In my recent book The Float Tank Cure, that covers all of the major benefits of float therapy, I talk about how many times people want to take care of themselves with things like: more days off, more fun time, more family time, more relaxation, but they are unable to do so because of social guilt, or wanting to be liked. Here is the excerpt from the book:
Wanting to be liked has got to be one of the most crippling and toxic desires we have as human beings. At one time it was essential to fit in, to be part of the tribe for survival. Now this desire causes us to overwork, over commit, and do things we don’t want to do all in the name of being liked and accepted by others.
If you know what to do to take care of yourself and you fail to do it because of others, you’ve got a big problem. Often, your self-doubt is inspired by a fear of what others think of you. Here’s how I’ve re-framed this issue for myself. It may help you too.
In his book The Slight Edge: The Secret to a Successful Life, Jeff Olson describes reading a magazine article that disturbed him. The article reported that at the average funeral, only about ten people cry. Olson writes: “That’s it? You mean I go through my entire life, spend years going through all these trials and tribulations and achievements and joys and heartbreaks—and at the end of it, there are only ten people who care enough to cry?”
To put this in perspective, you might be living your life with more stress and worry to please people who may not even show up to your funeral, let alone cry! For me, hearing this changed everything. I no longer worry about what others think of me, outside of those I know will be crying such as my closest family and friends. The rest of the world can just deal with the fact that they’re not happy with me because of some commitment I didn’t take or a long weekend I took for myself.
You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness and well-being. Isn’t it time you stopped worrying so much about what other people think and take control of it?
I take it a bit further in the book but the conclusion I have come to is this.
So when you focus on being liked you tend to cater to people that may not like you. It's where your attention goes. You lose your power and your focus on your life and goals because you are worried about someone else's perception. You're doing more than you should for people you should do less for. They have the problem.
Instead just focus on being LIKABLE.
The road to success will be filled with times when you have to say NO to a lot of people, it will be stuff you used to say YES to. You'll have to take more time to take care of yourself because let's face it, achievers are like sprinters not marathon runners. Don't worry, it's part of the process and as you and your time become more valuable you just cannot say YES as often. Your going to disappoint people. Some people may think you've become "too good." Some may think you're an asshole. Not to worry, just make sure you're a nice person in your communications. Be polite, wish people well, be kind, always give an answer even if it may disappoint them. That's how a likable person acts.
At then end of each day or week or issue just take a step back and say "Was I likable?"