If we want to be an effective woman leader and to have a greater impact, we must stop people pleasing and start being true to ourselves. Are we naturally compliant with rules and don’t question them? Are we worried what others think about us?
Where did this people pleasing habit come from? This blog looks at my definition of a woman leader, how we get derailed due to people-pleasing, and how to reclaim our power. Lastly, what is available to a woman leader when she stops people pleasing? Hint–this is what she really wants.
Are you ready to arrest unhealthy people pleasing and unleash a bigger, positive impact? Let’s talk. No shame in asking for help.

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Navigate life's challenges with my FREE e-book tailored for women leaders. Discover strength, resilience, and renewal. Download now! 📖✨

Are You A Woman Leader?

Millicent Fawcett (1847 – 1929) was a leading Suffragist and campaigner for equal rights for women. She led the biggest suffrage organization, the non-violent (NUWSS) from 1890-1919 and played a key role in gaining women the vote. 


We don’t have to be a Millicent Fawcett to have great impact.  The basic premise of good leadership is that when we respect ourselves by taking good care of us, we will extend this benefit to all.

It’s not a selfish stance. When someone says we are being “selfish,” it’s a form of manipulation to get us to do things their way. Note: we should try to stay open-minded to other ways without betraying ourselves. See below for some attributes of a woman leader.

How Does Grief Stop Our Impact as a Leader?

My Defintion of a Woman Leader is Someone Who  Believes:

  • I respect myself and treat each human being with respect, dignity and sovereignty.
  • I don’t control what others think of me, and therefore, I let go of trying to control this.

She Will Please Until She Resents Giving

  • I really care about people and do my best to have a positive impact.
  • I draw a line of having a positive impact if it means betraying myself.
  • I will comply with what’s being asked of me if it makes sense to my moral compass.

She Will Break the Cycle of Codependency

  • I will NOT comply if it “feels wrong” and goes against my intuition.
  • I am willing to break the cycle of codependency and people-pleasing to gain approval.
  • I question the norm and am interested in elevating the level of consciousness of our society.

She Sees Beyond Labels

  • I respect each person’s right to decide how to live their life (so long as I’m not harming anyone else; and I decide what “harm” is)
  • I push back against bullying behavior regardless of the source.
  • I see beyond the labels that society would put upon me to enslave me to a disfunctional system or model.

She Thinks for Herself

  • I am NOT easily captivated by hypnotic programming from TV, media, peer pressure, etc.
  • I think for herself, gaining confidence from a connection to a Higher Power however I define it.
When we are confident and remember who we are, and have a healthy foundation of self-respect, we will think as a leader.  We question things if something “doesn’t feel right.” We won’t default to compliance if we release the need to be liked.
This isn’t an easy pattern to break. I’ve still not completely broken the spell of needing someone else’s approval.  But the older and wiser I get, the more I love myself and respect my intuition and turn to me and my Higher Power for guidance and discernment.

How Does The Woman Leader Become A People Pleaser?

Childhood Beliefs Taught Her To Hyper-Achieve To Be Acceptable

“I need to produce to be enough” is a societal norm, especially in the Western world. Compete to be the best. Win at all costs.  Dog eat dog world. This is a masculine way of doing business that most women subscribe to as a means of surviving in the male-dominated business world.
When I was in the 8th grade, my dad challenged me to make straight A’s and he’d pay me $500 when I graduated junion high later that year.  It firmly set me on a path to hyper-achieve. I was longing for his love anyway, and so I easily fell into the trap. Note: I did accomplish this but at what cost as I pushed myself hard for many years to come?

Childhood Beliefs Taught Girls To Please & Appease 


We were taught to be the “good girl” to gain love and approval. God forbid we draw negative attention and be criticized.  So we learned to be perfect and not too loud and opinionated. As long as our words were meek and mild, we could escape harm.

She Was Taught To Be Pretty, Thin, and Not Too Smart 


We learned to comply. Because our worth was tied up in superficial things like attractiveness, we learned to dumb our self down. If we didn’t meet this standard of looks, we beat our self up relentlessly for not being pretty enough, thin enough.  We equated our worth with our looks. When we feel fat and ugly, we can be controlled.

She Was Taught To Be The Strong One 


If we pushed our self hard to achieve a certain measure of success, it felt good and became a reinforced habit
We slid into the masculine habit of driving our self super hard. We put on “I’m-the-strong-one-who-holds-it-all-together-for-everyone-else” armor.  “How can I be everything to you, an invalualbe resource, so you’ll rely on me?”

She Was Traumatized 


The above list of beliefs is not comprehensive. We take on many habits of thought, like feeling like a Victim, being Hyper-Rational (up in the head a lot), Controlling to keep safe, etc.  We perceive these childhood experiences as traumatic because we don’t know how to interpret their meaning.
Life in a child’s nervous system often feels overwhelming and traumatic.  These trauma experiences get stored as hidden grief. 

The Taming oF Tabitha 


Young Tabitha, grew up in a household with 3 older brothers who were always competing with each other. They wrestled each other to the floor and got bloodied noses and black eyes. 
Her brothers often forgot Tabitha’s sensitive spirit and treated her like one of them. When she was 5 years old, they tossed her back and forth between the 3 of them like a ragdoll. When she began to cry, they made fun of her for being a sissy-girl.
Though her brothers terrified her, she deeply wanted to be part of the pack.  So she swallowed her tears and fought back the angry words she wanted to spew at them.
Tabitha Learned TO be Silent And Compliant and She Hated It 


As a middle-aged woman, the hidden grief within her that seems to keep cropping up in her work and home life is, “I can’t speak up, and I constantly feel bullied. I’m trapped because I’d rather not say anything than be left out and alone.” As a result, she remains in a job she hates because she doesn’t feel she can be herself. Though she’s paid well, she feels like a coward who’s letting herself down.
Overwhelm a/k/a trauma in our nervous system, takes our thinking brain offline.  If we are fearful and nervous, we can be easily controlled and manipulated.

How The Woman Leader Can Reclaim Her Power From People Pleasing

Feel safe in her body and trust her judgment

To do this, she needs to relearn how to connect to her body and feelings. This means slowing down to re-connect with herself.

Find a safe space where she can drop her “gotta be strong all of the time” guard

She needs to be given the opportunity to speak her truth in a supportive environment of peers who will have her back no matter what.

Look at her hidden grief

She needs to process the grief, the stuck energy in her body from trauma, and other overwhelming experiences through energy healing techniques. These are the most advanced and effective for deep, permanent healing.

Use techniques that address her as an energetic being

Her options are numerous.  Breathing, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), healing codes, hypnosis, yoga, and some meditation practices, work well. Any technique that will allow her to relax, calm and ground herself is great.

Do NOT expect to be rescued or advised

Rather, she needs to learn to empower herself with her own sage advice and wisdom, which only comes when she slows down. It’s time for her to regain self-trust.

What Does The Woman Leader REALLY Want?

She wants closeness and connection.  Yet she has convinced herself that she must avoid the empty feeling in her heart. She does this by numbing out with excess busy-ness, that extra glass of wine, frosted cupcakes, cookies and chocolate, and of course…binge watching Netflix. Outlander will do just fine to carry her away, far beyond her sorrow.
But is this all there is?  Work hard all day. Come home to a tired spouse and demanding kids.  What if there were another way?
I want to propose to you that the Woman Leader is not as alone as she may think.  She doesn’t have to isolate any more. She has a tribe that is waiting here with open arms, to give her a hug and welcome her home, to her own heart.

What is Available to the Woman Leader When She Stops People Pleasing

  • Live with calm aliveness, feeling safe on this planet.
  • Feel congruent with how she spends her time, prioritizing who and what matters most to her. 
  • Eat real food, that nourishes her cells.
  • Release the shame of not feeling good enough–it requires a lot of energy to cover it up. 
  • Drink good water, (OK an occasional glass of well-sourced wine–Scout and Cellar wink wink).
  • Feel like the apple of her lover’s eye, supported, nurtured and adored.
  • Feel the backing of a few close friends who love her unconditionally.
  • Feel comfortable in her own body, allowing pleasure and letting go of guilt.
  • Receive plenty of money to cover all of her needs and even some delicious wants.
  • Feel like she’s enough no matter how much is left on that mile-long to-do list.
If you’d like support in becoming your own Loving Self Advocate and practicing taking responsibility in a healthy way, check out my upcoming free, masterclassCLICK HERE TO REGISTER
I’m here to support you like you’ve never been before. I mean that. I won’t judge your past. 
Much Love,
Angie Monko,
Life Coach for Women Leaders