Do you worry about what other people think of you?
Are you desperately trying to live up to the expectations of others?
Because that’s really the only thing that matters today and you should totally continue trying to please everyone else… What’s important is whether other people like you or not! Yup yup, don’t worry about what you want or what’s important to you. The way to truly enjoy a fulfilling life is by living up to other people’s expectations.
Especially when you know a lot of different types of people… For example I know some people who think that I share way too many personal stories on the internet and should just stop posting so much… And I also know some people who are just big fans of the personal stories I share and wish that I would share even more.
So I do my best to please them both by not sharing personal stories while sharing personal stories – easy peasy!
Or did that not make a whole lot of sense?
And did some of it sound a little familiar?
Well, read on then and let me tell you my take on it!
I was reading an article yesterday about teenagers today in Denmark being too focused on being perfect… Both in school, at home and especially on social media. And where teens used to rebel at home, against their parents and create their own path, then parents have gotten so good at joining in on Facebook and Instagram, being their friends, that this rebellion doesn’t seem to come in the same way as it used to.
In other words. Young people today are stuck in a sort of limbo (not the dancing kind), where they become anxious and drain themselves trying to be perfect and live up to the expectations of today’s society! Article can be found here (in Danish)
I think we can all relate to striving for perfection in our lives and especially on social media.
Now one of my biggest fears has always been to be…. just like everybody else. To be normal…
Which is somewhat ironic seeing as I often envy the close friend, I have, who’ve settled down with a nice girl, is working a normal 8-17:00 job and is building a family. But the grass is always greener on the other side 😉
In my fear of being like everyone else, I’ve been running around from job to job, education to education, place to place, style to style and different ways of living.
I’ve been working with cleaning and construction, with children and adults, with photography, doing creative work, in sales, as a coach, a leader and finally landed on being a business entrepreneur (where I get to do pretty much whatever I want to).
I’ve been one of the nerdy kids and one of the bullies, a gamer and a sports fanatic, a hippie and a thug, a romantic and a player, an introvert and an extrovert.
From one polar opposite to the next. Again and again.
And for a long time along the way, I found myself trying to please everyone and be a friend to everyone. Trying to be everything.
Do you see the conundrum in that?
On the one hand side I wanted to please everyone by being everything and on the other hand side I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I wanted to grasp my absolute independence without stepping on anyone’s toes.
In short, I want to have my cake and eat it too, without getting fat and while having enough to share with everyone else. And the cake, of course, should be the type of cake that everyone loves (chocolate-vanilla strawberry maybe?) – it’s not going to happen.
And in much the same way, you’re never going to be perfect and you’re never going to be able to please everyone. Because what’s perfect now changes as you grow. What pleases some, will anger others. And what you want today, might not be what you want tomorrow.
Life keeps changing. We keep changing. And the truth of the matter is, there’s only two ways to go: growth or stagnation.
Think about that for a second.
Because we don’t stand still… We might get slowed down on our journey through life, but we never really stop even as we reach a peak in our lives. We don’t come to the top of the mountain and then sit there while we get to keep the strength and endurance that brought us there (unless it’s a mountain really really high up and we’re frozen rock solid like a popsicle).
The truth is, if we sit on top of the mountain thinking we’ve reached the highest of the high, that we need go no further, then the muscles and the strength of mind that brought us there will stagnate and disappear over time. And one day we’ll wake up wondering what happened to that cool adventurer, who once climbed a mountain!
We grow or we stagnate.
Which is why even if you reach perfection. Even when you get that perfect job, that perfect partner, that perfect achievement or that perfect selfie on Facebook (one of my highest ambitions in life). Even if you reach that perfect life or look, that will be the envy of all, that everyone will like and adore – well guess what… Over time, that image will fade, the success will disappear as the feeling of having already crossed the finish line will disappear and what was perfect then, will later lose its value. Perfection is a lie.
We grow or we stagnate.
So there’s a lot of people who say, you shouldn’t give a fuck about what other people think about you and just do whatever you feel is right. And that’s partially true. Especially when it comes to social media. Do what you want and what you feel is right. Stop worrying about being perfect and pleasing everyone! Be yourself!
But! And this is an important but (a very sexy butt too).
Do think about what those people, who matter to you and who you trust, will think and feel.
Do think about what your closest friends might think and feel.
Do think about what your customers might think and feel.
Because the right people will support you with the things that are truly important to you, they will want to be a part of that mission and that vision, that job and that career, that way of life you want and the choices you make towards building your dream. Those close to you will help to realign you with your dreams and keep you going.
And this isn’t just a lesson for teenagers, it’s a lesson for all of us (except of course for super smart people, who are already perfect and so clever, that no one has anything to teach them at all… Ever… Period.)
To not worry so much about what everyone thinks about us, but still keep in mind about what those that are important to us think and feel. And just in case you surrounded yourself with people who don’t support you, then maybe it’s time to find some better friends (maybe read this article too).
So go out there and be imperfect, kick some ass being the perfect unique individual that you are inside without worrying about what others think. Make some mistakes and learn from them. And be happy growing and travelling through life how you want to 🙂
And good luck not giving a fuck, while still giving a slight fuck 😉