[DAY 30 OF THE DEEP END PROJECT]
Today’s writing is inspired by a powerful conversation with a friend. We were talking about the presence of toxic people in our lives and the impact that can have on our worthiness and our creativity.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Self Worth is not something you attain one day and you are all good after that. Nope. It’s not a one-and-done thing.
You have to choose your Self Worth every day and sometimes several times a day.
But as you are on your path to deliberately choosing Worthiness, you often meet people in your life who stand on the sidelines cheering your self-doubt and unworthiness to unleash itself on your psyche.
Brené Brown says “A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance.”
It could be a relative who’ll say about your business “oh but surely you don’t mean to make any money by doing this, right?”
Or a friend who might mention “oh your website is great but your nose looks pretty big in that pic.”
For a creative (and we all are creatives) this can be soul-crushing.
When we put our work out in the world, it’s often done with a lot of courage and hard work. Even the slightest of criticism can be debilitating for most creatives.
Recording Videos and putting them on YouTube, Instagram takes courage.
Writing a book, a blog, an article and hitting publish takes courage.
Creating a workshop, a course, a program and, announcing it to the world takes courage.
Putting yourself out there for podcasts, speaking engagements, summits takes courage.
What doesn’t take courage is hurling criticism from the cheap seats.
That’s called cowardice
Talking is free. Putting in the work day-after-day takes time and sweat.
Yes, feedback is necessary.
Most creatives want to get better. They don’t shy away from feedback.
Failure is feedback.
A mentor or peer sharing with you how you can improve is feedback.
The biggest difference between feedback and criticism is :
Feedback comes from people who’ve played the game, they have taken the blow, time and again and, they are better for it.
Criticism comes from people who’ve stood on the sidelines all their lives, filling the cheap seats, wishing they were in the arena.
Feedback comes from people who see the best in you. They see in you what you don’t allow yourself to see. They point out the truth in you so that you can open your eyes as well.
Criticism comes from people who see themselves in you and they can’t bear what they see.
Feedback comes from people who know what it’s like to be taken down, to be covered in blood and sweat and they cannot help but give a helping hand to pull you up.
Criticism comes from people who have no idea what it feels like to step into the arena. The thought of putting in the work scares them so they hurl out words at you so that you too can stop and step out.
As Brené says “Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback about your work.”
THAT IS ALL.
Don’t allow it. The minute it starts happening, at that moment, choose your Self Worth and then turn to them and say very politely “I am not available to listen about your opinion or your feedback about my work. Kindly go and fuck yourself”
Well….you know what I mean!
They can have whatever opinion they want, but unless they too are working their asses off to choose courage over comfort everyday, you don’t have to listen to it.