing to figure out what we should do next, sometimes that feels safer, it feels like, at least I'm helping someone out, at least somebody is gonna think I'm a pleasant person. But of course, in the end, we end up kind of feeling like, we're not really paying attention to our real goals, we are feeling more like our energy is spread all over town, instead of consolidated and strong within ourselves. The final thought I have about why people pleasing is so sticky, is that when we spend a lot of time and energy people pleasing, we never really get to see what we are really capable of, we never embody our full power. And you know, this entire podcast is geared towards getting you to occupy and to be aware of your full power. When you people please and search for validation, outside of yourself constantly, you will drain your energy, and you will then drain your power. And then you won't have anything left for when you need that inner strength and that power, whether it's creativity, whether it's negotiation, whether it is surviving some sort of major stress or loss, we need our core strength to be full at all times. So let's nurture our strength by chilling out on that people pleasing, and coming back to ourselves.

Now, I would like to take our attention and focus on what steps you can take, I've given you a few. But what more can you do, when you feel like you really want to cut out the people pleasing part of your identity. And I want to start by saying the good news is when you start to make decisions in a more aligned way, when you start to tell people what you can and can't do honestly, things start to work out much better. And you're able to really help people at a higher level. So Isn't that ironic that when you focus more on yourself, you can actually be more powerful, a helping agent to other people, you will feel more engaged in your work because your energy is consolidated. And you will not be resenting the work that you're putting out in the world. And that is super huge, super important. Okay, so now I have a short list of things that you can do. First, you can tell yourself, this statement or these two statements, I will be able to face anything that comes my way, at a high level. And with confidence, I will be able to face anything that comes my way at a high level. And with confidence, I will focus on my own powerfulness and the possibilities that I can imagine, in order to create the good outcomes in the world that I seek. Basically, by telling yourself these kinds of affirming statements, you remind yourself that you're not working from a place of deprivation, or of need, you're working from a space of power and clarity, and openness to the good things that are out there for you that you can create and that you can connect with. So get yourself in a positive frame of mind. The second thing that you can do is you can get your mind out of the fear state, instead of thinking of what could go wrong. A, B, C, D and E. You can just clear your mind focus more on yourself and decide that things can only get better because you're focused on yourself and because you're clear. Alright, next step start to see yourself at a level that is equal to that of the people that you once thought you needed to please until you perceive yourself as an equal to other people. Other people will not know they need to treat you as an equal. It just works like that. I can't really explain the dynamics that are at work there. But when you To elevate yourself to the energy level of peer of equal as solid whole person, then it makes sense that any solid whole person that you would come into contact with would feel like there's a match that you can connect that you can communicate with each other without complication, and that you can collaborate and get a lot of stuff done. So see yourself as someone who deserves respect and go from there. Next step, communicate clearly about the limits and the boundaries that you feel that you have. As soon as you tell other people what your limits and boundaries are, what you will do, What you won't do, what you can do and what you can't do, it will then be much easier for you to carry on within that relationship. If the other person ends up violating any limits or boundaries that you have set. You now have the knowledge that you already made yourself clear, and all you have to do is back that up, then it's just much easier to stay centered and strong inside the relationship. You no longer have to shrink yourself to make everything harmonious or to make everything feel. Just write for the other person. You can both have things feel just right. Next step is you need to start acting boldly and confidently. Your energy and creativity are free. Now that you've stopped people pleasing so much. So let yourself show up in the world. Let yourself create what you need to for the world. Drop the perfectionism and the people pleasing and decide what are you going to do with all this good spirit, all of your good mojo, all of your good stuff. Remember, there is no need to please others when that need takes away from you in any way. Thank you so much for listening to this episode on people pleasing on the make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it. If you could leave a five star review for the show so that other people can find out about the show and start learning from the episodes too. I appreciate you your time and your attention. Thank you so much.

I will see you next week. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccess for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

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