Self love: Being content with the work-in-progress that you are. Not seeking the approval of others. Being yourself. Comparing yourself only to who you were in the past and not to others. Not thinking you are any better than anyone else.
Anyone can fake being “normal”. Anyone can try to please everyone and turn off no one. Anyone can constantly concern themselves with what other people think of them or how they are perceived. These things are not only incredibly common behaviors, they’re dangerous.
Because – if you’re constantly checking in with regard to what “normal” is or only permitting yourself to do what other people expect of you, you’re not only not being true to yourself, you’re letting your fears dictate your life by acting a certain way in order to earn affection or gain favor.
No matter how much you may want to be liked, pretending to be something you’re not isn’t the answer – because you’re not here to be someone else – you’re here to be you. And – if you are not living your life being the best YOU that you can be, you’re not really living authentically. And you are certainly not living up to your unique potential.
While you may not please everyone who crosses your path in life, one person you can consistently please is yourself – but only if you don’t give in to your fears and sacrifice who you truly are in order to constantly accommodate the expectations of others.
Be the best person that you can be – while being true to yourself – and you will naturally attract people who appreciate you for who you are, not someone you pretend to be.
To pretend to be someone you’re not in order to gain favor or followers is to put yourself on a path that will ultimately let people down – most importantly yourself. It has often been said that the number 1 regret of the dying is that they didn’t have the courage to live a life that was true to who they were because they spent so much of their time concerned with what other people might think.
If you want to live an authentic life, stop worrying so much about being liked. It is not your responsibility to make people like you nor is it your job to conform yourself to other people’s expectations. You are here to be the best YOU that you can be – whether other people like you or not.
If you want to self-actualize (reach your fullest potential), then you must learn to accept yourself for who you are & who you want to be and take personal responsibility for your life and how you feel.
And along the way to self-actualization, you must be prepared to be unpopular. Don’t leave your sense of worth and well-being in the hands of others.
Those who achieve greatness in life don’t let others dictate how they feel about themselves — and neither should you.
Your quirks. Your interest in unusual things. The small things that bring you joy. The odd things you do because they feel right to you. The unique things that you find funny — or fascinating — these are the things about you that make you truly unique and different from others — and they are among, if not the most beautiful things about you.
It can take bravery to be yourself and exert your individuality, but the alternative — to conform — is to become less of an individual. While there is an implied comfort & safety in conformity, conformity represents the ordinary. The status quo. And it is the enemy of creativity.
It is ok to fit in, but to actively change yourself to be just like the crowd is to yield your personal power & influence to others.
If you’re weird, own that shit. You don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed by it. In a world full of people doing their best to fit in, you don’t – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But if you don’t own your weirdness – or you allow yourself to be embarrassed by it – people who prefer the ordinary will often find ways to make you feel like a lesser person because of it.
The fact is, the things that make you unique – even if they’re weird – can be a source of great satisfaction & immense personal power in your life – but only if you fully accept them and refuse to see the things that make you stand out as flaws.
When you learn to use your uniqueness as a source of power instead of weakness, your whole world can change. Because another word for weird is remarkable. And the world is drawn to remarkable things.
Many people use the term “weird” as if it’s a bad thing, but it’s really not. Anyone can try to fit in – and many people spend their entire lives making sure they do – but the fact is, there’s nothing remarkable about conforming to a crowd.
While confronting the people who harbor ill will against you can sometimes result in a peaceful resolution, it often doesn’t.
So rather than confront one’s haters, it may often be best to let people be wrong or mistaken about you than waste your time trying to convince them of something they are likely to refuse to believe anyway.
“Be selective in your battles, sometimes peace is better than being right.” — Unknown.
Anyone using their time to bash you is really saying you are the most important use of their time. Because of all the things in the world they could be focused on, they’re focused on you.
In an odd way, it’s almost as if having haters is a compliment. You are so important to them that they would rather spend their precious time giving you (negative) attention than doing anything else.
And while you can’t control critics, you can control how you react to criticism.
And one of the most effective ways to react to unjustified criticism to ignore it — and instead focus on whatever it is that helps you meet your goals, makes life meaningful to you, or makes you happy.
“My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.” — Anthony Hopkins
Haters, more than anything, want your attention. You don’t have to give it to them.
Learning to not have to explain one’s self is one of life’s rewards.
Learning to not get emotionally invested in what people think of you one way or the other is another.
“Life is too short to stress yourself with people who don’t even deserve to be an issue in your life.”
People will like and respect you or they won’t — and getting people to like you doesn’t involve convincing them to.
The best thing you can do is just be yourself and let others make up their own minds. No amount of hate from a tiny minority is going to convince those who know the true you to think otherwise.
Anyone that is so easily swayed to think the worst about someone without giving them any direct consideration or benefit of the doubt isn’t the type of person you want to associate with anyway.
Just be a good person, lead by example, and let people think what they want, the rest will take care of itself.