Feeling small. We’ve all been there. I get you. It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life — Whether you build a business from the ground up, work your little butt off; maybe you’re a homebody, you love to cook, you might run triathlons, choose not to go to the gym, adopt rescue dogs, save lives on a daily basis; perhaps you dedicate endless hours giving back and volunteering; you are the next Mother Teresa for all we know; But what I do know — whatever you do, or don’t do, someone will still judge you for it.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, so criticism and negative judgement hasn’t ever been an easy thing for me to swallow. I tend to take things more personally…not my best trait (for those that know me, they are most likely laughing right now and nodding their heads. “Personally… that’s an understatement, Amanda Bay”.)
Throughout your lifetime some people are going to discredit you, disrespect you and treat you poorly. And the best part is, some of these people won’t even know you. At all. It’s so easy to tear down, criticize, and identify what’s wrong with things. And I am not talking about constructive criticism; I am referring to destructive criticism, which is thrown at you to tear you down, not to make things better or lead to a solution. You can usually discern the two, by considering the source and the value of what was said. Is there something to be learned or is it just useless hurtful words? And exactly who is behind the critique?
Now I know we can’t control what other people will say to us, or how they interpret us, but we can personally control how we deal with judgements and criticisms—how we respond to it, learn from it and move forward. And at the end of the day, some people are impossible to please; you will not be able to break through to them no matter what you do or say. For me, this was a harsh reality of life to accept.
I was recently told that criticism and negativity from other people is like a wall. So if you focus on it, you are going run right smack dab into it – head on (it will hurt). You’ll end up getting blocked by this wall; all of the negative emotions, anger, and eventually self-doubt will stop you in your tracks. It sets you off course and distracts you. If you haven’t realized it, your mind tends to go where your attention is focused, so if you instead focus on moving forward, you can get right past the wall. Buh bye wall.
As crusader Taylor Swift sings,“Haters gonna hate, so shake it off.” So ya— shake it off, brush it off, dust it off (and dance while you do it). And yes, sometimes it stings you to the core (and all you want to do is cry to your momma and give up), but if you just keep going about your business of bay-ing awesome (staying true to you and following your heart), it will pass. DO NOT LET THEM STEAL YOUR AWESOME. I repeat- DO NOT LET THEM STEAL YOUR AWESOME. This can only make you stronger, wiser and more humble. Don’t let it break you, let it make you.
Now go, Bay Awesome, and next time someone dishes out a nasty comment, use it to refocus on moving forward. Some people are just determined to tear you down, and really, who has time for that!?