The biggest factor that seems to determine when these behaviours become destructive relates to self-esteem. People-pleasing and perfectionism are efforts to prove your worth. Underlying both is fear — fear that you’re not good enough and that others will reject or abandon you. As a result, you believe you have to keep pleasing, achieving, and perfecting in order for people to like and want you. This is like a hamster wheel, you’re stuck doing and doing, but no matter what you do, it’s never enough. Perfection is impossible and pleasing everyone is also impossible, so there doesn’t seem to be any way out of this. For many people, these behaviours are rooted in socialization and/or in difficulties within caregiving relationships early in life. Counselling can help you to uncover the factors contributing to these behaviours and address them so that you can live with more freedom.