For as long as I remember, I have always cared about what people thought and always focused on pleasing others before myself. I never thought of that as a negative thing and didn’t see until recently that this was a huge impediment in my process. I’m a people pleaser, and I like when other people are happy. Why was it so detrimental to want to make other people content? In my mind, others’ happiness has always correlated to mine.
People Pleasing Environments
I’ve always been hyper aware and put so much value on what I thought others could be thinking. I grew up thinking that everyone was in a constant state of judgment and that created fear, which lead me to become defensive and essentially fuel my anxiety. I’ve grown up in environments that revolve around pleasing people and looking for outside validation constantly. I studied ballet pre-professionally at a very impressionable time in my life, and that played a part in my need to please others to this day. I have a very hard time grasping that what others think is completely irrelevant to my life. I still aim to remind myself of this daily.
“What are they thinking? What do I look like? Do they think I’m fat? Stupid? Annoying? Do I come off as too weird? Do people think I’m pretty? Nice? Are they talking about me?”
I think it’s human nature to want to be liked and perceived in a positive way, but the “need” for this has a way of creating problems that don’t exist. Ever since we were little we have been focused on pleasing our parents and gaining others’ approval. We live in a society where we are rewarded if we reciprocate. We are rewarded when we do what others want or like, and this is emphasized through social media platforms we put so much value on. I think there will always be people to please in your mind like your family, employers, friends, etc. It’s still okay to want to make someone proud, consider others’ feelings, be respectful, and hard working but when it starts to affect your everyday life and get in the way of your process, that is where there is a problem.
“Your opinion is the only one that matters.”
There will always be haters. There will always be people who won’t like you, are jealous, and aren’t aware of the negativity they project. You have to realize that their problems really have nothing to do with you. They have a problem with themselves and a lack of self-love. It is so so hard to dismiss others’ thoughts, especially when we are so outwardly focused on pleasing others and basing our worth off of what others think. We are constantly setting ourselves up since we are always searching for outside approval. All these social media outlets are there so we can get validation and reassurance from others. It takes a lot to do something like that for yourself when you know other people can so easily state their opinions of you and your work.
Kindness is Vital
We are so quick to doubt ourselves if we feel other people didn’t give us validation that you are pretty enough, skinny enough, cool enough what have you. I realized everything in life is temporary, and the only one you truly ever have to count on is yourself. We need to be kind, respectful, loving, appreciative, and compassionate to ourselves. I believe we can always work to improve and change in terms of growth, but there are a lot of things we need to accept, embrace, and love about ourselves. It is SO freeing when you decide that other people and their thoughts are irrelevant. You realize what a waste of time it is to care. You won’t ever be able to read people’s minds, and it isn’t worth your time and energy to dwell on things that more than likely aren’t even true.
Find Your People
I think finding a community where you feel your best self is important. I’m realizing that the community advocating mental health, self-love, and growth is very welcoming and accepting. Unfortunately, most people don’t want you to succeed and find it easier to create competition and hold on to feelings of animosity. Instead, let’s keep building each other up. Life is so much better when it’s rid of negativity, toxicity, and jealousy. What someone else is doing has nothing to do with you. You have your own path and your own journey that will take its own time. I think that is very important to remember. It is SO hard not to compare yourself to others. We can work to catch ourselves first. Being aware is so important and the first step towards any type of improvement. We need to accept that we can’t always change others opinions, and that is okay.
The main point here is to BE YOU. You are the only YOU that exists. You are unique, beautiful, important, and deserve all the love and positivity the universe has to offer. Remove what doesn’t serve you in your life, and I promise that once you rid yourself of negativity and think more about YOUR opinion rather than pleasing others amazing things happen. When you focus on positivity, that is what you manifest.