Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Project You! Stop Trying to Please Everyone

Project You!

Week 1: Stop Trying To Please Everyone

My children break up for the school Easter holidays today, and they bounced out of the door this morning with a definite spring in their step (no pun intended!)

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have stocked the cupboards with Easter chocolate and hot cross buns, and there will be a vase of beautiful daffodils taking pride of place on the kitchen table.  Two weeks of family time is something to look forward to, and I intend to use this holiday to mix my own goals with special treats for the kids.

Does that sound horrifying?  Should I spend the next two weeks entertaining my three teenagers, doing double shifts on the cleaning because they are at home and, therefore, making more of a mess?  Maybe I should be slaving over a hot stove to prepare the Easter lunch, or perhaps rushing across the Midlands delivering eggs to my friends and family.

We spend fifty-two weeks a year trying to please everyone all the time – what if you took a time out and used the Easter break to do something for yourself?

Would the world end?  Would the family dynamics fall apart?  I doubt it – the kids might relish the opportunity to lounge in their pyjamas for an entire day, and your partner might love the idea of ordering a takeaway on a Tuesday night. 

What would you like to do for yourself if there was no-one else to please?  Write it down.  You know how much I love a good list, and this is a perfect opportunity to make a note of ALL the treats, events, visits and ‘stuff’ you’ve wanted to do but put off.

One of my favourite exercises is to use a full page in my journal and write out my ideal day.  I don’t think of myself as a single mum of three, a daughter, friend or colleague – I’m just me, Shelley Wilson, a forty-something woman who would love to ____ (fill in the blank).

Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, explains how important it is to our health and wellbeing to ‘fill our well of creativity’.  Imagine yourself as a wishing well where every time you do something for yourself you are throwing another coin into the water.  When you choose to please other people, those magic coins are taken away, and you begin to feel lethargic, stressed and sad.  It’s important to your children, partner, parents, friends and colleagues that you look after your needs before everyone else.
As I used to say to my holistic clients – ‘you can’t fix others if you are broken’.

Fill your well this Easter and do something for YOU.

I would love to hear about your ideal day.  Share it with us in the comments and you might just motivate someone else to take that all important time out.


  1. Hi Shell, I ve had an ideal today. An early morning start with meditation following by an quick workout. Feeling happy with myself I felt like doing some baking which resulterte in a delicious carrot cake.To top off the day I met up with a good friend for a lovely forest walk. Now I m relaxing on the sofa, reading your book "How I Changed My Life In A Year"
    Loving this day😊

    1. Now that sounds like a perfect day, Susan xxx

  2. Always remember, the last word in "time" is "me."

    1. Oh, I love that, Douglas! *rushes to write it on a post-it note*