I remember absolutely dreading my first day of sixth grade. Yes I was nervous because I was in a whole new school, with new students and harder classes, but I was mostly nervous for 2nd period, Language Arts with Mrs. B.
We had all heard horror stories about Mrs. B from our older siblings who had gone before us. Stories about how bringing the wrong kind of pen to class would dock your grade, and how her outbursts could be heard all the way down the hall. I wish I was exaggerating.
The part that made it especially scary for me was that I needed to please people. This desire ran so deep in me that sometimes, I look back on my good grades in middle and high school and wonder if I was actually smart, or if I was just trying to please my teachers. With Mrs. B, however, there was no pleasing her. She didn’t play favorites. It didn’t seem like she liked any of her students at all.
That was the year I learned that it is impossible to please everybody.
For some people, this is a concept that doesn’t even need to be learned, but for me, it’s taken years for it to really sink in.
If you’re like me, the first time someone said, “not everyone you meet is going to like you,” you practically fell off your chair. When someone actively disliked me, I took it very personally. When I finally gave myself permission not to be liked by everyone I met, it was actually very freeing.
Slowly my thought process turned from…
“You can’t please everybody,” to
“You don’t have to please everybody,” to
“Don’t worry about pleasing ANYBODY. Just be happy with you.”
Do you see how my thought process started by being driven by outward pressure, and eventually ended up being motivated from internal inspiration? In the end, only you can decide how your success is measured.
Who’s the ‘Mrs. B’ in your life? Ultimately, (whoever it is) if you can’t please them, maybe they’re not worth pleasing.
Be you. The world will adjust.
Featured photo for this post by Mackenzie Maroney