Isn’t the title of this entry the truth. I find as you go through life, some people worry more about pleasing everyone around them rather than doing what’s right for themselves. It’s really true- you can’t be everyone to everybody. You will quickly lose your sense of yourself, and then you won’t be good to anyone.
Brian Tracy spoke about this in his Doubling Your Productivity DVD that I watched again recently. He stated that as much as you think people are thinking about you, they really aren’t. Instead these same people are really worried about their own public perception, so while they may seem calm, cool and collected- they are just as fearful and nervous as you are.
I broke out of this shell when I was in junior high. I didn’t feel like I had to have one particular set of friends. I had friends in my neighborhood that were older and younger than me. I had friends through bowling that ranged in age from 8-18. As I deejayed more through the years, I got to know vendors and clients my father’s age and older sometimes. You have to decide that people are going to like you for who you are, and the only changes that need to happen are changes that you agree to make with yourself.
By nature I’m a shy, reserved person until I gain comfort with people. Once I do- and I’m sure you can ask my wife this- I probably can out talk anyone in the building. I’ve learned though in areas that I’m not well versed or an expert in, there’s no sense in trying to portray myself as something that I’m not. People respect me more for my honesty and compassion, so in those instances it’s ok to ask more questions, learn about the subject and hopefully come away with something to remember.
There are going to be family members who don’t agree with everything you do. Welcome to humanity- everyone has an opinion and a view on life. If you are happy with yourself, I know there will be others who are attracted to you as long as you show an appreciation for who they are as well. I’ve learned as I get older to accept people at whatever level of communication and contact they are willing to respond to. For some people it may be frequent encounters, and for others it will just be holidays and special occasions.
I feel like I’ve tried my best through the years though to make encounters special and memorable- whether it’s asking about their lives, remembering special days or even recalling one of our favorite times together. The way to be special is embracing your uniqueness. Go forth in the world and prosper while knowing that you can accomplish a great deal with hard work, sacrifice and passion.
Many thanks to Gail Blanke for the title of this blog entry. I’m into the mental clutter freeing sections of her book Throw Out Fifty Things. I feel like after reading this book I could throw out about 500 things that I’ve carried with me in my lifetime. I let go of my incompetence yesterday when it came to the cable company conversation, and realize that I’m human and can make mistakes.