I use to be completely consumed in what people thought of me. Their thoughts and words about me molded me and influenced me more that the thoughts and words of my Savior. Plain and simple, I wanted people to like me. Did I want to be a nice person and help others in the process? Yes, but my main priority was that they would end up liking me. I use to be spectacular at pleasing others, I mean really excellent. I know it sounds like I’m bragging, but that’s actually a part of my past that I put effort into changing. About five years ago, I decided that needed to change. It’d be one thing if I was pleasing people because I genuinely wanted them to be happy and it didn’t take anything away from my happiness, but that’s not how it was. Did I genuinely want others to be happy? Of course! But I also realized I wanted the attention from them more than I wanted them to be happy, I wanted to find my happiness from making them happy and I wanted to change that. I still want others to be happy, I still want to be kind and to help others, but now I want to do it simply because I want them to be happy and not because I want something in return.I don’t need their approval, or their attention or their stamp of approval, I sincerely want them to be happy and full of joy and if I can help in anyway, then I love to! I use to be happy only if I could make other people happy and if I couldn’t make them happy, it made me miserable, depressed and I would beat myself up for it.Eventually, I got to a place where I was happy and content with my life regardless of if people liked me or not, I was able to truly focus on the happiness of others for their sake rather than my own.
I’m writing this because today I had an encounter where someone was displeased with me. Well, not even me per say, but my work. I’m a part time photographer and today was the first time someone has been less than satisfied with my product. Well, actually, I’m sure that’s not true. There have probably been multiple times where people weren’t happy with the final product but they didn’t mention anything, however this client did. It doesn’t make me mad or angry, it honestly makes me sad that I wasn’t able to provide them with the product that they were expecting. I’ve changed from where I use to be, but I still lean towards being a people pleaser. I don’t know if I’ll ever get use to people being displeased with me. I say things to myself like “Well, they saw my work, so they knew what they were getting.” or “Maybe they’re just picky and insecure.” I say these things to try to make myself feel better. But maybe they just didn’t like it. I’m not allowed to make excuses for that. I know this particularly doesn’t have to do with people not liking me, but it’s an experience that showed how much I still care about pleasing others. I believe it’s different, since this is my work, but at the end of the day, I’m sad I couldn’t make them happy. I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to provide them with something that made them satisfied. But I have to ask myself if I did work that I am proud of, and if my answer is yes, then I just have to accept the fact that I can’t please everyone. Even though I know it’s COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE to please every single person, it still makes me sad, like I’m admitting defeat. But I’m trying not to be defeated. I’m trying to take every experience and learn something from it. I want to take this moment in stride and examine myself and my heart. We can’t make everyone happy. We can try, but we will fail. As long as YOU’RE HAPPY and CONTENT and you make an effort to bring happiness, kindness and encouragement to the lives of others, you’re doing your part. Some people still won’t let that be enough, but in the end JESUS says that it’s enough and that needs to be enough for us. :)