Throughout most of my life I've had dreams with a recurring theme--I would be a guest at a milestone event in my life--my wedding, my birthday, and my funeral were frequent dreams--and while looking around, I would see 10 or so people. I'm not a therapist but this probably stemmed from a fear of not being likeable.
Whatever the root cause, this fear has caused me to avoid doing anything where I would have to invite people--as if the amount of people that showed up would show me if I was liked or not.
I sit here writing this post and looking back on the past few years where I've had celebrations for some milestones--my wedding and the birth of my daughter--I've realized that although the numbers of people that showed weren't a high order of magnitude the ones that did show helped me transcended my fear of being liked with their love.
This fear has shown itself in my work. I have often worried about putting anything out in the open befause of the worry that it won't be liked.
As Seth Godin often states, the work we put out won't be for everyone and not everyone is going to like it, and that's ok.
If you are reading this and have had fears like myself, remember that what you make won't be for everyone--how could it be? There are so many different types of people in the world with their different interests.
The artist Chronixx has a song named "Likes" that I believe relates. He says "A nuh everybody a guh like we, but still we irie... we do it for the love, we don't do it for the likes." Check it out here.
This post is a reminder to myself to do what I love and not worry about wanting to please everyone--it's not possible.