This one's for the people pleasers, ruminators, over-thinkers, hyperachievers….

You know who you are. I know, because I've been one too!

Today, I want to share this perspective with you because it's been a really helpful and even enlightening concept for me to embrace.

But first, storytime:

I can remember getting a job that I really, really wanted. I worked my butt off. I tried my best and more. I gave it 110% every, single day.

And my manager didn't like me.

I tried everything: reaching out more, giving him space, proactively communicating, but my gut just said, ‘This guy hates you'.

I couldn't figure it out. I kept trying and he just kept ditching our 1:1s and speaking to me passive-aggressively.

Finally, I left that job. When I spoke to a couple of colleagues months down the line, they confirmed it. They hadn't wanted to tell me, but the truth was, he didn't like me and was intentionally not trying to help me. I had turned myself inside out for way too long trying to please this person. And for what?

I won't get into the reason why, but I will say it had nothing to do with me or my character. It had to do with someone this person was involved with.

Now, the point of my story is not to dig into whether this person was right or wrong in his actions. That part doesn't really matter. Instead, it's to point out that there was literally nothing I could have done to win this person over.

Often, when we encounter a situation like this, we focus on everything we've said and done. We assume our fault or flaw has resulted in this person not liking us. We ruminate on conversations and second-guess our actions.

And often, it's not about us.

Some months back, Justin Welsh (a creator on LinkedIn) posted something along the lines of this: No matter who you are or what you do, 5% of people won't like you.

Reading that as someone who's always wanted everyone to like me… Ouch. But also, wow.

Now that I create publicly and share a lot of information online, I face a lot more scrutiny than I ever have, and this lesson has been a lifesaver.

If you can learn to accept and even embrace this fact – and stop assuming everyone should like you – you will save yourself a ton of grief.

Whose opinion actually matters?

Brene Brown discusses taking feedback from people in the arena versus those in the cheap seats. Her point is that all kinds of people in your life or work will have an opinion. You need to decide whether their opinion matters or not.

Those doing life with you? Their opinion matters. Your partner, your kids, your BFF.

The ones who are judging you from afar? Maybe not so much.

Here's a quote from Christian Bale that I love, to drive this point home. He says, “If you have a problem with me, call me. If you don't have my number then that means you don't know me well enough to have a problem.

Nuff said.

So decide for yourself whose opinions matter to you. In the case of my former boss, his opinion didn't matter to me personally, but I was aware that it may limit my career opportunities at that company. In that sense, it mattered. I chose to move on and find a manager who both valued and liked me.

So what can you do instead?

Instead of worrying about whether the things I say and do make people like me, I focus on whether I'm showing up as my authentic self and leading with empathy and curiosity. If I'm doing this, I'm doing my best and can feel good about myself.

If someone chooses not to like me, that's on them.

I can't control how others feel, but I can control how I show up in the world. So, that is what I choose to focus on.

I treat people with kindness both at work and outside of work. I show them empathy. I do my best to help. But I no longer trip over myself trying to get people to like me. I won't compromise who I am to fit in with people.

Too often, we internalize the way people treat us and assume that if they don't treat us well, it's because we have done something wrong. Our people-pleasing tendency tells us that if we just do everything right, everyone will like us!

At work, this may lead to having poor boundaries and taking on projects or extra work that doesn't make sense. It may look like answering emails on a Saturday night or texting your boss while at the park with the kids.

But remember, we only control half of the equation. If you are showing up as the best version of yourself, that's what matters. Because the truth is, no amount of people-pleasing will convert the haters. That's just life.

And in a way, it's freeing.

It gives us permission to say, “I've done my best, now I'll let the universe do the rest” and stop ruminating and over-thinking every little thing. Maybe we can even learn to find self-worth instead of looking for it from others. The more we focus inward, the better we'll show up out in the world.

So this is it – your permission to focus on being the best version of yourself you can be, and stop trying to make everyone like you.

The people who do, they are your people. The rest don't really matter.

Until next time friends… ✌️💜

Katy