Likeable. So what does this word mean?
I was only 29 and my life was put into what felt like a tailspin.
I have always viewed myself in a positive light when that all changed.
I had just transitioned into a new position when my boss told me that I am unlikeable and fires me.
Wait…I am me.
I have been called happy, upbeat, and kind. How can I be unlikeable? It took me a few months to get my bearings and understand what I wanted to do- probably much longer than it should have. I needed a new view of the world around in order to accept myself and to move forward.
Graduate school was always my dream but I could no longer accept myself as others viewed me. I required the support of my friends and family to refocus. I received plenty of advice during this time. One piece of advice from a friend truly motivated me. He told me, “If you do not like something, change it. If you cannot change it, then change the way you think about it.” It was time for me to stop allowing their views and beliefs of who they believed I am to influence my thinking. It was putting me down and not allowing me to move forward. I could not change what had happened but I could change my view of myself into a more positive one.
I had to stop beating myself up and allow positive thinking to take over.
It took some time but I know who I am and that is all that began to matter.
We are often told that we apologize too much. This may be true if we are apologizing for who we are or what we believe in. I accomplished my dream of graduate school. This May, I graduated with my Master in Public Administration degree. I had the ability to work on an educational project with the CDC.
- I have learned who I am- quirks, faults, and all.
- I know I can be bossy and may be viewed as unlikeable.
- I know that someone else’s opinion of me no longer matters and not to apologize for whom I am.
- I have also learned that life is a marathon. Pace yourself but do not take the scenic route.
- Follow your dreams and let go of your fears. We all have them so please do not ever feel alone.
- Everyone has a story. Allow it to be appreciated and validated. Inspire them as well. Do not fear failure as I did because success is right around the corner. I drew plenty of encouragement from reading inspirational quotes and poetry.
- Lean on your spouse, family, and friends. They love you and want you to succeed.
I hope my story inspires you not to be afraid, be bold and brave in whom you are, and have the courage to tell your own story to inspire others.
Editor’s Note: Hey Valerie, I think you’re more than likable and pretty awesome. Keep going and thanks for putting yourself out there and encouraging others to do so!