I CANNOT GIVE YOU THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS, BUT I CAN GIVE YOU THE FORMULA FOR FAILURE – TRY TO PLEASE EVERYBODY
Herbert Bayard Swope
There is an inherent thing in most of us that often leads to our downfall. Most of us have this strong desire to be loved, respected and supported by everybody. During our formative years we usually do our level best to “win” the approval of those that have dominance over us. We soon learn that the intelligent thing to do is to remain on the “good side” of individuals like our (father, mother or teachers). We soon learn how to navigate activities in such a way that our “controllers” would approve of us. Approval meant the good stuff and disapprovals usually lead to pain and isolation.
Look around you and identify some of the things you still do to avoid potential conflicts or win the approval of people that are in an authority position over you. You will never walk up to your boss and tell him or her that you think he or she is a spineless peace of garbage. Most people will tolerate their boss’s tantrums and childish behaviour because they know that he is the one that is signing their pay cheque at the end of each month.
You will not go up to your father and tell him that he will only get your respect if he earns it. Most abused sons and daughters swallow their bitterness and disgust and play-act the role of the caring son or daughter or stay out of his way as much as possible.
You do not tell a police officer that it is obvious to you that he is an idiot and would not be able to find a chicken in a chicken pen even if his life depended on it. Most people try their best to win the approval of the people that they associate with. Most of us understand this “pecking order” thing and attempt not to get the individuals higher up in the pecking order to get upset with us.
We often preach to our children that we want honesty from them, but fail to be a good example ourselves. The children hear how their parents often moan about how the boss is always taking advantage of them at work, but also see and hear how they grovel when he or she comes for a visit or when they speak to him on the phone.
I ACCEPT AND UNDERSTAND THAT I CAN NEVER PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. I UNDERSTAND THAT LIFE IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST.
Life is not a popularity contest. You must retain your dignity and self-esteem at all times. You are not in the army and not a soldier that must obey all commands. There is no need to change into a rebel or a person that always swims upstream, but you can demand that others always treat you with respect.
Even when you made a mistake you still do not have to stand for the abuse of a person that is possibly taking advantage of your error. Even when you made a major mistake, it still does not give any person the right to shred your self-image and self-esteem. Remember people treat you the way you allow them to treat you.
If you mentally assume the “begging position” when you are faced with a person in a “power position” he or she will wipe the floors with you. Remember that you will never please all the people all the time. Some will love you and some will hate you even if you could walk on water.
It is a fallacy to think that you can win the approval of everybody that you meet. The most successful way to destroy your self-esteem is to attempt to win or retain the favour of everybody that you meet, work or live with.