"Love me or hate me, both are in my favor… if you love me I'll always be in your heart, if you hate me I'll always be in your mind."
I don't remember exactly when I first heard this quote by Shakespeare, but I do remember that I liked it right away. Since then, I've even given it to people as a reason for doing things I know some people won't approve, and I also think it's a good reminder that we have more power over ourselves than the people who might hate us.
In fact, I believe this sums up most relationships. You usually feel one way or another about someone, at least someone you actually know – we form opinions, and they're rarely static, or neutral; we agree with someone, or we don't, and from there we should still respect them but we're aware of differences. And oftentimes, on the receiving end of that, we prefer people to like us than not – naturally. However, that's not always going to be the case.
If you stand up for something – almost anything at all – there's always going to be at least one person who disagrees, who opposes you. So if you stand up for what you believe in, you're often going to end up with enemies of some sort, whether they have a real reason to dislike you or even if they're simply jealous of your success or determination.
Yet the thing is, you have so much more power over how you feel and act than they do – even if you feel that their opinions could indeed affect your decisions. See, someone who hates you is more likely than not jealous, and that often means you're doing something right. If you don't let it get to you, you can keep up your success, and their judgment of you is simply taking away from their own time and efforts that they could put to something much greater.
The less time we spend worrying about other people, the more we can spend working on ourselves. In the end, we'll never get everyone to agree with us, so there will be those who dislike who we are or what we stand for. However, once we know that we can decide not to let it affect us, not to let it get in our way. If someone keeps dwelling on what we have or have not done, they're only wasting time on something that can't be changed – why not spend time on what you can actually work on instead?