Criticism can sting. But, it seems to hurt a whole lot less if you have a soft cushion of self-love to fall back on. Spend lots of time loving yourself.
let go…of it all.
Once you start putting yourself out there, making significant changes in your life, and generally living a little more fully, people will take notice. You’ll get good reviews and bad reviews. What I’ve found is that, if you get caught up in the good reviews, the bad reviews are tougher to take. Let go of the opinions of others: the good and the bad. Emotional freedom, baby.
Check in with yourself. Are you being real? Once you start writing for other people’s approval, you start to get caught up in the game, making you become more vulnerable to the criticism. It’s kinda like this:
“I spent 30 hours writing this blog post that I really hope Suzie reads and loves.”
…in comes criticism from Suzie, and you’re crushed. Try it this way instead:
“I spent 30 hours digging deep into my soul, and I created a blog post I love. I’m gonna share it with the world because I think it might help someone. Anyone. And if it doesn’t, I’m cool with that because it helped me.”
I’ve written a few blog posts that have been sitting in my archives for months. Why? Because when I ask my future-self (the “me” five years from now) if this is a good thing to share, she’s not 100% certain.
Before you share your stuff with the world, ask your future-self if it’s something you really want to put out to the public. If the answer is “yes,” then go for it! If the answer is “no,” archive it. Let it cook a little longer; maybe it’s not quite ready yet.
be okay with reality.
Putting yourself, your art, your work, and your soul on the interweb absolutely makes life more complicated. And less private. (And more rewarding, in my humble opinion.) Know what you’re signing up for, and make sure you’re really okay with it. Really, really.
it’s all about perspective.
There’s some really helpful constructive criticism I’ve gotten over the years. For those bits of wisdom, I’ve forever grateful. However, much of the criticism (especially the really nasty kind) is more about the person delivering it than the person it’s directed at. Nasty negative Nancys (or Normans) are that way because they are hurt, or sad, or fearful. Send them love. They need it. Then, move on.
communicate whole-heartedly instead of open-heartedly.
This is a concept I’ve been playing with recently. It’s still being formed, but I’ve found it to be incredibly useful.
Wholehearted communication means that you’re communicating fully from your heart. It’s real, deep, and meaningful. Good stuff to be sharing with the world. What makes this a safer way to communicate is you’re detached from the outcome. Whether the other person likes it or not, judges you or not, you’re okay with it all. In a sense your heart is protected.
Openhearted communication is communicating in a more vulnerable way. You’re opening your heart up. You’re pouring your soul into the other person and you want them to be gentle with your open-heart. You want them to genuinely hear the song of your soul. You are attached to the outcome. This type of communication requires deep trust and safety.
When you’re worried about judgment or criticism, communicate wholeheartedly.
Here’s what I’ve found: When you march to your own beat, the people who expect you to be marching to their beat don’t like it a whole lot. They might criticize as a way to try to get you back in line. You don’t have to comply. Dance your own dance!
On your side, always, and with love,
P.S. My lovely graphic designer has created some beautiful funky inspirational images to share with you. As soon as the new website is ready I’ll send you the link.