Here’s a not-so-secret secret: OCD runs in my family.
And for me – as weird as it sounds – my childhood obsession with whether or not my friends liked me was one sure-fire way to spot it.
In middle school, I’d sit cross-legged, alone in my room, and mentally run through my friends, like I was going down a list. For each friend, I’d ask myself, “Are they mad at me? Do they like me?” Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Typically, I’d do about three or four exhausting rounds of this…
Today, I no longer sit cross-legged obsessively going down a list of who I think likes me and who doesn’t – thank god! And I DON’T do this for the very simple fact that no matter what, not everyone is going to like you. Period.
Especially, when you’re doing big, bold, BRAVE things.
Changing your lifestyle.
Transitioning into a new phase of your life.
Or, speaking your truth.
This not everyone is going to like you thing is universal too.
Just a few weeks ago, I received an email from a reader demanding to be removed from my newsletter because my work offended her.
And just the other day, someone called my writing ‘annoying.’
Not everyone is going to like you or rather your work or choices … and it’s OK.
Light up the good.
The thing is, for every not-so-nice note or word, there are usually hundreds of nice words in exchange. For example, from that same newsletter where a reader was offended, I received a bunch of emails from kind, caring women telling me their story and thanking me for sharing mine so they could feel less alone.
The truth is, it’s our human nature that has us paying WAY more attention to the words that sting instead of the words that fill our hearts with joy.
Focus more on the joy. Create a shoebox for kind words and begin putting notes, cards, and anything else that floats your boat in there. Or, create a folder in your inbox for notes that make you smile – and reread them when you need them. Or, maybe you have one voicemail you’ve saved that makes your heart lift. Keep saving it and go back to it when you need the reminder that you’ve got this.
Being brave can change your life.
And just know for someone not to like you – or for you to feel like you were rejected – that means you did something BRAVE.
Whatever BRAVE thing you decided to do – make new friends, date, be vulnerable, share your creative work, heal your relationship with food and your body, apply for a new job, change careers, have a hard conversation – you’re setting the stage. You’re making clear what you want by taking action and you’re going after it. That’s a downright powerful thing that changes lives. That is changing your life.
So, keep showing up, keep sharing your truth and please don’t change who you are. Instead, step more fully into yourself.
You may be surprised at the magic that happens when you allow yourself to be FULLY seen and fully heard.
You’ll form deeper connections, feel happier about yourself, your life, and your work, and the people in your life who are meant to be there will always be there. I promise.
My cross-legged, pre-teen self, sitting there, obsessively checking-in with who likes her and who doesn’t, wants me to tell you that if she got over people not liking her, you can too.
Oh – she also wants me to tell you to keep being BRAVE – it’s worth it.
p.s. know someone who could use this reminder? send them the link:)