Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

You Can’t Please Everyone….. So Stop Trying!

You can’t please everyone…. So stop trying.

My insecure little ego tells me I should be able to please everyone. I should be able to juggle all the balls at once and keep everyone happy. I can’t be sure if this is a learnt behaviour or maybe it is just who I am, but it has taken me a long time to come to terms with the feelings of failure which come when I don’t meet my own or other people’s expectations.

Permission Granted

I read an article by Jeff Goins recently where he talks about ‘waiting to be picked’. He says ‘For every person or group that picks you, there is one (or a hundred ones) that doesn’t. You can spend your whole life trying to please them all.’ The realisation that not everyone will be your friend. Not everyone will like you the way you want them to. Not everyone wants to hear your rants or opinions, can be difficult to accept. The people pleaser in me wants everyone to love my work. The realisation that not everyone will is a liberating idea and has given me, the writer, permission to be myself knowing that someone out there will appreciate my work, even though everyone won’t.

The Reviews

When I finished my debut novel, I asked my mum to pre-edit it for me. When she told me how terrible my grammar was (I believe the word was atrocious), I had to come to terms with the rejection. When she went on to say the story was great, I felt a sense of relief. I wasn’t a total failure.

When I had my book reviewed after publishing, I had a few great reviews. I also spoke with a reviewer who maintained the editing still sucked and I needed a professional’s help. My ego even ten years ago wouldn’t have handled this. It would have become defensive and probably would have thrown in the towel entirely. Instead, I paid to have my book professionally edited and put the book back in for review (will keep you posted on this one).

The Discovery

I can’t please everyone and not everyone will like my work, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore the great advise I have been offered and just chalk the opinions down to ‘they don’t appreciate my style’ or  ‘they are not my demographic anyway’. Being a people pleaser isn’t healthy, but taking good advice and converting it to present the best version of my work is very healthy and makes perfect sense.

Are you a People Pleaser with Fears of Rejection Like Me? 

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