When I first had the idea to blog, to share my thoughts through writing, I was worried about one thing: negativity. What if I received nasty or critical feedback online or in person? What if people talked behind my back, secretly sabotaging me? It was a fear, for sure, because I take everything to heart.
I strongly believe in keeping things simple. I wanted to share four short, compelling reasons that help me to ignore negativity and keep blogging.
Creative moms, and creative folks in general: whether you are trying to evolve your profession, sing or act, make or paint products with your hands, facilitate classes, cook and cater, run a retail store, design homes and textiles, take photos, curate bundles of helpful products, teach dance or fitness classes, do freelance writing or blogging… these four reasons apply. It takes guts to do what you do. Don’t stop.
One of the most helpful posts I read was from The Minimalists: How to Start a Successful Blog Today. In the post, they give 20 recommendations for a blog. Number 15 was to “Ignore Negative Criticism and Stupidity.” They use the analogy of a seagull: anyone that spreads negative, critical comments is a seagull — he or she will swoop in, drop the negative crap, and fly away. The advice was to delete their comment and move on.
If you’re anything like me, you can delete the comment, or try to forget the words, but the memory of it still irks you a bit. That rude comment or unnecessary feedback might drive you insane before you finally let it go. I’m here to challenge you to let it go quickly.
Here are 4 reasons to ignore negativity:
1 | Negativity towards you is a reflection of someone else’s persepctive.
You know one thing for sure — your true intention behind your work. If it was to be positive, to be uplifting, to share your happiness, success, or passion with others, then pay no mind to comments that are negative. You don’t need to spend your precious time worrying about what others have said.
I love this quote from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle:
Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.
2 | Your “inner critic” does more than enough negative self-talk for you.
I recently attended an amazing conference for creatives in Calgary: The Next Big Thing. The keynote speaker was Danielle Krysa, also known as The Jealous Curator. Her honest talk was on the idea of an “inner critic” and her own personal struggle-turned-awesome-book: Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk.
Danielle’s concept of being a “jealous curator” came in 2009 when she saw artworks that she wished she had done. But she turned jealousy into creativity. Danielle says on her website:
In all seriousness, I’ve realized that jealousy can actually be turned completely on it’s head, and used as fuel to get back into the studio. It can only stop you if you let it.
I will be 100% honest with you — I get jealous all the time. I read blog posts that I feel like I thought of first, and the idea could have been mine, had I been quicker to write. Another concept that The Next Big Thing introduced me to was that “it’s all been done” — basically, creativity is just taking concepts and ideas, and forming them into something unique to you. So, I simply take inspiration from others, and try to be myself while creating something “new” to my niche.
I go through spells of negative self-talk, but I’m learning to leave it behind. And if I have a little pity-party, I give myself some time to decompress, and move on.
That “inner critic” has been nagging me less and less.
3 | Negative comments aren’t doing anything productive.
Your focus, whether or not anyone else agrees with you, is to help others in some way. If someone has a problem with that, they obviously need to find a better way to spend their time. You genuinely feel and know that it will improve other’s lives.
Stay in control so you can stay productive. When others point out your so-called “failures” they are only trying to derail your success.
This awesome article from Forbes says that successful people forgive themselves, and move on, so they can continue being productive.
4 | Negativity breeds negativity; positivity breeds positivity.
Whatever you’re feeling or thinking — that’s what will be.
Forget the negative comments. Negative folks are missing out on seeing and benefiting from what you’ve created. They probably put others down the same way. They are missing out.
You deserve to feel good about what you’re doing. It takes guts to step out and do something different — so keep going and support others who are doing the same. I love this post from Bustle: 12 Ways to Get Over Your Jealousy of Other People’s Success. Bustle is “for and by women who are moving forward as fast as you are” and it’s a great source of inspiration.
If you feel yourself becoming jealous of others, envious of their works, or otherwise allowing negative comments or thoughts to seep in, take a step back. Attempt to cultivate more of what you want — the good stuff. Forget about what you don’t want. Seek out a positive community. And send your positive, reaffirming thoughts to your friends and fellow creators.
Creative Mommas, keep moving forward, keep on rocking it.
You hold the power over how you feel and who you are — no one else.
*Feature photo cred: Lorraine-Marie Fotography*