Every single time we suppress ourselves in order to be liked or to avoid conflict, criticism, rejection, disappointment, loss or abandonment, we are people pleasing. Done regularly or most of the time, it has catastrophic effects on our well-being and quality of life, including our relationships and careers. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Hi, I’m Natalie, and I’m a writer and artist who’s authored five books, including Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, Love, Care, Trust and Respect, and The Joy of Saying No (HarperCollins/Harper Horizon, Jan 2023). I’ve been inspiring and teaching people online for over 18 years, and founded Baggage Reclaim, a popular self-help blog and podcast The Baggage Reclaim Sessions (3 million + downloads) aimed at helping people break the patterns that block them from being in loving relationships and having healthy self-esteem.
I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible to help themselves to quit people pleasing, a toxic habit that erodes our mental health, sense of self, relationships, creativity – everything.
My journey from emotionally unavailable people pleaser with a chronic illness and bleak outlook, to raised self-esteem, a loving relationship, healthier family relationships, motherhood, and branching out on my own creatively, has served as an inspiration to millions of people over the years. I’m living proof that despite trauma and abandonment in childhood, along with years of hating and doubting myself, that we can go on to do the things that, at one point, we thought would have to wait until we’d “fixed” ourselves and were “perfect enough”.
Over the last several years, I’ve felt a niggling call to find new ways to be. In 2017, my father died, I turned forty, and between grief, exhaustion and a sense of ‘lostness’, it pushed me to radically slow down with work for more than a year. Although I gradually found my way back to podcasting and writing more frequently while still doing less than I did previously, I found myself feeling called to go deeper with exploring the epidemic of people pleasing, which includes perfectionism, overgiving, overthinking, and over-responsibility.
As someone in her mid-forties who long suspected that she’d been perimenopausal for several years but kept being dismissed by doctors plus has grappled with tinnitus, I’ve also felt an increasing pull to re-examine my relationship with work, ‘productivity’, money, and creativity.
In January 2023, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want was published by Harper Horizon/HarperCollins. I also decided that after almost eighteen years, it’s time to chart a path and explore new creative endeavours. As a result, The Baggage Reclaim Sessions podcast is coming to an end in early Feb 2023 and I will no longer be writing Baggage Reclaim. I’ll still be creating, educating, and inspiring–it’s just time to find new vehicles of expression. Ultimately, guiding people on how to own themselves and how to work with their intuition and authenticity to lead happier, more harmonious lives.
I have a hell of a lot to say about our relationship with our inner self and how that, and specifically, the people-pleasing habit, significantly impacts our relationship with everything. From creativity to money, to career and business, to how we parent, how much we struggle to meet our goals and, of course, to whether we create healthy boundaries in the first place. I’m frequently asked to put on my ‘Baggage Reclaim hat’ and help people figure out their confidence, creativity, career and business potholes, and I have to pay deeper attention to this.
My mission is to help as many people as possible to help themselves to become more of who they really are.
I want to do my little bit in the world to help people heal and to spread compassion and light. I guide people on how to own themselves and how to live and work with their intuition and authenticity to lead happier, more harmonious lives.
Natalie Lue is a thought leader on relationships and human behaviour. Her no-nonsense yet compassionate and humorous take has garnered her a following in over 140 countries, and she’s been featured in the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and the BBC. A writer, author and artist, her self-published books, including Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The No Contact Rule and Love, Care, Trust & Respect, have sold 150K+ copies, and her podcast, The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, has over 3 million downloads and has been turned into a highly popular Shortcast (short versions of podcast episodes) for non-fiction app, Blinkist. Her latest book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want, was published by Harper Horizon, an imprint of HarperCollins, in January 2023.
Drawing on lessons and observations not just from her own personal transformation from low self-esteem and a penchant for emotionally unavailable men, but from wisdom gleaned from observing interpersonal relationships and the many stories people share with her, she’s become a go-to source for self-help that doesn’t feel or look like self-help, and her message applies in all areas of life.
Natalie founded the popular self-help blog, Baggage Reclaim and is also the original founder of Bambino Goodies, the kids’ lifestyle blog. Born in England, raised in Dublin, Ireland, she’s lives in Caterham, Surrey, on the edge of south east London with her two teenage daughters and crazy cockerpoo. She started blogging full time in 2009, and worked in advertising in her previous career. Her current work centres around people pleasing, boundaries (she’s quite obsessed with work boundaries!), mindfulness, and creativity. In recent years, Natalie has rekindled her artistic side and paints, draws and makes. This includes the watercolour and embroidered quotes in her work, as well as abstract embroidery, weaving, and teaching punch needle workshops.
The relationship columnist for In The Moment magazine until the pandemic shuttered it in spring 2020, she speaks at events like The Mindful Living Show, Blogtacular, Janet Murray’s #2022 (and 2020 and 2021) Courageous Content Live conference and Black British Bloggers Keep Growing virtual conference. She’s also given talks to Amazon (US) women’s network, Blinkist, and other companies, and prior to the pandemic, had started teaching workshops on the power of journaling to primary school children.
A 90s raver at heart with a love of reading, all things arts and crafts, journaling, yoga, travel and design, she’s been wheat free for over a decade and started running in 2018 –and completed the London Marathon four months later.