You are great.
I mean it. I don’t care what your thing is, I believe that you are great at something. And you can be great at a lot of different things.
But no matter how great you are at however many amazing, impressive or important things, no amount of expertise, experience, or passion will mean that everyone will like you.
Let yourself off the hook. Great news: you don’t have to be for everyone, because no matter how hard you could possibly try, you never will be.
It’s easy to feel like the ultimate goal is to be well-liked.
I remember in middle school wanting desperately to be one of the popular kids– to wear certain clothes and act a certain way. But I could never contort myself enough to fit into that mold.
In a way, we never actually graduated from middle school. Society and culture teach us how we should be or what we should do in order to please people, and never ourselves. The mold still exists, the shape changes, and still, we try to stretch into things that we just weren’t made for.
To start writing on the internet, I had to embrace my own shape and get over being well-liked. I am not a passive person. I don’t really “do” subtle, and I’ve never tried to be objective here. But disagreement still hurts. I had to get over the friction that comes with it, and I had to take things much less personally.
What was the other option? Staying quiet? Nah. I’ll pass.
The real goal is not, and was never, to be well liked. The real goal is to live so deeply in our truths that we simply know that the people around us love us for who we are, and never for what we do. What you do becomes simplistic when you compare it to the much bigger picture of who you are.
Doing anything at all that you believe in– doing anything with conviction– means that someone will disagree. Your work and your words won’t resonate with everyone.
But it’s not our job or our responsibility to be for everyone. It’s not possible to be for everyone. When everyone agrees with us, we may be neutral. We may be lukewarm. Neutral for the sake of an unrealistic mold is just not a place to live.
When we dilute ourselves in the name of being well-liked, it may satiate our ego temporarily, but it does so at the expense of the impact that could have been made if we had lived in the strongest sense of ourselves.
So rest easy. You don’t have to be for everyone. When you find the people who really get you, they will be in it for the right reasons. They will be in it for you– who you really are, unfiltered.
Feature photo by BC Serna.