Beliefnet
Heart of the Soul

Jodi  Chapman - People PleaserFor many years, I lived my life with fear in the back of my mind that if I did something, wrote something, said something, or acted in some way, someone would be mad at me or not approve of me or think negatively of me.

So I tried to gauge my next steps based on who would be happy and who would approve. I always second-guessed each decision, never wanting to rock the boat, always wanting everyone to like me.

I wonder if you can relate. I would imagine that you could. We want others to approve of who we are and what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We want to be loved.

And so we live our lives committed to pleasing everyone because when they are pleased, they will approve of us, praise us, and love us.

It makes so much sense that we would live our lives in this way – who wouldn’t want to feel loved?

But what I realized is the cost of getting this love was absolutely exhausting. Even though I tried very hard to not upset anyone, I found that I still would. While it was rare, I would sometimes receive phone calls from angry people saying that I didn’t do x, y, and z quickly enough or well enough or in the right way. I would receive emails saying that I wasn’t soulful enough or caring enough or loving enough.

Hearing these criticisms would devastate me. But I was determined to not give up – I knew that if I just tried a little bit harder, I would still be able to please them. I knew I could eventually make them see my side and “win them over.”

And sometimes I could. But oftentimes I couldn’t.

Eventually I learned four words that were powerful enough to change my life:

You can’t please everyone.

Wow, right?

Whew!

This was huge! It meant that no matter how hard I tried to be good enough and likable enough, there would always be someone that I couldn’t please. I realized that it was absolutely pointless to spend this much energy on what others may or may not think of me. It was exhausting to care so much about their approval.

This realization helped me focus more on nurturing the relationships with others who loved and understood me rather than expending so much of my energy on trying to win over those who didn’t.

These four words have allowed me to live in the best way that I know how, to make decisions based on what I think is best – rather than living in fear of what others will think or how others will respond to each choice that I made.

It’s so freeing to realize that no matter how hard we work at trying to make everyone fall absolutely in love with us and absolutely in love with our ideas and absolutely in love with how we live our life, there are going to be some who just don’t see it the way we see it. There are going to be some who do take offense and who get angry and who get hurt and who criticize. And that’s okay. Because it just means that these aren’t the people who are meant to hear our message. It just means that these aren’t the people who are supposed to be walking side-by-side on this journey with us. It just means that they are on a different path.

And now, I’ve realized that it’s okay. It may be that I’m older. It may be that I’m wiser. Or it may be that I’m just a bit more exhausted after years of trying to please so many others. Whatever the reason, I’m happily hanging up my People Pleasing hat and walking away from even trying to make everyone happy. I already feel lighter and freer!

I would love for all of us to embrace these four words – to really take them into our soul. To feel the freedom that comes with them. Especially those of us who feel that pleasing others and wanting their approval is as common as breathing. This realization feels like a big, relaxing exhale.

You will never please everyone.

Ever. And that’s a good thing. It’s a great thing. It’s an amazing thing.

It’s a freeing thing. It’s everything.

Hugs,

Jodi

 

about jodi
Jodi Chapman is a bestselling author, an award-winning blogger, and a soulful community builder. She lives her life with love and faith in the driver’s seat, and she hopes to leave a trail of inspiration wherever she goes. She believes that we each have the ability to hear our soul’s whisper and create our best lives. She would love to connect with you!

Website   ♥   Facebook   ♥   Angel Fund    ♥   Free Ebook

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus