There’s been a lot of talk about confidence lately; particularly in women. Just about every argument I’ve heard has said, “women want to be liked”. Well, guess what, EVERYONE want’s to be liked. It’s human nature…it’s why we all remember middle school as being so awful. The desire to be liked is not a women’s issue, its a human issue.
So how do we overcome that issue? Many would argue that respect is more important than being liked. Many would also argue that making the right decision is more important than being liked. But those arguments don’t provide a solution. How can we train ourselves to not care?
I’d like to argue that we can’t. We can’t train ourselves not to care what others think of us. We can, on the other hand, learn to separate it from the decisions we make. If we openly acknowledge the need to be liked as a factor in our decision making we can allow it to be just that: a factor. It doesn’t need to be a deciding factor, it can be an equal factor…and the reality is: by pushing it aside we actually are letting it creep into our decision making unseen.
Think about it: are you able to distinguish the difference between that sinking feeling in your gut that says, “this is what we’ve got to do” and that sinking feeling in your gut that says, “people aren’t going to like me if I make this decision”? You might, but if you’re not paying attention, the need to be liked can outweigh the rational decision you just made in your head. You went with your gut! But your gut was saying, “please like me” instead of “this is the right decision”.
It sounds hypocritical, but the only way to overcome that need is to invite it in. Acknowledge it, accept it, use it. You may even find that acknowledging it actually helps spur your confidence.