I recently read an article by John Paul Iwuoha highlighting the five biggest regrets of the dying, as identified by Bronnie Ware in her book The top five regrets of the dying - a life transformed by the dearly departing, who used to work in palliative care.
As someone who works with recovering people-pleasers (and am one myself) and having my mum pass away last year, this article summed up why I live life so differently now - on my terms, doing what I love and being with loving and positive people.
The regrets were:
1. I wish I had pursued my dreams, rather than others expectations
I think I was out to prove I could have that career. Now I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I am doing my thing, dancing my own dance. You can like it... or not. I don’t care.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard
Oh god yes. I worked soooooo hard and my reward? More work... and then RSI. Stopped that s*** now. Now I choose to give time to who and what I love.
3. I wish I had had the courage to express my feelings and speak my mind
Sometimes I felt like I had a zip on my mouth and I kept it zipped tight. I wouldn’t dare endanger a relationship by disagreeing or arguing. I am a lot better at it now. And I have a voice that needs to be heard.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
This hit home. I got isolated from my friends and family for many, many years. I have lost connections. I am re-building some and making new ones. At the end of the day, it’s our relationships and loved ones that matter.
5. I wish I had let myself be happier
Happiness really is a choice. I have mostly chosen it, which has probably helped keep me sane and seen those that haven’t. Doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, you choose how you feel about it.
Eliminating those regrets is fundamental now to what I help my clients with -
1) Their dreams - no longer living for others expectations, but rediscovering their own passions and desires and putting them first
2) Work-life balance - not living on autopilot, but making conscious choices to live life to the full
3) How to express their feelings and speak their mind - confidence and skills in effectively communicating how they feel and learning that their opinions and their voice are important and not to be hidden away
4) What healthy relationships look like and how they can cultivate those and leave toxic relationships and energy behind
5) Inner peace and that happiness that transcends external circumstances
What will you do differently?
Thanks for reading. If you have any challenges with creating the life you love that you would like some support with, let’s have a chat about how I can help. I offer a free, no obligation, introductory session where you can experience my coaching firsthand.
Click here to get in touch.
I run a closed Facebook group for recovering people pleasers (women only).
I am running support groups in London and Surrey for women who want to live free of the tyranny of people pleasing. See https://www.meetup.com/London-Recovering-People-Pleasers-Meetup-women-only/ and https://www.meetup.com/Surrey-Recovering-People-Pleasers-Meetup-women-only/ for more details.