110. From People Pleasing to Self-Worth with Jen Gutfriend

The Do a Day Podcast from Bryan Falchuk

As a hypnotherapist and empowerment coach Jen is on a mission to help people pleasing and over giving women own their worth, set fierce boundaries and live unapologetically!

When her body said enough and full blown burn out caused her to pass out and get a concussion while in the hospital, Jen decided it was time to re-evaluate her life.  She walked away from everything, including her marriage and business to start her 30’s on a clean slate so she could rebuild a life that brought her joy. A life of her design.

Key Points from the Episode with Jen Gutfriend:

  • Jen is a hypnotherapist and coach focused on People Pleasers
  • These are people who put others before themselves always, and are afraid that attending to their own needs means people won’t like them
  • We get into this nice persona, and are afraid of being seen as mean, harsh or self-centered
  • This started from childhood for Jen, being an overachiever and ‘good kid’ to be there for other people
  • The beliefs we create by the age of about 5 create the pattern for our life, so Jen’s beliefs centered around her having to do these things for other people, to be the ‘good girl’, etc, creating her identity
  • Every now and then, she would have a rebellious moment, but then feel such guilt that she’d overdo it on the People Pleaser side to make up for it
  • This extended to her school and career choices, doing what she thought her parents would be most happy with even if it wasn’t what Jen was interested in
  • That included staying in a relationship that wasn’t working well or making Jen happy
  • When he proposed to her, she got scared, feeling backed into a corner, but still went ahead because of the expectations of others
  • Her husband was selfish, immature and would publicly talk poorly about her to friends and others
  • Jen found herself working 18 hour days trying to build her business, responding to other people whenever they asked for help, and her marriage was bring her down
  • Ultimately, her health started to suffer as she suffered from burnout, dealing with dizziness, body pain and more, leading to her going to the hospital for X-rays for her hip where she ended up passing out and getting a concussion from hitting her head as she dropped to the floor
  • That’s when she realized something was wrong and asked doctors for help, but no one really had any to offer, telling her passing out is normal and to just put her head between her legs until the feeling passes
  • She turned to a naturopath, who raised burnout as an issue
  • This was the first time it seemed like someone was actually listening to her rather than seeing normal test results and telling her she’s fine
  • She had burnt out her adrenals as she lived on caffeine and sugar, resulting in hard crashes
  • Going back to her marriage, they married in September, and by Christmas knew she had to leave (but stayed together through the holidays not to disrupt anyone’s Christmas, again being a people pleaser)
  • She finally opened up to her family after keeping it to herself after New Years, and her family helped her move out in February
  • It turned out her husband was still in love with his ex-girlfriend, and they ended up getting back together and got married
  • Many People Pleasers end up with people who need them, like Jen’s husband – they’re self-absorbed, narcissistic, etc
  • Jen realized she had been pleasing more people than just her husband, and saw all around her how she needed to change
  • She closed off her business, essentially restarting her life from scratch – new friends, new work, new living environment, and a focus on herself
  • Jen started reading self-help books, and became a voracious reader of them, going through a book each week
  • As she did the work, she also started to let her guard down, and found herself in another relationship with someone she had to please
  • This taught her that she has to stay aware of the situation and not fall into old patterns if you are to truly move forward
  • As Jen started to make decisions about who she needed distance from in her life, she eventually got to her family, where the People Pleaser dynamics were strongest
  • Adjusting your relationships with your family members can be hardest out of everyone because you can’t just sever ties and be unrelated like you can with a friend
  • Today, Jen frames her actions and behaviors around how it relates to her happiness
  • If something is going to bring her joy, she does it; if it’s going to bring her down, she stops


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