“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who come alive.”
I love this quote by Howard Thurman.
I think we all can agree there’s no better feeling than when we’re fueled by passion.
In my business and life, I’ve encountered so many people who when asked what makes them come alive can answer in two seconds flat.
Their eyes light up, voices lighten and I can almost feel their spirits liven.
It doesn’t matter if it’s writing a novel, creating a dream business, backpacking through Europe, they feel called to something and it burns like a candle inside.
A fascinating thing though, is how many of them don’t go after their dream and why.
Care to venture a guess?
It’s not because they’re afraid of failure (as I suspected), but criticism.
They’re afraid of haters, Internet trolls and anyone who may not approve or agree with what they’re doing or how.
Thanks to social media, these days anyone can be a critic and many, because they’re not face-to-face, are unnecessarily cruel and lack any construction whatsoever.
Ask any celebrity, politician, even Olympic athlete these days and they know the insults hurled at them on the regular.
I too, have experienced my fair share of haters and Internet trolls and would be lying if I said it hasn’t affected me at least some. I’m human after all!
Thankfully, I learned early on the vast majority of criticism shouldn’t be taken personally and also, not everyone will like or understand what we create, how we talk, walk, write or anything else we do.
And that’s perfectly OK!
There are seven billion people in the world and we’re never going to please everyone.
The sooner we accept it and focus our attention on the people who do appreciate us, the better off we’ll be.
If you’re struggling with criticism (and I know so many people are), or if the idea of criticism is holding you back from doing something you feel called to, here are 3 tips to help you move through it.
1. Remember, not all criticism is bad.
Don’t immediately dismiss all feedback you don’t agree with. Constructive criticism can be wildly important in helping us do better.
Filter feedback and see if there’s something you can take away that will help you down the road.
2. Move onwards and upwards without delay.
If you encounter a pure hater or Internet troll who criticizes for the sake of being a jerk delete them from your social media or newsletter, ban or block them and move on.
Don’t give the person or their comment your time, energy or let it take you off purpose. (And do not obsessively read their words over and over and let them get in your head!)
As tempting as it may feel to defend yourself or lash out, let it go. You have better things to do with your time.
Plus, remember what Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
3. Focus on positive feedback.
Turn your focus to the positive things people say. Feel deep gratitude and appreciation for their words and how you’ve impacted their lives.
Dedicate your energy to those who do like you or your work, as is.
Putting ourselves out there and sharing who we are and what we do with the world is our birthright.
Don’t ever let criticism, or the fear of critics, stand between you and the life of your dreams.
Remember, the purpose of our lives isn’t to be liked by all, but to like all we do.
Wishing you a wonderful day!
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