Back in October, while I was on a retreat, I had some extra intense, really negative comments posted on my blog about my marriage to Russell (I mean more intense and negative than the ones that you see there now).
A caring colleague texted me and suggested I take down the comments. I was torn. I wanted to respond. She said “don’t do it. Don’t give them any energy. It just breeds more.”
This was advice I’d heard again and again from other business friends and I was not in a place where I could respond to the comments (I was on retreat), so I had my team delete them.
But, it didn’t feel right.
I thought about how big impact makers like Suze Orman, Oprah and that whole crew deal with negative comments. By the time you get to that level of impact, deleting negative commentary isn’t possible, so they ignore it.
But, that didn’t feel right either.
So last week when I had a rash of negativity thrown at me through the blogosphere, I decided to do something totally different. I decided to respond.
And I’d like to offer you the process I went through to deal with these negative comments because it’s a process that can guide you through all sorts of criticism or negativity in your life.
As you step out, as you evolve, as you grow, as you change, as you build a new paradigm life based on the truth of who you are, there will be people in your life who simply do not get it.
They will not understand you.
They will criticize you.
And it’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. It could mean you are making a big impact.
Here are some things you can do when it happens.
1. Manage Your Defensiveness.
The natural reaction to criticism is to defend. Criticism hurts. That’s normal, but that it does not mean you have to act from the place of reaction.
Instead, take a look at where there is truth in the criticism.
Really look. If there wasn’t some truth, you wouldn’t defend. You’d laugh.
2. Don’t Hide.
There is no reason to hide from criticism. Public criticism often says more abut the person doing the criticizing than it does about the person being criticized.
And it’s a great opportunity to speak more truth.
When I decided to respond to the negative comments about my decisions to take my kids out of school so much that I ended up in a truancy hearing and on my post about who to take business and marketing advice from, I responded from a place of wanting to open up a dialogue and discussion so we could get to more truth.
That felt good.
3. Learn and Grow.
We are here to evolve. Mostly that’s blocked by our inaccurate perceptions of ourselves. We overestimate ourselves and we underestimate ourselves. Constantly.
Criticisms can be hard to look at, but they are generally full of great information that can support our evolution. If we are willing to see.
Or we can dismiss them and stay where we are. It’s more comfortable that way for sure. But, are you here for comfort or growth? Generally, they do not go hand in hand.
So next time you receive criticism – whether it be through a blog post, a family member, a friend or a client – I encourage you to go against your natural reaction. Stay open to what you are hearing.
Receive the message, look for any shred of truth, and respond with love and appreciation for the opportunity to be more of who you are.
And remember this … your external experience is a reflection of your inner consciousness. That means that every single one of those comments can be seen as some part of your own beliefs about yourself. Work with that first and foremost.
What say you? Can you do it? Or do you think I should have deleted or ignored the negative comments? I’m interested to hear your perspective. Post your comments.
And make sure you are joining me on New Year’s Eve – I’m getting naked.