I like to be liked.
It makes me uncomfortable when people don’t like me.
Moreover, I seek people who like me.
And I try to make the ones who DON’T like me, like me!
YES!! It’s true! I am a people pleaser, and I do everything I can to get recognition from others. It just makes me feel good when I hear good things about myself. Who doesn’t?
I think most people want to be liked, but I found it worrisome when I noticed I was shaping my behaviors to ensure that others liked me.
Lesson: Other people’s opinions should only be important if they come from someone you care about, respect, and/or love, and if it is aligned with your goals and dreams.
I am not saying you shouldn’t seek other people’s advice or opinions, but to do it in a way that is constructive to you and it’s for something that matters to you.
Have you ever heard comments like this?
- “Are you spending the weekend off with your girlfriends? What others will think of you as a mom?”
- “You should take this job. It pays more money, even if you don’t like it, you will adapt, it’s only a job!”
- “Don’t wear that skirt, people will think you look fat!”
These comments? These are the kinds of comments we ignore and don’t care about. I know I am doing what is best for me and my family, and their opinions on those issues don’t matter at all.
Most of the time, the people that are making comments like these are not even thinking of you and your best interest!
So why do we concern ourselves with people making useless comments that make us doubt ourselves?
For validation. Validation is so important to us. It is our human nature to adapt and feel we belong to the tribe.
I suggest you read a previous blog post about fitting in or belonging, where you can find the quote by Brene Brown:
Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
Remember when you were in high school?
Do you remember what subjects you choose to study?
And what about which college to attend?
How did you make that choice?
And if you continue to think through your own life, perhaps your decisions have been influenced by others, maybe even those people whose opinions don’t really matter to you.
You need to reflect on if those decisions were aligned with your goals and dreams, or if you were swayed in a direction you maybe didn’t want to go
Thinking back, there may be some work to do concerning self-awareness and finding the courage to take risks. We fear that if we fail, the ones who said, “No, don’t do that!” will say, “I told you so!!!!!”
I remember in the beginning of my career, working in corporate in a multinational company, I received an offer to move from Lisbon, Portugal, to Barcelona, Spain. It was a promotion, it was a great city, a great experience, but it was a local contract, meaning my roots in Portugal, my city, my family, would be broken. At least it was what I felt.
I listened to a lot of nos.
- No, it will be so difficult.
- No, you will be by yourself without family.
- No, Barcelona is a dangerous city.
- No, Barcelona is so expensive.
- No, you are not married, and you will leave your boyfriend behind…
What happened? All my insecurities gave in to those opinions and I declined the offer.
Thinking back, Lisbon to Barcelona is like a 45 minute flight. In hindsight, it seems so ridiculous to turn it down if I had really wanted to have that job.
I don’t even like to think what would have happened or not if I had accepted that offer.
After that passed opportunity, 4 years later, I was moving to the UK with my new family, and so happy. What has changed during those 4 years? I traveled so much around the world in business, that moving to another country was absolutely the best option for me and my family.
YES, I listened to a lot of NOs, perhaps some I’d heard years before, but with my experience, I was able to be stronger and be firm with my decision to pursue an international career.
There is a lot to unlearn to learn again, and be confident in being who you are, finding your true self without expecting anything in return!
Would you rather be in an environment where you fit-in, blend in to the crowd, and never cause any conflicts, but you’re hiding your true self?
Or would you rather be in an environment where you have the complete freedom to be yourself, but will encounter the occasional, but hopefully productive, uncomfortable situation?
- BE AWARE.
- TRY NEW THINGS.
- FAILURE IS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY, SO DO IT!
Living your life being your true self is the only way you’ll be able to do great things and leave a legacy. You can live your best life without the fear of failure or judgment!