“It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine.” – Byron Katie
This quote popped up as the daily quote on my Insight Timer app last week and I love it!
It seems so simple at first glance, but honestly, it’s not.
Even when we’re feeling our most confident, most of us still feel an undercurrent of uncertainty as to whether or not others truly like us. It’s totally natural. We are communal beings. Evolutionarily, we are safest when we’re in a group. And the quickest way to lose that group is for that group to decide it doesn’t like us.
But here’s what I’ve discovered:
If, instead of focusing my energy on what others think of me, I focus instead on the things I love about MYSELF (flaws and all!), my appreciation for who and what I am grows... I like myself more and more.
And the more I like myself, the more I attract people who like themselves too!
And what do people who genuinely like themselves have in common?
They’re happy and secure with themselves, so they don’t feel the need to judge anyone else.
And that means they’re not judging me!
Think about it - By focusing on liking ourselves, we don’t have to worry if others like us because the people who end up around us don’t judge! How cool is that?
The opposite is also true.
If on some level, our thoughts and actions are based on the fear that others won’t like us – if THAT is where our focus is – we are bound to make choices and do things that don’t feel true to who we are at our core. And deep down we know we're doing that, and we don’t like that inauthentic version of ourselves so much as a result.
So guess what happens? We attract people who do the same, and therefore are bound to keep judging US too.
You see, it’s a cycle. But it’s a cycle we can consciously control.
Because it begins in every moment when we make the intentional choice of where to focus our energy:
- If we focus on trying to be someone that others will like, on a deep level we feel like a fraud, insecure, craving outside approval. And in this state, our sense of self is constantly influenced by the ebbs and flows of that approval, cycling into more and more knowing we're not living authentically. This increases our subconscious “dislike” of ourselves, and we attract people into our world who feel a similar “dislike” of the inauthentic version they’re portraying… and the judgement/dislike cycle continues.
- If, however, we focus on the things we love about ourselves, instead of on what others think of us, our self-love grows. And as that self-love grows, we attract others who also feel good about themselves. And those people don’t judge us (or anyone!) because they are happy and secure in who they are.
All that to say, yes! It is MY job to like me. It’s not selfish. It’s not egocentric. It’s where joy begins. And where the ability to share that joy with everyone around us is born.
And as far as the people who still judge? We no longer feel victimized by them. Instead we're able to feel compassion for them, as we understand they only judge out of fear of not being liked themselves.
So go “like” the hell out of yourself today. That authentic version of you is the most likable person in the world.