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Law of Productivity #3: You Can’t Please Everyone

More Productive You: A Guide To Living Well | Kristy's Cottage blog

Have you ever felt like it was your job to make everyone happy?

If so, you probably didn’t succeed, did you?

The reason why is simple:

You can’t please everyone. 

It’s impossible.

In fact, trying to make everyone happy is a garuanteed way to make yourself miserable.

We have a lot of ground to cover today, so please get comfy, grab a cup of hot tea or coffee, and download your printable worksheets for today’s post!

I’m passionate about today’s topic because I know how powerful it is to 

  • own your identity and purpose in Christ
  • live free of fear from other people’s rejection or misunderstanding
  • pursue your God-given passions and calling with focus and inner confidence

Are you ready? 

Let’s get started!

7 Surprising Habits of Productive Women | by Kristy Howard

Click the More Productive You tab on the blog menu (or just click here) to read more about this series, or to catch the previous “chapters.”

Today is our third “chapter” in the More Productive You series.

Download your printable worksheets for today’s “chapter” right here.

The Not-So-Simple Truth

If you and I want to be productive, emotionally healthy women who live and love well, then it’s important that we embrace this third law of productivity: 

You can’t please everyone. 

Sounds simple, right?

But it’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Not one of us would choose to live in bondage to fear of rejection or disapproval.

But that’s exactly what happens when we default to living a lifestyle that constantly seeks approval from other people in order to feel like we

  • are “okay”
  • have a purpose
  • feel a measure of confidence

We all probably know well-meaning, good-hearted women who “spin their wheels” and live life on an emotional roller coaster… all because they haven’t learned to let go of other people’s expectations of what they should do, and who they should be.

Some of us are people-pleasers by nature.

Others get caught in a web of guilt or manipulation.

Whatever motives fuel our need for approval from others, this law is universal: 

Productive, emotionally healthy people do not try to please everyone. 

Let’s look at a few good reasons why: 

Because God Doesn’t Expect It

Scripture is clear regarding whom God expects us to please, and it’s Him.

Consider the following: 

  • We are to live in a way that is “acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1).
  • We are to learn or “prove” what is pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10).
  • Our ambition, in this life and in eternity, is to please God (2 Corinthians 5:6-10).
  • Our lifestyle should be worthy of Christ, and pleasing to Him in all respects (Colossians 1:10).

Ask yourself this question—–> 

Are my daily choices motivated by my desire to please my Heavenly Father, or to earn other people’s approval?

Release the burden of trying to make everyone happy.

Instead, become a student of Christ.  Did you know that loving God, and growing in your relationship with Him, makes Him happy?

The more you learn to love Christ, and experience His deep and abiding love, the less important other people’s approval of you will seem.

Another reason why emotionally healthy people do not try to please everyone is-

Because Pleasing People Can Get in the Way of Pleasing God

When our life is all about making other people happy, or fulfilling someone’s expectations about how we should live, it’s easy to find ourselves way off track. 

Maybe even making choices that feel contrary to our core values, personality, and individual calling.

ALSO READ:  4 Simple Things I Try to Remember On the Fall Apart Days

"The more I learn to love Christ, and experience His deep and abiding love, the less important other people’s approval of me will seem." 31 Days to a More Productive You, KristysCottage.com

Again, the Word of God addresses this issue: 

  • “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
  • “Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” I Thessalonians 2:4
  • “Not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6

Living a faith-driven life of freedom, obedience, and devotion to Christ isn’t necessarily a guarantee that everyone will like us, or applaud us for our choices.

In fact, many times our commitment to living a life of faith and obedience to God means that others might

  • misunderstand us,
  • misjudge our motives,
  • criticize or even reject us.

Acts 4:19 provides us with a great paradigm: 

 Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide…

Another reason why trying to please everyone isn’t a wise idea, is this:

Because God Created You with Unique Potential

God broke the mold when He created you! 

You were created uniquely, on purpose. 

Your personality, the color of your eyes, the things that make you feel alive and energized about life… those were all His ideas.

There’s a reason why you don’t look just like your sister.

Or think just like the other women in your circle of friends.

Or have the same hobbies, interests, and talents that your girlfriends have.

God’s blueprint for you is different from His blueprint for them. 

Trying to “blend in” and make everyone happy will hinder that potential from coming to life.

I feel pretty concerned any time I see a family that lacks individuation, or a church congregation where no one is allowed to own any differences.

Something isn’t right when members of a family, or a body of Christ, are made to confirm to a cookie-cutter-mold. 

God certainly didn’t create us prefab!

Scripture has something to tell us about this: 

  • There are “many members” in the Body of Christ, and everyone isn’t created for the same purpose (Romans 12:4).
  • God created us uniquely, and tells us clearly that our gifts “differ” from each other (Romans 12:6).
  • As Christians, our gifts, our callings, and our responsibilities are “diverse” (I Corinthians 12:4-12).
  • We are not to try to be like someone else, or become jealous of another Christian’s role within the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:15-21).
  • If we compare ourselves with others, we “are not wise” (I Corinthians 10:12)

Law of Productivity #3: You Can't Please Everyone | 31 Days to a More Productive You @ KristysCottage.com

My friend, living to

  • “blend in,”
  • conform to someone else,
  • or win other people’s approval

will waste the uniqueness that God dreamed up when He created you. 

There’s a lot of wisdom in the simple little phrase, Be yourself. 

God is most pleased and glorified when you live into your own, unique potential.

Another reason why healthy, productive people don’t try to make every happy, is this:

Because God Created You for a Unique Purpose

Do you know WHY you were created uniquely?  

Not just so you’d be the only red head in a family of blondes. 🙂

Or the creative leftie in a family of right-handed scholars.

God made you uniquely, for a unique purpose.

I was reminded of this amazing uniqueness recently, as I was pondering our own children and the people God has brought into their lives.

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Jeremy and I enrolled two of our kids in a reading therapy class at a local University Model school last year, and I’ve been so pleased with their reading therapist.

She’s gentle, patient, and so encouraging.  Which is exactly what my two, timid little readers need right now!

At the same school, our oldest daughter and oldest son are enrolled in a weekly Karate class.  They have an amazing instructor who keeps them in line and doesn’t put up with anything other than self discipline, hard work, and endurance.

Two very different classes, and two very different women who teach them!

Just because one is patient and nurturing, and one is “tough” and strict, doesn’t make either of them of less value than the other.

And I couldn’t imagine what would happen if they tried to switch places!

Both of these women are wise enough to live into their God-given potential and skills, and invest their talents where they can make a difference and inspire others.

That’s what we’re all called to do.

There’s a reason why you have the personality, skills, limitations, and challenges that you have.

God has an eternal purpose that is just for you, and living to discover, own, and fulfill that purpose is the best way to invest your life. 

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 1:10

What if I Don’t Really Know Who I Am?

Now, I’m going to venture off the beaten path right here.

Maybe you’ve been reading this today and thinking,

Yes, I want to please God!  Yes, I believe that He loves me and created me with one-of-a-kind potential.  I want to live into that potential and fulfill His plan.  But I have no idea how to do that!  I’m not even sure what I’m good at, or who I really am.  How do I find that out?  How do I even take the first step toward being a productive, emotionally healthy woman?

I’m going to leave you with a few helpful resources to help you grow into

  • a truly healthy Christian woman,
  • with a defined identity
  • and the emotional wholeness to live a productive life.

I’ll unpack more about this concept of emotional health and identity as we move through the remaining weeks of More Productive You.

For now, please take a few minutes to check out the resources I’ve listed below.

Kristy’s Top Resources for Cultivating Emotional Health, Identity and Purpose as a Christian Woman:

Kristy's Top Resources for Cultivating Emotional Health, Identity & Purpose as a Christian Woman | KristysCottage.com

You can also download my printable worksheets for today’s “chapter.” 

{Download printable worksheets for “You Can’t Please Everyone” right here.}

I created these for you to use during your quiet time or devotions this week.  They will help you “own” today’s topic, and dig a little deeper into how it can apply to your personal life.

Next #motivationmonday, we’ll talk about

  • identifying unhealthy patterns of thinking 
  • breaking away from destructive emotional or spiritual patterns
  • owning the changes we need to make in order to live healthy, productive lives.

Here’s to living well, 



P.S. Thanks a million for sharing this post!

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  1. Hi friend! I loved this post. Amen and amen!
    Hope you’re doing well! Just getting a moment to stop by. Your blog looks great!

    1. Hello Monica!

      So good to hear from you, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Hope you’re doing well. Love you!

  2. Thanks for your thoughts. I would also recommend “The Gift of Being Yourself” by David Benner as a resource for working on God-given identity. It would be helpful for people-pleasers OR those of us with other struggles.