I spent many, many, many years saying YES to everyone and everything, for the simple reason that I wanted to make everyone happy.

Why did I want to make everyone happy?

Because I wanted everyone to like me, and I was afraid that if I ever turned anybody down, they would be disappointed, and they wouldn't like me as much.

But guess what happened when I finally learned how to start saying NO to people?

You'll never guess.

Here's what happened: People were disappointed and, indeed, they did not like me as much!


Holy shit, it was totally TRUE! All that I had ever feared would happen came to pass — people didn't like it, and I had fewer friends. (Or rather I had fewer "friends", I should say.) Which makes perfect sense, because, hey, let's be honest, I also hate it when people tell me NO, and when I don't get what I want.

But am I in the business of giving every human being on earth everything that they want all the time? Is that a wise business to even be in? Has that ever been a successful business model for anyone?

(It's actually not, you guys. I know this, because I seriously tried it for decades. Here's what happens: Your life explodes, you lose your mind, and then everyone ends up pissed off at you, anyhow.)

So set your own course. Stay true to yourself and love yourself and be a responsible steward of your own life…and then enjoy the people who still remain around you — those who still want to know you, and still want to love you, and still want be part of your life, even when you are standing in your own truth, and maybe not exhaustively giving everyone every single thing they ever wanted anymore.

As for the rest of them? Bless them and forget about them and let them go…and say a prayer that they will someday learn to love themselves just as much as you are slowly learning to love yourself.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall