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Please Like Me


What motivates you? Are you someone who seeks validation from others? And relies on things outside of yourself to feel good about what you're doing, decisions you’re making and things you're achieving? 

This episode we discuss intrinsic end extrinsic motivation, what drives our behaviour and how we can use whatever motivational strategy we have to help us, instead of hinder us.  To use what drives us, in ways that helps to put us in a state of being happier, to achieve more, and to feel better. For my fellow (existing or recovering) people-pleasers, this one’s for you!

You'll Learn

  • What drives your behaviour

  • How to address resourceful and un-resourceful behaviours

  • How looking outside yourself to feel goodcan actually be healthy


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Episode Transcript


EP #52

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 52, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

Today we're going to talk about what feels good. And it's really important to understand how you operate. So I know for myself that I can make myself feel good about certain things, I can feel positive and I can feel like I'm moving forward... to a point. But what i realised a few years ago was that nothing feels quite as good as when somebody I think highly of, or have a lot of respect for or someone outside of me that I may not expect it from, compliments me or recognises me for my efforts or whatever that might be.

And I really started to resent how much I valued external validation. And I found it very frustrating, especially when i did my coach training and we talk a lot about being intrinsically motivated versus being extrinsically motivated and how we can take responsibility for our actions and how we can change our feelings with our thoughts, so it becomes this spiral of you “should be” better, accountable, able to deal with things quicker, which can sometimes instead of pepping you up, can pressurise you and bring you down.

Until I studied emotional intelligence, I didn't really understand that it is perfectly OK to be externally motivated or internally motivated but what the difference is is how you use it to your advantage. So when I had had my son, and I was struggling in the throes of motherhood, as I think most ambitious women can relate to, any woman actually because motherhood is very hard, but especially if you're somebody who prides yourself on your intelligence and using your brain to solve problems which is very linked to my identity from the years I spent working prior to becoming a mum, but it's OK to be motivated however you are motivated, providing that you use that you get the motivation you need from a resourceful place.

So what do I mean? I used to crave compliments and seek pats-on-the-back and compliments from my superiors at work. And it was purely on that basis that I felt I had done good work or I hadn't done good work. It's a habit that I'm still trying to break to be completely honest, because when my superiors recognised my work, I felt like I’d added value and like if they're happy, then everything's OK. Total people-pleasing. When actually, everything is OK anyway, but it just sometimes doesn't feel that way unless I've had that pat on the back all that recognition from a superior. Because if someone was unhappy I felt so physically uncomfortable and like I had done the wrong thing, my stomach would sink, I got to the point where I would feel physically sick if I felt I had done wrong by somebody.

Can you see how unresourceful that could be? When the only way I felt OK, or like I was doing a good job, had to be given to me from somebody else. All the power in that, see how it's with somebody else. It was a very disempowering way to be, and this is something that has stemmed from childhood and what’s also contributed is being the eldest child, oldest children often sense of loyalty and also carry this air of responsibility, it's just because when there's only one child in the family in those very early years of life, they get all the attention of the parents and they don't have to fight for that attention, so it's nobody's fault, it's just something that happens as we get older, and especially when we have good friends and we can make friends easily, offending people or upsetting people was something that caused me deep discomfort.

So it's taken me a long, long time to sense-check what's going on intrinsically and check whether it aligns with my values, how I want to show up in the world, who I want to be, and what matters to me first… to then go back to the other person and make sure that the relationship is amicable and intact. If the relationship wasn't amicable or intact, that fuelled my people pleasing habits to do everything in my power to get that relationship back to where I wanted it to be and to where I felt comfortable. Which if you really think about it, is pretty selfish, but my internal equilibrium was dependent on my environment and the people in my external environment being comfortable with me and liking who I was. People pleasing.

When I was doing this, I was placing all of the power on others, but expecting that to come back and enable me feel good about myself. And I see this a lot in my clients, and a lot of people I know, relying on others to feel good about themselves. And that can be friendship or that can be work or that can be family, or their children. But it's waiting and hoping…. and with enough work expecting, to be praised which then completely uplifts, validates and motivates them to keep going, to feel good and keep forging a path that they're on and keep performing in whatever way that they have been.

The hardest part I found about this was that nothing I did for myself or said to myself ever caused me to feel nearly as good as when somebody I cared about or sought validation from, gave it to me. And at some point in my life I decided that was pretty messed up and it really didn't serve me trying to live my life on my terms, me finding out who I wanted to be in the world, what unique gifts and abilities I have and that I bring wherever I go. It was actually a huge detriment to my identity, my personal power and to my sense of self because without that validation I didn't know who I was or what I stood for. I also didn't know what boundaries I needed, how to say “no” and I also didn't know how to make decisions on my own without looking to others to help me make them, or making sure that if it was the wrong decision, I could turn around and say “but they said…”. Which is an extremely, again, disempowering way to be.

When I was adjusting to being a mum, on the days when I felt very flat, and missed my previous single and solo and independent life, I would sit in front of YouTube and watch 15 minute motivational clips. I would watch them, and they would give me hope and they would enable me to feel really good, and put me back into a state of power and belief that I could live the life I wanted to and it enabled me to start thinking about all the things that I loved, while I could still be a mum looking after my infant at the same time.

Let me just clarify that I am so grateful for my beautiful children, and I know so many women who have struggled to conceive, or haven't been able to have children, and I would choose my kids all over again, and… it is also very hard. As all of my mum friends and I say, we love our lives and we have so much to be grateful for, and that doesn't stop us being individual humans who had very fulfilling and enriched lives that have changed dramatically by us becoming a mum. And more to the point, the kind of mum we want to be. Which is the primary caregiver, plus worker, plus our own person in our own right. It's hard. So I would listen to these motivational clips, and they would quickly make me feel better. And I didn't think, at the time, that it was OK that I was looking to things external, things outside of myself, to make myself feel whatever it was I wanted or needed to feel.

Until one day, I was part of a coaching mastermind where an incredible coach who was in that group, and I can't remember her name, but she was just this mother-of-the-earth type soulful, Arabic woman and she was incredible. And she pointed out that doing that was a very resourceful way to feel better. And that by doing that, I was actually putting myself in an emotional state that meant I was not only a better human, because I felt better, but that made me a better mum too.

So like anything we do in life, everything driving our behaviour is driving us to meet needs that we have. In coaching we call these core needs, Tony Robbins talks about them extensively and you can look up his website to find out about our core needs. But the core needs of the personality are certainty and variety, which are the complete opposite but we need both. We need these in different measures depending on what it is that we're doing and what area of our lives were talking about, or what season of life we’re in. The next lot of needs for the personality is love and connection, or significance. Love and connection being our relationships to others and feeling like we are one within a group or tribe or society or community, and significance being our ability to feel unique in amongst that group. To feel special, to feel like we are an individual. Once those four needs are met, we will then extend into needs of our spirit. And the two needs that we try to meet are our needs for growth, and our needs for contribution. I take most of my clients through this in detail, across multiple sessions and I could do a whole workshop on this alone, but right now, I want to explain that drivers of our behaviour are to meet these needs in whatever variation of each of those we need.

When we're looking to meet those needs, we're doing it in either a way that is healthy and going to support US in a really positive way and an ecological way, or in a way that is a detriment and may have a negative impact on us and those around us.

I was recently at a conference and I saw a woman who was by herself, in a casino, extremely drunk. Sloppily drunk surrounded by men, who we're trying to pick her up off the floor because she kept falling over. I'd seen her earlier in the evening flirting and laughing and having a great time with these men, so I don't know the full story. I don't know if she was there with one of them, I don't know if she was drugged, I actually have no clue. One of the men I was with at conference actually escorted her to a taxi, but that is a very unsafe and detrimental way - physically, mentally and spiritually, of meeting whatever needs she was trying to meet. Those needs, assuming she was out by herself, would possibly be the need for variety - who am i going to meet tonight? What friends am I going to make? Will I go home with someone? If I do, what will it be like? Certainty - I'm going to meet people and talk to people and drink and get a buzz from drinking. Significance - when I drink I feel more confident and I get attention and that makes me feel special. When i go out and meet someone it gives me confidence knowing that I'm attractive and that I can. Love / connection - I'm going to feel connected to the person I want to be because when I drink I feel good, and falsely, I'm going to feel loved and connected to the people around me because I can flirt and mingle in a way that feels different to when I'm sober and in normal, day-to-day life.

This is unresourceful, because it's instant gratification, it's a very short lived experience, and the likelihood of it meeting those needs in that way, is very low. Especially when the consequences and impacts of that behaviour follow you the next day in the way of a hangover, or a lot of money spent, or worse an STD or unwanted pregnancy, or the people you were interacting with, or the person that you may’ve taken home, treats you in a way that degrades how you feel about yourself, because you're looking for that external validation to fill a void within you. To give you feelings you can’t generate for yourself, or meet through other, more resourceful means.

As I've said, it's OK to look to things external to you to feel good, but we want to do that in a way that is lasting and ecological. So, for instance, a lot of people love team sports. It gives certainty of a workout, and a distraction, and exercise. Variety in the game especially if you're playing against opponents and in a competition, or if it's training you don't know what drills or training exercises you'll be doing. Love and connection, with yourself first and foremost because of the endorphins and the physical nature of working out that sometimes means you have to go deep within yourself to continue and push yourself which builds confidence and trust within you, but secondary with those you're playing the sport with and against. Significance because you can top your previous achievements, you can get personal bests, and push yourself to achieve and feel special in your own right. Or if you beat somebody that you're trying to beat competitively and that pushes you to be better, while also pushing them to be better. Other examples of resourceful ways to meet needs are often things that you did as a child that you loved. That maybe bike riding, swinging, being in the outdoors, swimming, doing jigsaw puzzles or painting, music. Have a think about what you did as a child, what activities you did, and how they made you feel. As children, we don't go out drinking, or pump ourselves full of drugs, or seek instant gratification through eating a lot of junk food or sugar, or sex or ****, or whatever other ways adult have to feel good. But as children we explore and feel good through the activities that we do, and there are many of them.

So have a think about things you love doing as a child. Maybe see what photos exist of you in your childhood to see what activities you enjoy doing or ask somebody. Is there a way you can do that again? Office works is great for arts and crafts, or maybe there's a local sporting team you can join.

If it's not something that you did as a child, maybe it's about choosing a new activity to go and do, that gives you exercise and health? Something that you choose to do not to be good at it or the best at it, but simply to try something new and do something differently. Get those needs met in a really resourceful way to emotionally put you in a state to be the best version of you to contribute to yourself, your family and the world around you in the best possible way. Have an activity booked in by the end of the week, and I'll see you next week.

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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