Who are you without your list of people to please?

Just to shut them up and come out on top

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Here’s a question comes up every once in a while.

Have you ever considered not wearing a nametag for a period of time, just to see if it feels any differently?

The short answer is, sure. The idea has been considered. Going nametag naked, as it were, would make for fascinating experiment within the experiment. It would no doubt yield some very interesting insights and experiences.

But wearing a nametag is way too fun. The disproportionate amount of joy that comes from this little sticker is simply too good to pass up.

In fact, now that it’s been twenty years, that means more of my life has been spent wearing a nametag than not. Isn’t that absurd and exciting? Why stop the insanity now?

But there is a larger issue within this question that’s worth unpacking. Because one of my observations is, the people who ask me about possibly not wearing a nametag all have the same personality.

They’re the authenticity police. You know the type. Nothing is ever enough for them. You always have to pass their little tests before they grant you the gift of their trust. They make you work for every little pellet of their approval.

It’s exhausting. And admittedly, for the first decade of wearing a nametag, the codependent inside of me wanted to please every one of these people at all cost, just to shut them up and come out on top.

Truth is, they’re probably right. Not wearing a nametag would make me break out in hives. I would feel less special, unlike myself and completely anonymous.

But if you’ll excuse the pun, I’m not in the business of sticking it to haters anymore.

Contrary to popular conditioning, proving people wrong is not the sweetest revenge. Earning respect from doubters is not a productive use of my time.

I’m not a child and this isn’t the schoolyard. My worthiness is intact, my locus of control is internal.

Tutu, the great theologian, has a beautiful saying about this very issue.

When it’s your heart, you don’t need to prove to anyone that you can’t live
without it.

This is our challenge. To trust that we’re good enough and that we don’t have to spend our life proving that we are.

To know that if our life is where we want it to be, we don’t have to listen to anybody.

Who are you without your list of people to please?

Written by

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.

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