I was shaking, like I was cold. But it was at least 85 degrees in my room. I felt nauseous, contemplating whether or not I should start heading for the bathroom, and it had all come on in a matter of seconds.
What caused it?
I read a Facebook message directed at me that was both insulting and hurtful. From someone who I would have never expected to get a message like that.
It helped me realize a couple of important things.
1. No matter how many times I’ve told others, “You can’t let what others think of you affect you.” That is easier said than done. I thought I’d be able to just blow off negative messages like that, but I was finding it still affected me. I haven’t yet figured out how to turn off that weird emotional response. So of course, I was sort of beating myself up for not being better at letting the negativity just roll off with no effect.
2. The second thing I realized, though, was that there used to be a time in my life when I didn’t do things I wanted to because I lived in fear of getting negative criticism like that. Where I didn’t speak up or be myself. Instead I’d try to be what I thought people wanted or just stay quiet and not be anything. At that time, I thought I was playing it safe but I wasn’t really playing at all.
So the great news is this… even though negative criticism still affects me… because I haven’t yet figured out how to stop the part of the experience that is the emotional response… the thing I have figured out is how to not let it stop me from living my life. At least now, I take action anyway. Despite the fear of rejection or criticism that is still there.
Don’t let negative criticism stop you from doing what you want or being who you are. Do your thing and BE YOU anyway!
So if you are like me and you haven’t yet figured out how to avoid any sort of emotional response to negativity… that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. You can keep working on that, just like I will keep working on it. The most important thing is that you live your life the way you want to. You continue to strive to become your best self. The best version of you. And you are you… genuinely you… whoever that is.
If you do that, then you’ll probably get some negative feedback, just like I did, but it won’t matter as much to you because what you gain by living that way adds so much more to your life than negative people could ever take away from it.
So go be you. Be authentic and stay awesome!
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