I was recently having a chat with a childhood friend, telling him that it’s funny how I ended up in the coaching world. He started laughing and said, “Fadela, you’ve always been deep, even when we were 8!”.
He’s right, I was always fascinated by humanities subjects like psychology, sociology, literature and political science.
And yet, do you know what I studied in university? Economics.
That’s right, I wanted my family to approve of my choices. I wanted to make them proud and I knew humanities seemed too “fluffy” for them.
For the longest time, I defined myself by what other people around me deemed acceptable. There was a direct correlation between my self-worth and the praise/validation I received from the people closest to me.
This validation loop I was stuck in made it difficult for me to make decisions. I trusted other’s judgment before my own and constantly worried about how I would be perceived.
I was often in a state of angst, worried that I might have done or said something that would make people reject me, or like me less.
If you resonate with even some of what I described, I would love to share some questions that have helped me start to break free from that cycle. Here we go 🙂
1. How do I define myself?
2. What makes me feel genuine happiness?
3. How would I show up in life if I trusted myself regardless of other people’s opinions?
While these questions might initially feel uncomfortable, I would encourage you to reflect on them and answer them in a space that feels safe and relaxing.
We all have different stories, but the foundation of a healthy self-esteem is the same for all: self-awareness.
Even if you’ve been people-pleasing and doubting yourself for decades, you can start changing that today.
If I did it, so can you!