Scary. Just plain scary.

I published my book. I sent out messages about it. I started doing interviews to discuss it. I shared it on Facebook and LinkedIn. I did guest blogs. In other words, I “put myself out there.” 

All while holding my breath. Wondering if people would like what I had to say. Keeping my fingers crossed that people wouldn’t report me as ‘spam.’  And really, really hoping people would find value, and that it would help them make better choices in life. 

Now, the coach in me tells myself, “Don’t worry about the naysayers. There will always be some.” But it still bites when someone doesn’t like all your ideas.  So what to do about it? Well, here are a few alternatives: 

1) Thank them. Yes, that’s right. There will be lots of people who say good things about you, but we all know we are not perfect. So thank the people who challenge you to think about things in a different way, especially if they offer constructive suggestions.

2) Ignore them. On the other hand, if people are insulting you, it often says more about them than it does about you. There’s never a need to get nasty, even if people have different perspectives. People can get  judgmental very quickly, making themselves the judge and jury. Their negative comments often reflect their negative outlook. Or they may just be having a bad day, and lashing out at you as their way of coping with it.  We can’t assume someone’s motives for being negative, but we can certainly choose to ignore them.

3) Examine your feelings. Are you feeling angry with their comments? Sad? Frustrated? Feeling they were unfair? If you can define your emotions, you can better deal with them. And then you can counter them with self talk. For example you may say “I feel sad this person thought this was not valuable, but I know others will find a lot of value from it.” 

4) Realize that interpretations will always vary based on people’s experiences, culture, religious and other beliefs, and values. Think of it as a bell curve – there will be a lot of people in the middle who like your ideas, some on the upper end who LOVE them, and others on the lower end who just don’t like them or even understand them.  Even the best acclaimed piece of work – think of ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway – has people who don’t like it. 

It is important that we never allow negative feedback to stop us. But realize that if you “put yourself out there” enough, you are bound to get some. Make the choice to brace yourself for it, and enjoy the ride! 

Wishing you a lifetime of great choices!

Denise

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