A lot of entrepreneurs are afraid to get too visible online for fear of being criticized. But how else will you get noticed by your dream customers? Is it even possible to create something great without critics?
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. It upset her. Shook her confidence. Ruined her day. Made her feel like everything good she’d ever done didn’t matter; 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. Internet meanies are the worst.
The more more visible we are, the more open we are to criticism.
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 or what you have to say? How will you feel if somebody challenges you, or points out 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? Can you do that while also avoiding all criticism?.
Criticism Happens to All Successful People
Want proof? 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 so I went to watch it again, and noticed that 311 people took the time to “dislike” the video of this speech as of this date.
Imagine 311 people standing in a room looking at you with their thumbs pointed down.
But here’s the important part: That’s 311 out of over 1 million people who have viewed the video, and the over 15,000 people who took the time to hit the “thumbs up” button.
Think of all of the thousands of people she’s helped and inspired with her message about being vulnerable and brave, and what those tens of thousands of people have done with that message. Thank goodness she didn’t let those 311 people hold her back.
“If you’re not in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
The critics aren’t the ones who matter. If you have internet critics, it means you’re showing up. I have to remind myself of that all the time; that somebody out there needs to hear what I have to say and they need to hear it from me and only me. Every time I’m about to hit “publish” on a blog post, I worry that I’ve said something stupid, or missed something, or made a stupid grammatical error. I get in the arena anyway, because I have a lot to share that can help others, too.