Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, sparked a global conversation about what it means to find your calling and fulfill your life's purpose. Her personal transformation -- from a devastating divorce to a yearlong, soul-searching quest around the world -- resonated deeply with millions of readers who could relate to Gilbert's search for authentic happiness.
While Gilbert was sharing a lifetime's worth of lessons with a live audience on Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend Tour, one reader asked her an interesting question: What's her greatest regret? As usual, her answer was honest and insightful.
"My greatest regret was that I didn't learn how to tell the truth sooner," Gilbert says. "That was a really big, hard thing for me that I actually have to say I'm still working on."
Gilbert admits she spent her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood telling people what she thought they wanted to hear. "You asked me a question, I didn't look into myself for the answer," she says. "I look into your eyes like, 'What do you want me to say?' and I try to bring you that. And that got me in so much trouble."
The reason is simple: we all want to be liked. "For years, I didn't say no to people and I didn't say the truth to people because I didn't want them to not like me, and I didn't want them to be mad at me and I didn't want them to be disappointed."
When she finally learned how to say no to people, Gilbert says exactly what she feared came true: they were disappointed and didn't like her as much. "And that's fine," she says. "You let them go and you keep around you the people who can live in your truth with you. And the rest of them, say goodbye."
Find out when Oprah's Life the Life You Want Weekend Tour is coming to a city near you.