Category Archives: People Pleasing

Journal Prompt – Guilt vs Shame

It’s a hard distinction, so many times I feel they overlap. However, the truth is that there is a significant difference between guilt and shame.

Guilt says I did something wrong.

Shame says I am bad because I did something wrong.

Guilt refers to the action, shame to the person. As I stated at the beginning, sometimes I feel they overlap. It is easy to let the volume of negative self-talk rise in the blame game.

I must take a step back and remind myself of the difference.

  • I am not bad; I made a bad choice.
  • I made a mistake; that doesn’t mean I am a mistake.

How do you respond to guilt and shame? How do you separate the two?

If you are comfortable doing so, share your thoughts below.

Your Self-Worth Does Not Come From the Opinions of Others

Kansas City is currently in celebration.

Yesterday, the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship and are now headed to the Super Bowl, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

I am not a big sports fan, but I will admit to climbing on the celebration wagon. But this post is not about the Kansas City Chiefs. Well, not exactly.

Patrick Mahomes came to the team in 2017. He has shown himself to be an impressive leader and player. He is the talk of the town, and the country right now. Many are excited about this man.

A recent Kansas City Star article points out not everyone thought Patrick would make a good player when he was first drafted. Some of the comments of that time quoted in the article include:

Stephen A Smith✔@stephenasmith Damn this. You’ve got to be kidding me. Patrick MaHomes gets picked over DeShaun Watson? Really. Why bother working out for these teams!!!

The Chiefs got a C-minus from Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News. He wrote: “Trading up for Mahomes, a big-armed gunslinger who really doesn’t mesh with the true mentality as Alex Smith’s successor, set up a bad tone in this draft.”

Steven Ruiz of USA Today gave the Chiefs a C-minus for picking Mahomes. He wrote: “Calling Mahomes a project is a major understatement. He’s nowhere near ready to play in the NFL. And, honestly, he may never be. Between his inconsistent accuracy due to poor mechanics, his tendency to bail from clean pockets and his lack of field vision, he’s going to leave as many big plays on the field as he creates. This was a risky pick.”

It would be easy for Patrick Mahomes to read these comments and feel inferior, less than worthy of the position he was selected for. But he didn’t. He worked hard to learn, to improve his skills, and to become the man he is today. He got productive training and coaching.

What happens when you get ‘bad press’; when you hear someone comment how you will never measure up; when you have stepped out to try something that wasn’t successful?

Do you accept that as your self-worth, living in defeat?

Or do you, like Patrick Mahomes, look away from the negativity and toward the goal, finding those along the way who are able to help you grow?

Your self-worth is not determined by the opinions of others. Ephesians 2:10 says we are a masterpiece, made by God. In Psalm 139:14 we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Don’t let others declare your self-worth. Accept the truth from God, your creator. Step forward, accept the truth and look away from the negativity of others.

Let them stay in the muck of negative talk while you grow and improve and become all you can. Don’t let their opinion determine your self-worth.

You are worth far more than their opinion.

Renew My Thoughts

Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. – Ephesians 4:23NLT

I stand in front of the mirror and face my biggest critic. I see all of her faults. I am reminded of her failures. I struggle as I hear her words grow louder in my head.

  • You are no good.
  • You are ugly
  • Another day, another screw-up.

Ephesians 4:23 tells us to ‘Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” I have to drown out those negative voices with the truth. I must change my thoughts, my attitudes. I need to let the Spirit renew them.

To do so I must find other thoughts to dwell on. Philippians 4:8 guides us in this by telling us to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute.

Both verses show this is not a magic pill or an immediate flip of the switch. It also shows this is something I have control over. Once I accept I do have control over this, I must choose to dwell on what is right and let the Spirit work within me.

I can and am able to take control of my negative self-talk.

One way I have chosen to do this is by using the acronym LIES. I must look at, evaluate, and replace the negativity, the lies that I use against myself and replace them with the truth.

James Allen, in his book “As A Man Thinketh” writes

All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts. You are today where your thoughts have brought you;’ you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

Getting to this point of negative self-talk took time to develop and it will take time to move away from it. It will take work and dedication. I will fail along the way, but that won’t be the end of it. I will capture the wrong thinking, discard it, remind myself of the truth, and move forward.

I am a member of a local Toastmasters Club and recently presented a 7-minute speech titled “Don’t Lie To Me”. In it, I explore the LIES that plague me daily and struggle to face them down. You can watch the presentation here.

I am who God says I am. Over the next few months, I am going to explore what this means. Will you join me on the journey?

If you want to follow this series, look for the category “LIES” to more easily find the corresponding posts.

Journal Prompt for week 46

The holidays are here!

For some, that statement brings on excitement and pleasant anticipation.

For others, sadness, anxiety, and turmoil.

What about you? What emotions doe the holidays bring forth in you?

I have mixed emotions. I enjoy decorating, setting up my “Christmas Village” and hooking up the big Christmas bear in my front yard. I love driving around to find homes and neighborhoods decked out with beautiful lights. I can sit for long periods of time near a house where they set up the music to match the lights.

I always enjoy gift giving. However, I dread the obligation of gift-giving. Giving because “I have to” verses giving because “I want to”. The desire to be a People-Pleaser comes to the surface. It creates anxiety and paralyzes me. The fun and joy fade away.

How about you? Write to yourself with this week’s journal. What do you like/dislike about the holiday season?

Journal Prompt -Week 44

For years I have received mixed messages. As a strong woman if I spoke up or stepped out I was criticized for being headstrong, over-confident, bossy.

Then when I didn’t speak out or step us I was being timid.

I couldn’t win. Especially if I was trying to please others. There is no way to please everyone. This then leads to inner confusion.

Something someone said that stropped me in my tracks and changed my perspective was

I cannot please everyone. That was hard enough to learn. But then I heard someone tell about a time she was in a meeting and was told “you are intimidating’. Another responded “is she intimidating or are you intimidated?”

Is she intimidating, or are you intimidated?

I stopped to consider this. I am not responsible for their thoughts or feelings. I only have control over mine. While I will not intentionally set out to hurt someone, just because they are hurt or upset, it doesn’t mean I did something wrong.

This comment made me stop to remember that. Perspective makes all the difference.

What is something someone said that stopped you in your tracks causing you to reconsider your perspective?

When Those Around You Tell You ‘Do Not Go’

You have spent time preparing to step into your dream. You have saved, studied, and made the necessary arrangements to move forward.

Then you tell those around you, those whose opinion you respect, expecting to hear words of affirmation and congratulations, only to be told how wrong you are to pursue this.

How do you step past the negativity and into the unknown, with positive self-confidence?

Today on “Tea Time with CoachTA” I talk with Connie Menser of Full Supply Inc. We discuss that moment when she chose to leave her full time career to join the Navigators, and the path where that decision has led.

Journal Prompt, week 39

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I battle the voices declaring who I am when I look in the mirror. Voices of negativity, of not being good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, loved.

Over time I began to look differently at that view. It was no longer my eyes, but God’s eyes looking back at me.

I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27), His handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). He knew me and loved me before I was created (Psalm 139:13-16). I am a child of God (1 John 3:1), a daughter of the King, a Princess!!

I smile when I put on my plastic $5 party store tiara. I am a princess! This simple item brings me back to child-like faith. I can set aside my tears and fears and fell wrapped in the arms of God. He loves me. I am beautiful. I am enough.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Weekly Journal Prompt – week 35

I have recently been looking at my life, considering the decisions I have made. Why did I say ‘yes’ to that? What would I absolutely refuse to do?

Do you ever struggle with holding firm to your values? Please tell me I am not the only one.

One thing I have come to realize is that when I am seeking to please someone else, I may set aside my values; giving that person control over me. Then when I set my values aside, I feel so bad inside I cannot cope. The other person doesn’t have or take responsibility for that. It is all on me.

It was during one of these episodes I made the decision to become a “Former People Pleaser”. It means I may be left out; I might be teased. I might feel lonely – for a short time. In the end, I will be able to look myself in the eye when I face that mirror each day. I won’t want to shrink away from the strong person I see.

I have to stand firm in my beliefs, my priorities, my personal values.

If I don’t, who will?

Journal Prompt – week 34

Some of my most frustrating moments come when I say ‘yes’ to something I wanted to say ‘no’ to.

Do you do the same? The journal prompt for this week asks “How do you feel when you do this?”

A hard lesson to learn was that ‘no’ is a complete sentence. It is okay to say ‘no’ and not give a long drawn out explanation as to why. Once I finally realized this, I was able to step further in my “Recovering People Pleaser” phase. I do slip back at times, but each time I am reminded why I learned to say ‘no’

By saying ‘no’ to things that stretch me beyond my coping skills, I can enjoy the times I say ‘yes’ more fully.

It’s Not A Photo Shoot

I stood in front of the mirror looking at me in a swimsuit. It was to be our first outing to the pool.

As I stared at my reflection those negative voices started in.

“You look like a beached whale”
“People are going to laugh at you”
“Are you really going out in public like that?”

Then my inner strength stepped up, ready for battle.

“What does it matter what they think?
“This is an outing with your husband, not the word”
“The people at the pool are there to enjoy the summer day, not look at what you are wearing”
“This is not a photo shoot!!!”


This is not a photo shoot. Wow. That certainly made me stop to think.

So many times I did not join in the fun because I thought I looked too fat, or too ugly, or the outfit I wore wasn’t flattering. “What will the others think” ruled my thoughts. I missed out on so much fun.

If others were busy talking about the weight I had gained or the outfit I wore, that was their problem. They, too, were missing out on the fun and the purpose of the gathering.

So I lathered on the sunscreen and stepped into the water. I glanced around. No one was looking at me. They were busy with their own lives, their families, their children. I was just someone passing by them into the waters they were heading into themselves.

Life is not a photo shoot, TerryAnn. Get out there and enjoy it.

What is holding you back?