As a (basically) reformed people pleaser, I know all together too well what it’s like to feel like you have to prove yourself to the world. Prove that you’re good enough, smart enough, or even pretty enough to be liked, loved, validated, or accepted by the “social circle” of your choosing. And, because I’m pretty amiable, even without this need to please, this “like me” trait of mine has landed me in personal and professional situations that, now that I’ve learned to love and value who and what I am, would never allow to occur in my life.
However, during my recovery process from trying to please or prove myself to everyone, what I learned was that in all the time I was showing up how I thought others wanted me to, I never got to discover who I REALLY was, what I REALLY wanted, and what I was capable of doing with all the amazing talents and gifts I’ve been given. I was so busy trying to understand the other person’s wants and needs, so they would like me when I fulfilled them, that I ended up being versions of me that, after a while, I could no longer sustain because of my deeper need for authenticity… which would eventually cause a negative breakdown in the relationship.
These days, I really don’t care so much about pleasing others, as long as I do the work that I want, and show up in a way that pleases me. But, just like anything we’ve over come, every once in awhile, that need to be liked, or prove myself to someone, will rearer it’s ugly head. So, I use the following reasons as reminders to keep my thought-stream on track, so I can keep practicing being the version of me that makes me genuinely happy.
It’s NOT possible to please everyone :: Just like not everyone is going to love Vegetable Curry over Jasmine Rice (one of my favs), not everyone is going to love your particular way of being. You may be a little bit Rock, and them a little bit Country, or you may vote Red, while the person next to you votes Blue – and that’s okay, we’ve each got our own perspective and belief-system that works for us. And, trying to be what they want you to be, ahead of your own desires and personality, means that you’re not valuing the fabulousness that is you – which will eventually lead you to much frustration and pain.
Success NEVER comes without Failure :: Oprah was fired from her job as a news-reporter before she ever got her own talk-show, and Coco Chanel lost all of her clothing stores during World War II, and it was 10 years before she made her come back as an international success in the world of couture fashion. The point is, no one knows but you where you are in your story, and trying to prove that you’re something to people who don’t really know you, is nothing but a waste of your time and energy.
It’s None of Your Business What Others Think of You :: The funny thing about trying to please others is that what they think of you is really none of your business. We’re all born with our own unique DNA, to our specific caregivers, with our education and life experiences. These markers alone dictate that we’ll have varying opinions on ideas, values, and beliefs about things. And, what someone thinks of you is based on their perception – which is no-more valuable than yours… and even less when their opinion is about what you should do with this precious life that you’ve been given.
One last thought I want to share with you from world renown author who knows a thing or two about the subject of walking to the beat of your own drum ::
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss
Written by Morgan