As a child, I believed I had to wear the right things, talk a certain way, respond in a particular manner in order to be loved.

As a teen, I worked people pleasing to my advantage, smiling on the outside, brushing away negative feelings, getting good grades. I tried to act in a way that I thought was tolerable, agreeable and acceptable to others. And I was rewarded for it with awards, a multitude of friendships and lots of positive attention.

As a young adult, it all started to catch up with me. It was too exhausting to be fake so I rebelled the other way.

Since then, I’ve found peace in the middle. It took me awhile, but I finally realized all that work to please others was coming at a detrimental cost to my authentic self.

Here’s what our top posts helped to remind and reteach me this week. You can’t stifle your true feelings and constantly prioritize other people’s needs without resentment. You can’t stuff your thoughts, beliefs and opinions without taking a hit to who you are. You may be able to do it on occasion. It may be okay to do it once in awhile. But you were meant to grow and shine. Life won’t allow you to play small without severe consequences and sacrifice to your relationships, health, and happiness.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Top 10 Mistakes in Making Behavioral Changes (and their solutions)
(NLP Discoveries) – Want to trade bad habits with long-term, positive ones? Don’t let mistakes like relying on willpower trip you up. Discover how to keep the irresistible habits for greater happiness, better health and well-being.

35 Lessons on Body Image, Well-Being And Life
(Weightless) – She may be young. But she’s certainly wise. Read Margarita’s wishes for you on her birthday this year and be inspired to live a more meaningful, loving and authentic life.

Mindfulness with CBT May Rewire the Brain Sensitized by Addiction
(The Science of Addiction) – A new article states it’s not just drugs and alcohol that can rewire your brain. Shopping, gambling, and food can also be equally addictive. Read the treatment and interventions most effective for addictive behaviors.

You Have Everything You Need Right Now To Be At Your Best
(Your Best Self) – Think you’re too old or too young and inexperienced to be successful? Joe believes those are excuses that will inevitably hold you back. Why he says the real secret lies within yourself.

Jews and Arabs Refuse to Be Enemies: A Compassionate Response to War
(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – There is no better time to practice the art of compassion. Use the “Compassionate Peace Practice” to promote greater peace in your part of the world.