Yesterday, I had a bit of a blow to my ego when I received a bit of unwanted criticism. Being an artist and entrepreneur, I should be used to it now, but it still hurts.
It wasn't the first time someone felt a need to hate on me, it won't be the last either.
I encounter a lot of creative people and this sort of thing can really hamper creativity, puncture a hole in the balloon of motivation and deflate confidence.
I have been writing about these universal challenges in my upcoming book. That too, I'm sure will at some point receive criticism of it's own.
Something that we often forget, is that the story we tell ourselves is just one version of reality. We do have options that can empower us, if we want them. Our reality can be rewritten.
For one, we can switch our perspectives and find something positive in awkward and uncomfortable situations. We can even find gratitude towards the critic.
Look, whenever we put ourselves out there, someone is going to have something to say about it. Often good, but sometimes bad.
We can avoid this by one of two ways. 1. We can hide our talents, avoid our interests and never try or think anything new..or… 2. we can learn ways to deal with it that feels good.
I'll bet you're a little like me in that no matter what anyone says, you're not going to stop what you love. You're not going to fall into the conformity of society. This of course means that the criticism isn't going way anytime soon.
Here's some tactics that help me when I'm on the receiving end of haters.
Find truth in it.
I am not saying that the person is right. I'm just saying that there's some morsel of wisdom in there if you look deep enough.
Maybe that means that there is something that you generally need to work on. Be honest with yourself. Is this an opportunity to work on improving your skills or attitude? Maybe your work wasn't as good as you thought. Swallow your pride and look for areas of improvement.
Sometimes though, even after deep self-analyzation, the truth you're seeking is simply that some people love to be jerks. That's their issue, not yours. So, maybe the gold nuggets of wisdom includes things like:
“Whew, I'm glad I'm not as rude and negative as that person“
Or, maybe you could even thank the person for criticizing you.
Well, for reminding you to not get too attached to compliments.
When I take a step back, I realize that most people are pretty kind and loving. I happen to try really hard to put out good work, so most of what I receive from you beautiful people out there is love. That said, when I get too used to that and I get hit by sucker punch of negativity, it can really be painful.
One of my lessons from this recent bit of criticism, is gratitude. If I could speak directly to them, I'd thank them for motivating me to raise my bar even further. I'd also thank them for reminding me that “this too shall pass“. The compliments and the insults will float by. It's all good. I'll just keep doing my thing with love and passion and hope to get more smiles than frowns.
So, to all the people out there who insist on shifting people's moods to the negative side of the spectrum, thank you. Thank you for making us stronger. Thank you for pushing us to try harder. Thank you for inspiring us to meditate longer and work on self-care more and be even more dedicated to being a ray of light in the world.