Last Thursday, when I’m watching my son’s baseball practice, another parent had an unusual t-shirt on.
Surrounded by green and orange graphics, it read, “Haters Welcome.”
“What’s your shirt say,” I asked while smiling.
“It says ‘Haters Welcome’ – I liked to wear it when I was coaching because when we had haters, I knew we were on the right track.”
The next day, I stopped in a sporting goods store, looking for the t-shirt this man was wearing. Although I wasn’t able to find the exact same shirt, I found something that was even better.
In big, bold letters it read,
“IF YOU HAVE HATERS YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.”
Amen, I thought, while taking it to the cashier.
Now, I realize a fair amount of people don’t understand why someone would enjoy wearing a t-shirt that says, in effect, “I love haters.”
But successful people readily understand you cannot get where you want to go in life if you’re addicted to the approval of others. To be successful, you must be independent of the good and bad opinions of others. To completely fit in with the masses, to attempt to garner the approval of 100 percent of everyone, is to commit emotional suicide.
You cannot get everyone to like you, no matter how hard you try. At the same time, you cannot get everyone to hate you, no matter how much you may deserve their wrath.
So, why not be true to yourself. Why not be who you are and see who sticks around. Chances are excellent that those who stay around are the only REAL friends you’ll ever have.
One of the chief hallmarks of a successful human being is his skill at letting criticism roll of his back. If you receive feedback that is helpful, you’d be ignorant to ignore it completely or tune it out. But if the feedback isn’t real feedback, but rather a personal attack, then you are better off with a thick black face.
Having a wall of emotional protection around yourself is a good idea. No one truly succeeds without this wall – and t-shirts that proclaim “I love haters” are wonderful because they remind you and the world that your mission in life is NOT to please everyone. It cannot be done.
Being IMMUNE to the criticism of others, though, is the second step. It’s not the first.
The first step is to stop criticizing yourself. Stop brow-beating yourself, putting yourself down, telling yourself you can’t. If you’re against YOU, it’s hard for others to be for you.
But when you’re on your own side, you’re not concerned whether or not everyone likes you. You like you – and that’s the most important “liker” of them all.
Ironically, when you’re true to yourself, when you no longer concern yourself with how many people like or dislike you, that’s when you not only perform, act and work at your best – it’s when more people than ever jump on the band wagon and want to be around you.
Yep, you’ll still have haters, but you’ll have a lot more REAL people around you; people who are happy to see your success instead of being jealous of it.
So yeah, “Haters Welcome.”
See yourself smiling and enjoying another’s hate – and watch how the stress, angst and frustration of NOT wanting anyone to dislike you gets flushed down the drain.
What a way to live.
Sure, go ahead and picture others liking you as well – but before you do so, make sure you like yourself.
P.S. Hey, wait a minute: Within the next couple days I’m going to announce a new product – something that will give you power over haters, as well as anything you think is blocking you from the life you really want to live. Stay tuned.