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Sometimes the temptation to be a people pleaser is almost more than we can bear. We crave acceptance to such an extent that we do something that we know is wrong so others will like us. This is true about everybody. It is hard to stand up to the voices of the people.

As painful as it is to be criticized, it’s far worse to give up the course that is the right one for you just to be accepted into the “now-crowd.” Trying to please people will create a mind-set that produces traits of inferiority and perfectionism that make us obsessive-compulsive performers who think we are inadequate and that our service is never satisfactory.

We can sometimes think that nothing we do is acceptable so we should not tackle anything or we will feel like losers.  Understand this, it is the stress we generate trying to please people, not the demands of the service, that wears on us. And nothing will ever stress us more as will people-pleasing.

At some point you must ask yourself, “how much am I willing to lose in order to be accepted?” People pleasing must not be your motivation for serving and caring because:

  1. It will not work. Every vote you capture from being a people pleaser results in a loss in other areas.
  2. It makes you attempt the impossible. The more you fail to please people, the harder you try. So you get caught in a cycle of pressure, failure and discouragement.
  3. You become the source of your strength and this can be an exhausting lifestyle.
  4. Relying totally on self-motivation for strength can be a mental disaster.

Since serving successfully is a joint effort requiring cooperation with others who will often disagree with you, what is the alternative to people pleasing? Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of a higher power than yourself. Regardless of people’s opinions, you are created for a specific field of service. So celebrate your service and embrace your destiny. When you do that, it takes the stress out of serving to please people and you will be happy in following the drum beat of your heart.

So never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten