Often we default to a people pleasing stance because we fear the repercussion of not doing so. Whether that be isolation. conflict, judgement or just the D word (always worse than your parents being cross!), the fear can force us to do things that we don’t want to and then feel bitter about it afterwards.
Often anxieties are about the fear of the unknown. We fill in the gap with all the worst case scenarios and over time, can build things up in to bigger issues than they already are.
The cliched ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ is actually not as glib as it sounds. Practice makes perfect and the more you try things, the more you learn, which in tern helps to dispel the inaccurate predictions.
Start small, find something you feel less awkward about turning down and do that. Notice what happens or indeed what didn’t? Did it damage your relationship? Did it cause a conflict? How did it feel for you? What was the reality of prioritising in a way more comfortable to you?
Use these learnings to keep practicing and build up to tackling the larger anxieties.