By: Sherry Levine, Regular Contributor
Throughout each day, as we live our lives, we interact with and encounter many different people. From our family members, to friends, to co-workers and acquaintances around school, there are countless opinions, reactions, and impressions that are drawn about us and who we are. As humans, we like to size people up, compare them to ourselves and pass judgments. It is a part of life, it’s natural and it’s how we interact. However, how it actually affects the way we feel about and view ourselves is way more important and a lot less natural.
A lot of people, from your parents to your peers will struggle with this concept. To some, image and approval is everything. How you are viewed by the people around you is the most important thing. Being well-liked should make you happy, and the amount of “likes” a post gets will obviously make you feel good, but it is when these needs to be well-liked and perceived as great, overcome the need to be genuine and authentic, that it becomes detrimental. It is when you become a slave to your image, held captive by affirmation, that you will never, ever feel good enough.
The road to being well-liked and loved by everyone is a never ending and tireless one. It is a road to nowhere. It is simply impossible to have the approval of everyone you come into contact with. For one reason, we are from different corners of the world, with different values and different morals and journeys. Trying to be in the good opinions of everyone you meet is exhausting and will force you to discard and disregard your own morals and values.
Secondly, although unfortunate, people like to find the wrong in the actions of others. By putting you down and making you seem inferior, they build up their own self-esteem. This is a classic “bully” state of mind. In other words, PEOPLE LOVE TO HATE and no matter what you do, there will always be haters! This is something we must accept, but it is not something we will be victim to.
The bullies, the fears, and the insecurities in our minds are just noise. Noise you can choose to listen to or not, noise you can drown out with your undeniable successes, good attitude and confidence in yourself. Remember, that as long as you believe in where you are and what you’re doing, that you strive to be a good person who respects the differences in others and appreciates the good in people, that you work your hardest and try your absolute best, it simply just doesn’t matter what others think. Once you have achieved this mindset, you will instantly feel a sense a freedom, freedom from the shackles of approval!
I’d like to end with a great quote from John Lennon: “Trying to please everybody is impossible - if you did that, you'd end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You've just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.” Don’t aim for the middle; you’re far more special than that. Now go be great, you’re FREE!
About Sherry: I am Sherry Levine. A 26-year-old woman committed to supporting and inspiring woman in any way I can. With my contributions to I AM THAT GIRL and my life-coaching program Generation Teen, designed to provide guidance to everyday teen girls, it is my mission to encourage and empower all woman to create the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.