I have always struggled thinking about with what other people thought of me. Acceptance was so often a guideposts for things I would do, for the plans I would make. There was a time when I turned a corner. Maybe it was part of my Lutheran upbringing or later on in life my cancer diagnosis, but I finally realised it had to change.
When you worry about what other people think, you let them control who you are. You waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what other people want you to be. Maybe they want it selfishly, maybe innocently they want you reflect themselves on you? You don’t even realise it – but all of a sudden you find yourself wasting a lot of time and energy trying to become like something you believe people want you to be, rather than just being what God made you to be.
Worrying about what other people think is dangerous because it leaves us extra sensitive to criticism. It means we may not do the right thing for ourselves but instead, we do the things that other people want us to do. And what everybody wants to do is often the opposite of the compass inside of us. Then when we feel that friction we are even more irritated with our life around us.
- You cannot please everybody. There are so many opinions about so many things today, no one is going to always be pleased with you. People pray for things – some for one thing, some for another. Only a fool would try to do what even God can’t do. You can’t please everybody.
- You don’t have to please everybody. So many people try to believe that in order to be happy you must be loved and gain approval by every one else. You know that deep in your heart you don’t have to, but somehow there is always that chance that it seeps back in.
- Rejection will not ruin your life. It can be painful, you may even remember it and feel its imprint on you later. But it is not the end of things. In fact later it may look like the beginning of something else.
So I quit trying to please everybody years ago. It became obvious that no one can make me feel inferior unless I let them… It starts by beginning to understand that it can be your choice.