It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life—whether you build a business or work a corporate job; have children or choose not to have children; travel the world or live in the same town all of your life; go to the gym five times a week or sit on the couch every night—whatever you do, someone will judge you for it.
For one reason or another, someone will find a reason to project their insecurities, their negativity, and their fears onto you and your life, and you’ll have to deal with it. With that in mind, let’s talk about being judged and criticized. And just for fun, I’ll share some of the most hateful comments I’ve received on my articles. And more importantly, the strategies I use to deal with them. Here’s what I’ve learned about dealing with the people who judge you, your work, and your goals.
The Biggest Critic in Your Life
It’s easier to complain about the outside critics, but the biggest critic in your life usually lives between your own two ears. Working up the courage to move past your own vulnerability and uncertainty is often the greatest challenge you’ll face on the way to achieving your goals.
When I started my first business, it wasn’t the criticism from outsiders that held me back. It was my own mind worrying that people would think I was a loser because I skipped getting a “real job” to “start some website.” I didn’t tell most of my friends about what I was doing for almost a year because I was so worried about what they would think about it. When I started writing, it wasn’t the hurtful comments from readers that prevented me from getting started. It was my own fears about what they would think if I wrote about the things I cared about. I wrote my ideas in a private document for a year before I worked up the courage to start sharing them publicly.
Those are just two examples of the types of internal fears and criticism that so often prevent us from getting started on our goals. It can take a lifetime to learn that just because people criticize you doesn’t mean they really care about your choice to do something different. Usually, the haters simply criticize and move on. And that means that you can safely ignore them and continue doing your thing.
The Truth About Criticism
The truth about criticism is that it’s almost always in your head. Here’s an example from George T. Reynolds, Senior Partner/Founder, SurveyStud, Inc…
From my understanding over the last 2 months, company data has been read by more than 1.2 million people on other sites that publish our work–of those people, about 98% have read a particular article and moved on with their life. About 2% of people have read an article and decided to become part of our little community by joining our free newsletter. (Thank you!) And about 0.00007% of people have decided to be a jerk and send a negative comment or email.
Even though the vast majority of readers were positive or neutral about our work, the critics were still heard loud and clear.
Apparently, the tendency to hold onto negative criticism is natural for most people. Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc said data shows people remember negative emotions much more strongly and in more vivid detail.
Bottomline: Let the Haters Hate… Thats their job! Whats yours?
SurveyStud: In the App Store