I wanted to speak on this a little bit because it’s so important to address this at least once (or fifty) times when you have a blog–especially in this creative line of business. And this doesn’t just apply to the creatives, but to everyone. Because everyone, at one point or another, is subjected to negativity–whether it’s from others around them, themselves, and even friends or family. Negativity happens. We’re humans, so every once in a while someone is going to voice a negative opinion, or not like something you’ve produced.
That’s okay. Well, really, it’s not okay. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t happen. But unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. There will always be critics. There will always be someone playing “devil’s advocate.” And there will always be unhappy people just wanting to bring the happy people down. It’s not fun. It hurts. It stings. And it makes you just feel downright crappy.
But don’t let it get to you. I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes and mumbling about how it’s “easier said than done,” but I promise you, all you need to do to block it out is your own positivity. I haven’t always had thick skin. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve begun brushing off the negative comments. Because I came to a point in my life where I realized those comments don’t matter. They just don’t.
I don’t want to get preachy and I don’t want to try to sound all inspirational. I just want to be real with you and tell you what’s worked for me–in my business, in my personal life, and just in general. Here are just a few things to consider and think about the next time you’re exposed to a little negativity:
The first thing I always consider–Do you know this person? If this is some stranger posting on social media, forget about them. Did they post a rude comment on your Instagram? Delete the comment, block them if you need to, but just move on. Is this person an acquaintance? This is probably the hardest one because you may see this person on a semi-regular basis, or run with the same crowd, and you don’t want to make waves, but still, don’t want to be subjected to continuous negativity. How you respond just depends on your personality. I’m the kind of person who tends to grin and bear it. I hold my tongue, but in my mind, I know that I’m worth more than their comments and know that I’m proud of what I do no matter their opinion.
Continuing on with the first thing to consider, is this person close friends or family? If you tend to be on the quieter side, this one might be scary. This hurts–this hurts when negativity comes from those you care most about. Family and friends should lift you up and support you. But there are a few things to consider too when confronting negativity from the ones you really care about. First–you have to decipher if this is negativity or constructive criticism. And when you have a creative business that you’re so proud of, sometimes you have tunnel vision and it’s hard to hear others’ opinions. But hear them out. They’re saying this because they love you and want you to succeed. If you really don’t like their criticism, then you can politely let them know. But don’t automatically assume it’s negativity. Now–if you’ve taken the time to think about it and you find that it really is negativity, then this is a great opportunity for you to speak up. It’s hard. It’s so hard to press back against them, especially if it’s someone you really love. But here’s the thing–you standing up for yourself and just saying a simple, “This is who I am and this is what I love. You may not like it or understand it, but if you love me and support me, then you will have to respect this aspect of my life as well,” will not only make you feel better and stronger but also cause whoever you’re talking to think.
I know, I know, easier said than done. But friends, I promise you, you can do it.
Another thing I consider when exposed to negativity is just thinking about where it’s coming from. Because almost always, negativity comes from a place of hurting. You know the phrase, “misery loves company”? Well, it’s true. Hurt people hurt people. It could be coming from a place of jealousy, or neglect, or just pure unhappiness. But wherever it stems from, you need to know it is not your fault.
And finally, the most important thing I consider on a daily basis–how am I talking to myself? The way you speak to yourself matters so much more than the way others speak to you. Because you can brush off others’ negativity. And you can stand up for yourself. But the way you think about yourself and speak to the person in the mirror, that’s the voice that’s going to make or break you. So think positive things. Speak words of affirmation to yourself. This goes for anyone, whether you’re a business owner, or a stay at home mom, or a student, or a normal person with a 9 to 5. The way you see yourself matters. And it affects how others see you as well. If you wear that confidence. If you let yourself be happy, that will radiate to those around you and stop the negativity before it even happens. So the next time you think you “screwed up”, don’t think about how bad the situation got, focus on how you made it better, how you fixed it or can fix it. The next time you look at your beautiful face in the mirror and point out that one big flaw about yourself you can’t stand, ignore it and focus on the things you love about yourself.
Life is too short to be unhappy. Life is too amazing to let others get you down. I really hope I could give you just a little perspective on keeping things positive. And I hope you speak to yourself a little nicer and let those negative comments just roll off your back. Because you are worth so much more than that.
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