Dealing with Critics, Haters, and Self-Doubt. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” -Aristotle
Critics, Haters, and Self-Doubt
Dealing with the critics is part of putting yourself out there. And in today’s über social (media) society, it can be extra hard not to take people’s criticisms to heart.
A wise person once told me: When people spew unkind words, it says far more about them than it does about you. Preach.
I tend to be a pretty sensitive person and I have had to really work to grow “thicker skin” in the blogging world. Here are my thoughts (and policies!) on Critics, Haters, and Self-Doubt…
The Aristotle quote in the photo at the top of this post really says it all. Since we can’t avoid criticism, we have to learn how best to deal with it. To be clear, we’re not talking about the constructive kind of criticism in this post. We’re talkin’ about the Internet trolls and the haters.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. Seriously. I have far better ways to spend my time and energy than engaging with unkind people. Here’s how I deal with the haters:
- I’m not afraid to use the “unfollow” and/or delete button. This is true for both my personal newsfeed and my business social media. I focus on surrounding myself with people who lift others up, encourage others, and are generally inspiring (in both real life and in my social media feeds). I’ve even “unliked” a lot of news and entertainment pages because so many things are posted to simply incite drama. And the only place I like drama is on all my Real Housewives of ____ TV shows. And if someone leaves a nasty comment on my social media: I delete it. Simple as that.
- I have a “comment policy” on my site and social media. It’s not fair to me or my readers to allow negativity. This is my comment policy: I believe that kindness changes everything. As such, I have a Comment Policy to keep this page in line with my mission statement: It’s simple, be kind, and be positive. This blog is a happy place to find inspiration and share creative ideas. While opinions are welcome and you don’t have to like everything posted, please be kind and respectful. I reserve the right to ban users from the blog/social media for violating this policy.
- I vent to my tribe. I have a continual Facebook Messenger conversation thread going with two of my friends who are fellow bloggers. We vent to each other, talk it out, and help each other laugh it off. So vent away. And then let it go.
The self-doubt struggle is real, y’all. Especially for us creative types. But want to know a secret? Every single one of us feels like a fraud sometimes (unless you’re a narcissist, I suppose). Here are a few ways I deal with self-doubt:
- I change my mindset. Talking down to yourself isn’t productive. Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself? If the answer is “no”, something needs to change. Positivity is contagious, so practice it, especially with yourself.
- I focus on improvement. One of the best ways to overcome that “not good enough” feeling is to work to improve. If I’m feeling my lettering isn’t up to par with my peers, I spend extra time practicing or take a new online class to push me out of my comfort zone.
- I run away. Literally. I put on my running shoes and a song that motivates me and I run away the anxiety. Most of my best ideas come to me when I’m working out! It doesn’t have to be running either. Even just going for a walk can help. Anything that gets you out of your own head! (Suggested song: Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet. It’s pretty hard not to be motivated with lyrics like: “Nothing on me says defeat…This time its goodbye trouble. I feel the light at the end of this tunnel. I get stronger with every step. Come Hell, come high water. You push on me I’m going to push back harder. I got a whole lot more than a little bit left…so don’t put dirt on my grave just yet.”)
Be A Light
Since no one likes critics or haters, we have to be sure we’re not among them. Which, despite what you see in the comments section of far too many Internet posts, is pretty easy…we just have to be kind to each other! It takes far less energy to keep scrolling past something on social media you don’t like than it does to pick a fight.