This morning a woman shared a vulnerable story in one of my Facebook groups — she had written an article and posted it on LinkedIn, where a man left her a nasty public comment because she had made a grammatical error. I mean. Rude!
It upset her. Shook her confidence. Ruined her day. Made her feel like everything good she’d ever done didn’t matter; anything great others had said about her work in the past meant nothing. Everything was undone in that one simple statement from a stranger. Proof that she wasn’t good enough. Unworthy.
Luckily she quickly brushed herself off and reminded herself of her greatness — that she wasn’t defined by one mean comment on the internet — and moved on.
It’s hard, though, I get it. Internet meanies are the worst.
The more “out there” we are, the more visible, the more open we are to criticism. But here’s the bottom line:
If we let it stop us, we’re giving the meanies power over our lives.
Being authentically you and putting yourself out there can be terrifying.
What if people don’t like you?
What if people don’t like what you have to say or how you say it?
What if you say something wrong, make a mistake?
Well my friend? All of those things are probably going to happen if you get visible enough. So what?
What is it you really want to create in your life? Something great? Something great for you, your family, your community, the world?
Can you create something great without critics? That’s a big nope.
Want some real evidence that criticism happens to all successful people? Go to YouTube and look for an amazing video by an inspirational, successful leader, and I guarantee you’ll see that some people have clicked the “thumbs down” button. The only videos that achieve 100% positive or neutral ratings are the ones without very many views.
In fact, all of this reminded me of an incredible speech by Brené Brown (one of my personal heroes) called Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count — she talks about this topic far better than I ever could, and if you ever need a “pick me up” after somebody knocks you down: have this bookmarked. Trust me.
Back to my point: 176 people took the time to “dislike” the video as of this date. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SIX PEOPLE. Imagine 176 people in a room looking at you with their thumbs pointed down.
But here’s the important part — that’s out of over 1 million people who have viewed the video, and the over 10,000 people who took the time to hit the “thumbs up” button. Now imagine all of the thousands of people she’s helped and inspired with her message about being vulnerable and brave — what those tens of thousands of people have done with that message, what they’ve had the courage to create.
If you have internet critics, it means you’re showing up. You’re winning. Keep showing up. Somebody out there needs what you have to offer, and needs it from only you.
The 176 aren’t the ones who matter.
This video is so great, but if you don’t have time to watch — I want to share a passage from within:
Now go on and be brave, show up, create. Keep going!