10/22/2013 03:03 pm ET Updated Dec 22, 2013

The Price We Pay When We Want to Be Liked by Everyone

Some people will not like what you say.
Some people will judge you.
Some people will disapprove.

Some people will lie to you.
Some people will misuse your trust.
Some people will ignore you.

Some people will say harsh words.
Some people will blame you.
Some people will gossip about you.

And then there's you.
Amidst it all.

And you might tune down what you say.
(Hoping to get their approval.)
And losing your voice along the way.

And you might adapt your style.
(Hoping to win them over.)
And losing your sparkle along the way.

And you might change what you do.
(Hoping to avoid the judgment.)
And losing your dreams along the way.

But know that losing yourself
is a high price to pay
in a futile attempt to quiet their harsh voices,
gain their respect and stop the judgment.

It's a high price for you.
And a high price for us.

Because you and us,
we both need your voice, your ideas, your sparkle,
your views, your creativity, your work
to make this world a better place.

This is a poem in the Poetry for the Soul series, encouraging you to do your thing instead of living out everyone else's expectations and working hard to be flawlessly perfect. Because living their dream and abandoning yours is exhausting, unfulfilling and such a pity. You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. There's no need to hide what makes you YOU. We need your one-of-a-kind brilliance.

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.