“To escape criticism—do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”
So it’s happened to you. You’ve put yourself out there, you’ve opened your soul (mouth) to the world, and then it happens. You’ve offended someone somehow in some way. What do you do with it? It hurts. To have people criticize you when your motives are 100% pure is probably the worst part of success. Sometimes, it can even be someone you thought you were close to. Maybe it’s a partner, or someone close to you on your team. Anytime this happens, it’s a kick to the gut. Here’s what it may look like for you:
- They aren’t feeling it and rather than just move on, they feel the need to tell you.
- They find a variety of faults with your work quality or approach.
- They nit pick things you coulda/woulda/shoulda done to be even better.
- They personally attack you or get rude or cruel.
- They give you the silent treatment.
Here’s a fact for ya: Inevitably, you’ll find that you can’t please EVERYONE. There will be those that you attract and those that you repel. Those that you satisfy and those that you disappoint. Those that love the message or your ‘voice’, and those that hate it.
Whether you’re new to your business or a veteran, you have to understand that if you are going to amount to anything and/or make any kind of any income, there are many who may dislike you. As difficult as it is, try and either ignore personal attacks or see them as a sign that your content is so solid that they must revert to attacking you, or that they have personal issues and it’s not at all about you. Having people who dislike you, especially in business, means you’re doing something meaningful, something critical, something important.
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchil
Your job as a leader is to not complain, though. Work on yourself, and build your confidence. You HAVE to believe that for someone to take the time to unfollow you and / or complain to you about YOU, that you must be doing something right. Isn’t it interesting how we can have 100 comments of praise and the 1 negative is the one we will focus on. First of all, that’s normal. It’s human. Don’t think for a second you’re wrong for feeling hurt by being cut. This business is a lot of trial and error. Well, it’s more error than anything. The craziest thing about the errors is that there will always be people who will remind you of them. These people may even be on your team but you know what? BIG DEAL. This really does have a reflection of them if we are being honest.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Get perspective. Reach out to a mentor who can set you straight. After you have analyzed the critic and after you have searched through yourself, cry about it and MOVE ON. I will also ask you this… why do you care? Why would someone so hurtful mean so much to you? If you are the one who is successful, and you are the one who is building a business and plugging into that passion, and you are the one taking the steps needed toward personal growth, then you are the one who needs to let this go. Just thank them for their input, and move on. It’s easier said than done, but the moment you take that criticism and use it as fuel is the moment you’ve established your launch pad for the next goal. (Sad) people do not like to see their peers succeed. Misery loves company, my friends. No matter what you do you will have people who do not want you to succeed and do you want to know the most troubling fact about this? It is usually the ones we’ve been extremely close to. It is usually our closest friends and family who are the first to tear us down. The reason for this is that we have a higher expectation of them than we do for anyone else. If we don’t get their approval, it hurts and that hurt can stifle our growth. KEEP GOING. They say “it’s the loneliest at the top” and while I’m not at the top yet, I know that I’d rather be lonely than be with people who wallow in sadness and feel the need to criticize other leaders who are just like them, trying to make it and find their voice.
I’m okay. You will be too.