Why the Like Button is a trap and how to move towards freedom

One of the biggest problems that individuals face is the Like button. We’re used to seeing this button online, on Twitter, Facebook, etc.  But this button doesn’t just exist on social media. It exists inside of us.

We feel our Like button being pushed when a client gives us praise…

And we feel it NOT being pushed when we over-deliver and don’t receive any acknowledgement…

What’s worse than not being Liked?

When people push our Dislike button and criticise what we’ve done.

Everyone wants to be liked

Of course, it’s human nature to want to be liked and want to avoid being disliked.

But…(and you knew this was coming, right?)

Focusing on other people’s Likes and Dislikes limits our progress. It prevents us making our own choices. It stops us living life for ourselves.

Now at this point…you might be wondering where I’m going with this post.

Me too.

Let me expand on my thinking and hopefully all will become clear.

Parental likes and dislikes

We all have or had parents/guardians. People who raise us, care for us, and want us to do the right thing.

(Aside: Although I’m talking about parents, we could also be talking about siblings, employees, bosses, spouses, children, colleagues, clients.)

In fact, most of us are acutely aware of our parents wishes…

They want us to do things like:

  • Eat our greens
  • Study hard
  • Go to university
  • Become a doctor
  • Settle down and provide Grandchildren

And they’re not shy about sharing their thoughts and wishes…

They tell us what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong…

What they Like and Dislike.

Living For Your Parents

Now you can try to make your parents happy by only doing what they wish…

But that means your life is no longer your own. That you’re merely a vessel for your parents wishes and desires.  And ultimately, that you no longer have freedom.

Do your parents really want to take away your freedom?

Probably not.

However, like the rest of us, they don’t know any better. They believe they need to continually tell us right from wrong.

(Aside: at this point I’m not going to digress into ‘how to parent’)

Unfortunately, if we focus on following their wishes and making them happy, we’ll never be able to change our life for the better. We’ll never be free to make the changes that lead to progress and happiness.

Start Living Your Life For You

So how do you regain your freedom?

How do you regain control of your life so you can take positive steps forward?

By separating tasks.

We need to understand that tasks belong to different people:

  1. Liking and disliking you is someone else’s task. 
  2. Striving to achieve your goals and live your life is your task

Your task in life is not to make other people like you. The task of liking and disliking you belong to someone else. (Aside: even if you did make this your task and did everything they wish, they still might not like you — kinda pointless, right?)

Your task in life is to focus on continually improving yourself, and to strive to set and achieve goals that move you towards a better future.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about other people or ignore them.

It just means you shouldn’t make other people’s Likes and Dislikes your north star.

What You Should Do Next

1. Goal Review

You should write down 10-30 of your current business, work, and life goals.

Review these goals and ask yourself…

  1. Is this a goal that exists because I want to achieve it?
  2. Is this a goal that exists because I believe it will make someone else like me?

Consider removing goals from your list that only exist to satisfy someone else. 

Pin your remaining goals up somewhere you can see them. Review them regularly and ensure they remain your goals and not someone else’s.

2. Social Media Strengthening

Having the courage to be disliked (or at least not liked) takes practice. And from repeated practice comes inner strength. By getting better at handling Likes and Dislikes online, you’ll improve your ‘Like’ resilience in all aspects of your life.

When contributing on Social Media, be mindful of the impact of other people liking or disliking your posts and comments. Try to be resilient to Likes and Dislikes (including lack of Likes).  Try to treat people’s feedback with an even mind and not let it cloud decisions about your life tasks and goals….

Remember, you are living your life for you and nobody else.

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