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Outward Focus Stunts Personal Growth

Intelligent and talented people do certain things that prevent them from fulfilling their potential. Most dangerous of all is the fear of being disliked and the craving for being liked.

When you are afraid of being disliked, you try your best to please everyone. You bend backwards, sideways and around corners to avoid disapproval. You feel obliged to attend events when you’d rather be elsewhere. You make yourself small to avoid judging eyes or avoid offending others. You stay silent to distance yourself from criticism, or worse, allow atrocities to continue.

The most significant barrier to personal growth is the craving for being liked, for being revered, for being famous. You change your appearance, mannerism, speech and preferences to keep an illusory audience pleased. The social media “likes” and comments don’t amount to anything except a fleeting moment of glee.

This craving and fear of being liked or disliked stunts personal growth. You cannot know your potential if you constantly seek approval or cower in criticism. You cannot fulfil your potential if you continuously focus outwards.

Focus inwards. By focusing inwards, you discover what you like or dislike, want or shun. You explore the depths of your desires and the breadth of your curiosities. Then, you expand towards the space that is authentically you.