Life becomes easier when we don’t have to please everyone

In recent years, I have been trying to catch myself in the trap called “what am I doing to receive positive reactions from others.” I no longer want to do that. It annoys me because I have realized that, in the end, most of my actions revolve around being brutally honest with myself. I know it’s normal; I believe in the power of relationships, and we are all social beings who can’t function without each other to some extent.

Recently, I realized how burdensome this is for me on multiple levels. As someone in the profession I am in, I always have to “filter” my words to some extent. Which is normal, ethical, and fine because I do have a certain level of responsibility towards my profession and the people I work with. I have long tried to be “neutral” or give a correct and expected response. That’s playing it safe, and that way, you know you will be liked by everyone, you will keep yourself in the comfort zone, and no one can blame you for anything.

Listen to Yourself

In relationships with close people, humor is very important to me. I’m spontaneous, direct, and I can be quite sarcastic. I used to think that this could never be part of me and my work. Until I started writing from my personal position as Vesna, not as an educator, trainer, or teacher… and to my surprise, people began to react positively to it. On the one hand, I’m glad about that, but on the other hand, I have now exposed myself to a risk called – many people won’t like what I have to say, or even worse, many will completely misunderstand what I write.

That is, of course, my biggest nightmare, and it is happening in my life right now. I am not liked by everyone, or even worse, people don’t understand me. Now that it has happened, I have realized that I can survive it. I understand myself. I know what I wanted to say or write; it is completely and crystal clear to me, and I stand by it. Many people won’t like it, and they have every right to feel that way. The difference between me now and me a few years ago is that I don’t want to change who I am for the sake of anyone’s acceptance and approval. I will continue to live my life, even if many don’t like me.

Sometimes, no matter what we try to be, do, or become, someone won’t like us. Someone will have something to correct, improve, or try to impose a different way of behaving and being on us. It’s up to us to decide whether we will consider it, whether we will question ourselves about it.

And sometimes, it may be enough to stop constantly questioning ourselves based on everyone’s malicious or well-meaning advice. Someone will always have something to say, and honestly, from the bottom of their hearts, I don’t know if I have the strength to pause for every comment and opinion. I’m tired of aimlessly questioning myself to reach a version of myself that others want to create. Sometimes, it is necessary to silenceall those voices around us so that we can hear our own, which somehow got lost in the sea of others. That voice knows who we are, and it doesn’t need the agreement, acceptance, and approval of everyone else. If we don’t listen to that voice, the validation of everyone else won’t mean much.

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Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Read also: In the Space Between Intimacy and Loneliness

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