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I Was Conditioned To Make Other People Happy

Written by: Ashley Elich, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I was conditioned to make other people happy. I tried to make my parents happy, then my friends. That turned into trying to make my teachers happy, then my bosses happy. And when I was dating, I tried to make men happy. Everyone. I tried to make everyone happy. Everyone except for me.

And I wondered why I never had time. I wondered why I was always annoyed, and why people always disappointed me. I wondered why I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I was being “nice” and “good” and that doing things for others made me feel fulfilled. But, the truth was that:

  • it was just easier to do what others wanted me to do instead of figuring out what I actually wanted.

  • I was trying to earn their love.

  • I was afraid of being judged.

  • I was afraid of failure.

  • I was terrified to disappoint people.

  • I thought it was selfish to do what I want and go after my own goals.

But most of all, I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t believe that I could have the kind of life I really desired. I lacked boundaries and so I never had the time to get started on my goals. I didn’t know what I wanted so I never knew how to get started. I lived my life for other people. And then I learned how to stop. (And now, through coaching, I teach other people how to do the same) The first step was self-awareness:

  • Notice how I wasn’t believing in my future and flip my internal inner critic

  • Notice how scared I was about what other people thought of me, and learn to let that go

  • Notice how I didn’t actually know what I wanted and find the courage to figure it out

  • Notice how I always said yes to everyone, resulting in saying no to myself, and how this did not move me forward.

And then I slowly began to change those things. I slowed down so that I could check-in with myself before saying yes to another commitment. I practiced saying no and it became easier over time. I focused on what I needed to do in order to live the kind of life I really wanted to live. With small action steps, my world flipped.

Now I know what I want, and even if I’m still scared sometimes, I believe in myself and my future. I don’t care what someone else thinks of my dreams and goals - I’m choosing my future and moving forward. Once I set boundaries and had the time I needed to go after my goals, I got to work:

  • I learned how to self-motivate so that I could take action no matter what was going on externally.

  • I focused on radical self-love, changing the voice inside my head to one that supported me, and choosing to love myself regardless of my past mistakes.

  • I changed my inner circle to include the people who supported my future and learned how to lean on them when needed.

  • I decided what I needed to do today in order to have the desired future me later, and took action steps even if I was scared of judgment or failure.

You can empower yourself to stop people-pleasing and set boundaries, just like I did. When you realize how you have been living for other people and let go of fear and judgment, you are free to discover what you really want, and then figure out how to get it.

When you are free to discover yourself, your success is inevitable.

With the help of a coach, you can move forward even faster. A coach helps you see your blind spots, motivates you and holds you accountable, and helps you focus on your future instead of continuing to live for other people.

Follow me on Instagram and visit my website for more info!


Ashley Elich, Executive Contributor Braiinz Magazine

Ashley Elich is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in guiding her clients to make bold life changes from the inside out. Ashley teaches the mindset practices needed to guide her clients to stop people-pleasing, hold boundaries, and release fear, judgment, and comparison, so that they can discover their dream life, take action, and feel confident in their future. Ashley guides her clients to follow their intuition and make the big moves necessary to change the course of their future.



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