In the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson explains that it’s not about not giving a fuck about nothing, but not giving a fuck about the unimportant things. He talks about finding the right values to guide you. I’ve been doing a little bit of introspection about this idea and reevaluating my values, both the conscious ones and the unconscious ones.
Good, healthy values are achieved internally. Something like creativity or humility can be experienced right now. You simply have to orient your mind in a certain way to experience it.
I’ve come to realize (or put another way: admitted to myself) that what has been guiding a large part of my life’s decisions is being likable to others. By using other people to measure my self worth I leave it completely out of my hands. How I feel about myself is up to everyone else.
Because of that, it’s very easy for me to judge myself, to change my behaviors, and in some cases to hide my beliefs just to avoid conflict.
The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.
For every person that does like me, there are likely even more that don’t like me. That’s uncomfortable to think about, but it’s true.
It’s not going to be easy, but I believe throwing out this value I’ve held my entire life will ultimately lead to a better sense of self worth. I won’t be tied down by constantly being in doubt of my actions because other people might not like it. (Aside: I’ve also realized I tend to conflate people not liking my actions or decisions with not liking me personally. This kind of thinking is destructive and something I am working to change.)
This doesn’t mean I’m going to start being an asshole. But there will probably be a lot of uncomfortable moments, with myself internally and with others. There is no growth without conflict.
Not everyone can like me, and that’s ok.