Here’s Why Nobody Cares About Your Accomplishments (And Why That’s Actually a Good Thing.)

I’m Nicole and now I’m going to tell you a bunch of things about myself that nobody, absolutely nobody cares about.

  • I was in the program or gifted kids all through elementary and middle school.
  • I was the news anchor on the morning announcements in elementary school because I could read better than anyone else.
  • I was in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. I was chosen because I was the teacher’s pet.
  • I was the salutatorian of my high school and had to give a speech in front of a stadium of people.
  • I made the honor roll throughout college, I also made the dean’s list.

Why did I tell you all these things?

Because up until a few days ago, I still believed that somebody, anybody, out there actually cared about my accomplishments. I believed it so much that the weight of my own expectations made it hard to breathe.

But guess what?

Nobody cares. They don’t care about my accomplishments and they don’t care about yours. Nobody cares.

Now, I don’t want to send you into a spiral of sadness. It’s not that nobody cares about you. It’s just that nobody cares about what you do (or don’t do in life.) Nobody cares if you win a Nobel Peace Prize, get invited on the Oprah podcast, or write a New York Times bestseller. Nobody cares and you shouldn’t either.

Sure your closest friends or family members might send you a card or a congratulatory text message if you get engaged, get a promotion, or get knocked up. But they don’t care because you achieved something.

They care because you care and they care about YOU.

They care that you’re happy. And that you feel loved.

The people that love you would care about you just the same if you dropped out of college or you graduated with honors. They’d also probably care about you if you stubbed your toe on the side of the bed.

The point is this. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you don’t do, they still care. Because they care about you - the purest version of you (sans all the labels, filters, and identifiers.)

I founded a non-profit this past year. I cared a lot about it. I didn’t tell a lot of people because I assumed they wouldn’t care.

Some people though, like my mom, I did tell. She was happy for me, proud of me, she said.

But she’d be proud of me if I dropped a potato on the floor and ate it anyway. “5-second rule,” I’d say. She would laugh, guaranteed.

When I decided to leave the organization due to conflicts with my business partner I had a weight on my chest that I’d never experienced before.

I went to an energy healer.
I booked an appointment with a therapist.
I did all the kundalini I could find on Youtube.
I danced, I shook, I lit incense, I prayed, I jogged, I wrote, I doodled.

And still, nothing helped.

I tried to get ahold of my mom but she was visiting family in the next state over and wasn’t around her phone much. Finally, I just sent her a Facebook message letting her know what had happened and we made an appointment to talk the next day.

“I unfollowed the organization on Facebook and I’m not going to like the posts anymore,” she declared within 5 minutes of chatting. For a split second, this made me sad. How easy it was for her to dismiss all the hard work and effort I’d put into this. But then I laughed.

My mom didn’t care. She didn’t care about my role at the organization. Or how many people’s lives I could have changed. Or how many donations we’d receive. Or how many sponsors would be lining up to work with us.

She just didn’t care.

She did care, however, if I was happy or not. I assured her that though the decision weighed heavily on my heart, I was definitely happier because of it.

We hung up and I felt lighter, the way you feel when you’ve been tenderly cared for your entire life. But I still couldn’t figure out why it hurt to breathe, why I couldn’t sleep. That night, I decided to turn my phone off at 8p so I could better resist the glowing lure of Whatsapp notifications or Instagram posts. I also decided to avoid the TV. Instead, I opened my craft drawer and noticed some bundles of string and colorful beads, remnants of an unfinished dream catcher. I took out the supplies, nestled on the couch with a warm mug of tea, and began looping the string around the metal circle, a repetitive motion that slowly started to put me at ease. I felt myself enter a sort of trance state, the nerves in my body finally letting go. I was more than happy, I was at peace.

It was then that the phrase “nobody cares” popped into my head causing me to burst out in laughter.

The ones who TRULY love us for our essence, don’t care how much money we make, what title we have in the company, how many countries we’ve visited, how many miles we run, how gluten-free our bread is, how many inspiring books we read, how many non-profit organizations we co-found, how much we weigh, or if we spend our evenings making fugly ass dream catchers.

They don’t care. Nobody cares.

So why do we beat ourselves up when relationships end, careers expire, or dreams dissipate? Why do we feel like we are never doing enough? Why do we place more importance on getting ahead than enjoying the now?

Because we think “they” will care if we fail, if we fall, or if we drop the ball.

But they don’t care. They only care if you’re happy. And you should too.

Moral of the story?

Do more of what makes you happy. If you aren’t happy, realize that nobody cares what you’re doing anyway and then go do something else.

To all my fellow overachievers, overthinkers, and perfectionists….stop caring about what others think of you and just enjoy your damn life.

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Nicole Paulus

Squarespace website designer and writer in Berlin. Helping Conscious Business Owners navigate the Squarespace platform and gain clarity around their content.