So I was watching one of Amanda Frances’ livestreams the other day. She is an incredible coach, and powerful woman. I find so much of her content really helpful. One of the funny things she does is that she always says on her videos that she’s yelling at us, but she almost never is. She's usually just passionately talking about something. But this time, she did yell. And I absolutely fucking loved it, because what she was saying needed to be screamed from the rooftops to nearly every woman I know. She said to us, "You aren't here to make people like you!"
This resonated with me like crazy, not because of the day I’d had, but because of the week I’d had, the month I’ve had, the year I’d had. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s stick to the week. I think that the above is an absolutely essential thing for people, especially women and female entrepreneurs, to remember as they lead their lives. There were two interpretations of the statement that really resonated with me, and I hope you'll find them helpful too.
Meaning #1: The Divine Meaning
This meaning is almost certainly what Amanda meant, and I’m pretty sure it’s what she went on to explain. It’s also the core of most of Gabby Bernstein’s teachings. It’s the idea that “You are not here to make people like you” because you are here for a greater good, in order to serve some greater purpose. This is incredibly important to remember. Oftentimes we let ourselves get bogged down in peoples’ opinions and mundane daily minutiae when in reality, we have bigger and better shit to be doing. “Serving others”, as Gabby may say. No matter what your calling is, you are called to do that, and you are here for that purpose, not the purpose of pleasing others. And you need to focus on that when you make decisions in your life and when you decide what to let affect you.
Meaning #2: The Badass Bitch Meaning
The meaning that knowing Amanda, I know she also thought, and that I find equally important. You need to hear this, and tell it to yourself as often as necessary:
You do not have ANY obligation to give a fuck what anyone else thinks of you (assuming you aren’t causing harm to anyone).
Let me provide an example: my best friend from college texted me twice in the last week about supposed obligations she felt to men she’d casually been involved with. These were not men she was committed to. Men certainly wouldn’t feel the same obligations had they been casually involved with a woman. But she did. Why? Because women are conditioned to. But this isn’t even limited by gender, though of course patriarchal norms intensify this issue for women. My friend was worried about what these men would think about her if she acted in a certain way. Why did she care? Because we’ve been told that we fucking have to care what others think of us, and that is matters that we be approved of, and liked, and that being liked and approved of is what makes us successful in society. I’m gonna drop some truth: it’s NOT. Being successful and happy comes from living authentically. Live your purpose and your passion, not for other people’s petty perceptions. You need to like you, and you need to do what’s right, and live your purpose, and not harm anyone else. If you do those things, you are absolutely, 100% free to give zero fucks about what other people think of you. If you’re looking for a permission slip to stop worrying about the opinions of others, I'm handing it to you right now.
Now, you want to know the ultimate secret to living life without this stuff phasing you? Combine Meaning #1 and Meaning #2. I’ve known this in theory for a while but recently had the opportunity to put it into practice.
I started a new day job the other day, at a location where I’d previously volunteered, so I already knew the ropes. At the training, I was answering a lot of questions, saying hi to people around the office I knew, and asking things that were maybe a little more advanced than most of the other new hires were familiar with. And it was making people angry. And clearly intimidated.
They were absolutely nasty to me. At lunch I was ignored and left alone in a group of twenty people. Even a supervisor I hadn't met before became annoyed with me when I said something openly feminist, because I was perturbed by a comment she made and didn't want to let it stand that way unaddressed. And of course, this led to doubts.
I doubted myself and my actions. I wondered if I’d been wrong to answer the questions, if I’d been too forward, if I should’ve acted like I’d never been there before or hidden my real beliefs. And then? I snapped the fuck out of it.
I hadn't done anything wrong. I was respectful the entire time. I never spoke out of turn, I answered every question respectfully and only mentioned my beliefs when they were directly relevant and necessary to the work we were doing, and I did so with respect. I said hi to people I knew. There's nothing wrong with any of that!
And beyond that, I was not there to make twenty other new hires happy. I was there to serve a higher purpose. My higher purpose in this job was to serve the clients we were helping, and my advocating for my beliefs and my best use of my intelligence and my abilities helped me serve them to the best of my abilities.
So, in short? I was being a badass, I was not taking shit that I didn't have to take, and sometimes, people don’t like that. But they learn to deal. And you feel a hell of a lot better when you feel good about what you’re doing and who you’re being, and when you aren’t taking anyone’s bullshit without reason. By the end of my time at that temporary job, I had created meaningful relationships with people who valued these qualities in me, rather than being intimidated or judgmental.
A little bonus lesson: When others are judging you, an easy way to help yourself be less bothered by that is to think about where judgment comes from. When you judge someone else, where does that come from? Usually some belief deep in yourself, some insecurity or sense of intimidation. It’s not usually about them at all. It’s about you. So that goes both ways. If someone’s judging you, it’s not your issue. It’s theirs. Let it go.
Not everyone likes me. But I can promise you, those who like me, really, truly like me for exactly who I am. And I know that for a fact. My life is authentic and real and so are my relationships. And I get to live every day being the most honest version of myself because I don’t live in fear of other peoples’ thoughts and reactions. Of course, that fear still exists. It’s human for that fear to creep up. But you can’t let it determine your actions. Move on, rise above, and channel your inner badass.