Every single human on the planet has a part of them that wants validation and approval from other people. It’s not selfish and it’s not necessarily a sign of insecurity. It’s just a basic need. Certainly some people have a much higher need for approval than others, but if you find yourself wanting others to like you, you’re not alone.
I teach a lot about releasing ourselves of the need for approval from others and I think it’s important to always remember that what other people think of us is much more about them than it is about us. But I don’t believe there is anything wrong with enjoying the feeling of getting a compliment or knowing you have raving fans. The more positive validation we get, the easier it becomes to love ourselves, which is when we show up the strongest and do the most good in the world. So here are 5 ways to grow your fan base and be that girl who everybody loves.
1. Be vulnerable. When people are uncomfortable or trying to hide their flaws we know it, and we might have compassion and understanding for them but we don’t feel drawn to them. What we love is authenticity, which includes vulnerability. We love Jimmy Fallon because he can make fun of himself. We love Oprah because when someone asks her a question she doesn’t know the answer to she says, “I have no idea.” And isn’t it ironic that we hide our flaws because we are afraid others won’t like us? Really it’s in the exposing of our flaws and showing our humanness that we attract lifelong friends and fans.
Did I ever tell you about the time I made a complete fool of myself? The chorister in church got up with a hymn-book and I was distracted trying to wrangle a crawling child. Since I already knew the hymn by heart, I began singing because that’s what we do in the Mormon church, right? I sang an entire line of the alto part of, Because I have been given much I too must give, when suddenly a girl next to me nudged me and said, “She’s singing a solo!” Oops. You like me a little more right now don’t you?
2. Be a better listener than talker. I once heard a speaker whose name I can’t remember (lets call him Ted) talk about the time he met a man and decided to just be genuinely curious about him. He asked question upon question about the man’s life and then clarifying questions to understand on an even deeper level. He did not reply with his own stories or share his opinions. He just listened and kept asking questions. At the end of the conversation, the man commented that Ted was one of the most interesting people he had ever met. He didn’t realize he only felt that way because of Ted’s genuine interest in him and his ability to allow him to feel heard.
3. Be present = be fun. Genuine play and fun lives in the present moment. If you watch kids at play, you’ll see they are always in the present. Maybe they’re having a water fight or on the swings or playing tag. It’s all fun and they are only thinking about what’s going on right now. As we grow up, our minds get more complicated and we want to stay in the past (Guess what Sally said last night at dinner?) or in the future, (I just hope I can find a job before too long or we’re going to be in trouble). When in a social setting, people who can only live in the past or future aren’t the most fun to be around. The fun ones are playing like kids play. They’re making up games, laughing out loud, or genuinely interested in the people they are meeting. They’re present, and they’re fun.
I have a friend named Gia who is very good at this. I know when I see her I’m going to laugh my head off because she will crack jokes about what’s going on around us. She notices the things most people in their past/future minds don’t notice. We’ll have good conversation too, but she’ll always bring me back to the present and find the fun and humor in it. I always crave more Gia time.
4. Give people space to feel whatever they are feeling. When a friend shares news with us, we tend to assume we understand and react according to how we think they feel or how we would feel in their shoes. Sometimes we even react based on how we want them to feel. We want our friends to be happy, right? Problem is, we all need space to experience a whole range of emotions and when you learn to provide that space for people, they will flock to you.
Several years ago when my husband took a new job, we knew it would mean a relocation for our family and I was very nervous about where we would be sent. My friends and family all knew of my concern and were waiting anxiously to hear the news about our new home. When I found out we’d be outside of Sacramento, CA, I texted all of them and most of them replied things like: “That’s so great! It’s really pretty there! I know some people who love it there!” They had great intentions of wanting to help me feel good. I love them for that. But the BEST text I got was from my friend Arron Lico who said, “How does that feel to you?” He just allowed me space and time to feel however I wanted to feel. He knew that I would eventually come to accept and love whatever path life took me on, but that I might need someone to give me the space to feel disappointed, or worried, OR excited about it for a bit. There is no wrong answer when it comes to our feelings.
5. Love yourself like your life depends on it. True confidence comes from knowing and embracing all parts of yourself. The parts you appreciate and the parts you want to improve upon. It comes from really exposing all of your strengths and weaknesses to yourself and then giving yourself permission to not be perfect. It comes from having a relationship with yourself where your inner voice says things like, “I love you anyway,” and “I am so proud of you.” When you have true confidence (not the pretend kind we see so often), you attract your fans in droves. Because true confidence means you do steps 1 – 4 without even thinking about it.
One of my mentors, Brooke Castillo, is very good at this. Ask what she thinks of herself and she’ll say, “I think I am amazing,” and you can feel that she genuinely does. She knows she’s amazing because she knows she did not create herself. She’ll tell you that the credit goes to a higher authority who created her and every single one of us. That means we are all amazing. We’re more connected and more similar than we realize. And people are dying to be around Brooke…myself included. It feels good to be around her. Her confidence in herself translates to a love for others that makes you want to hang out with her. She’s one of my all time favorites and she has fans all over the globe.
The truth is you don’t need anyone else’s approval. If you’re happy with you and you feel God is happy with you, that’s all you truly need. But there’s nothing wrong with enjoying having a fan base either. We all need a little validation and it helps us connect with more people in the end. Try out just one of these 5 tips this weekend and you’ll connect with yourself on a higher level and you’ll notice your people will begin showing up in droves.
Have a fantastic weekend!