Have you ever been told how important it is to alienate people? That by alienating some you attract others? And how boring doesn’t change lives, but remarkability does? And how if you’re making everyone happy, you’re doing something wrong? Etcetera.
I hear those inspiring tidbits. Or I see them scrolled across a picture of a waterfall and shared on Facebook. Then I imagine myself leading my crew of marauding misfits into the sunset with my quirky beliefs about selling used water and crystal laden hoo-ha’s.
Without hearing anything about the haters.
Let’s get this fantasy clear
It goes like this: people love me–very loudly, profusely and publicly. And the haters hate me very quietly without actually telling others or me how they feel. Should probably insert a Dr. Phil quote here “How’s that working for ya?”
“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.” –Le brilliance from my favorite internet boyfriend Seth Godin
I created a crowd-sourcing survey to choose the cover of my upcoming Coaching Business in a Box. I posted it in two Facebook groups. Both groups were full of creative and soulful women entrepreneurs, many of whom are coaches. But they were completely different personality types. One is comprised of my kind of peeps. And one isn’t.
Group A told me which they liked and why. I got a ton of responses, all positive and a lot of “It’s really beautiful.” One of my favorites: Who’s your designer? That’s me, baby. I designed it.
Group B said …just not doing it for me; sorry but the only good suggestion I have is to scrap this and start over; the images make no sense whatsoever to me. Did I mention I designed it? That made this feel so much more personal.
My heartbeat quickened. My awareness sharpened and everything around me disappeared into the background. Burning prickles grew underneath my cheekbones.
Panic. Shame. Stark raving fear.
This is what went through my mind I hate those bitches anyway; I’m a fraud; I should have known better; Fool; Everyone thinks I’m a dumbass; The whole thing is going to flop; Who do I think I am?
“Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters.” Above mentioned internet boyfriend Seth Godin
This is why putting yourself out there is so freaking scary. People are going to think something about you. They’re likely to tell you, especially if you’re on the internet. Have you ever avoided putting something out there because you were afraid of something like this happening?
3 Steps to Hold Your Head Up When EVERYBODY hates you (at least it feels that way)
1. Breathe. Even though I didn’t believe them–not really, I still reacted. I had a huge fight or flight response going on. That’s what all of that heartbeat racing stuff was about. The best way out of that is to breathe and move your body. It will pass. If you don’t fight with it or try to make decisions in the middle of it, it will pass pretty quickly.
2. Get some help. Call in someone who will agree with you that those people are bitches. Or at least that you’re awesome regardless. In the middle of the panic, or soon after, is not the time to “be the bigger person” or “turn the cheek” or any of that other enlightened stuff. This is the time to let it all flow. When the initial onslaught passes, there will be plenty of time to pick your cheek up and turn it. Not at first though.
3. Look at where they’re right If someone criticizes you and it hurts your feelings, it’s because there’s a part of you that believes them. Imagine if those women had said to me I hate your green hair. I would have rolled my eyes, laughed and moved on. Because I don’t have green hair and I know it. No one will convince me that I do. I would just think they’re crazy or blind and I’d move on.
However, if someone criticizes you, there’s probably some truth to it. When you are accused of something, look at where they’re right. This does 2 things. It removes the fight which is the fastest road to peace. And it gives you good information.
In this case, what I learned from the mean girls was that A.) They’re not my people. The fact that they hate it and the other group doesn’t shows me that I shouldn’t waste my time marketing to them. B.) I also learned that I should look at some book covers I like and pay attention to the way they’re set up. That was one of the suggestions that came out of that group. Great tip.
Have you ever gone through something like this?
Or been afraid that you would?
I taught a class to support this very issue. It’s called The Brave Chick’s Guide to Putting Yourself Out There and it’s a doozy. Click here to check it out.