Did you know that one of the greatest regrets of people on their death bed is that they lived the life that other people wanted for them. They weren’t true to themselves. They made people pleasing choices. They feared disapproval and rejection.
Being yourself – your most glorious, unfettered self – is hard and will inevitably attract disapproval. On that point, I give you this wonderful poem by Sophie Hannah:
If People Disapprove Of You
Make being disapproved of your hobby.
Make being disapproved of your aim.
Devise new ways of scoring points In the Being Disapproved Of Game.
Let them disapprove in their dozens.
Let them disapprove in their hordes.
You’ll find that being disapproved of Builds character, brings rewards.
Just like any form of striving
Don’t be arrogant; don’t coast On your high disapproval rating.
Try to be disapproved of most.
At this point, if it’s useful,
Draw a pie chart or a graph.
Show it to someone who disapproves.
When they disapprove, just laugh.
Count the emotions you provoke: Anger, suspicion, shock.
One point for each of these
And two for each boat you rock.
Feel yourself warming to your task – You do it bloody well.
At last you’ve found an area
In which you can excel.
Savour the thrill of risk without
The fear of getting caught.
Whether they sulk or scream or pout,
Enjoy your new-found sport.
Meanwhile all those who disapprove
While you are having fun
Won’t even know your game exists
So tell yourself you’ve won.
Go forth and be bold, my lovelies!