What happens when you create something?
Do you read (or watch) it, love it, give yourself a mental high 5 and hit send with a resounding ‘whoop’ or do you read (or watch) it over, dissect it, tone it down a bit, then add more in because it’s now a bit bland, send a test email to 700 of your closest friends to make sure it’s not too much or offensive or god forbid, funny then press send while holding your breath and with your eyes closed?
The fear of judgement strikes all of us at one time or another, I hear it all the time from our community so I can assure you-you’re not alone. The fear is real too, after all, we’re all being judged all of the time, aren’t we? Everywhere we go and everything we say and do online or offline has the ability to draw an opinion from someone or other (remember that time I dyed my hair blue?) it can be enough to turn even the most aspiring entrepreneur into a damp shrinking violet in a cyber-second.
I blame social media and mobile phones and the press and the internet and the world and the universe. The digital age brought out the pitchfork of every hater, troll and keyboard warrior from every creepy dark corner of everywhere but it also created amazing things! Online communities, virtual meeting spaces, the ability to network like never before and form friendships and relationships that likely could never have happened without it. It’s both the best and the worst thing ever.
You’re not (and nor do you want to be) for everyone. Accept it. If you have an opinion on anything then somewhere, someone won’t agree. That’s the beauty of opinions. Some people love rock music and crazy hair (like me) and others hate it and declare it the work of the actual devil himself, however, rock music doesn’t become more melodic or gentle every time someone comes along and declares it to be too heavy, no does it become heavier, louder or darker every time it gains a new listener. It just is what it is. Opinions about a type of music don’t change the actual music because the opinion is independent of the merits of what it is.
It’s no different from your voice. Some people will love you and become your ride-or-die supporters of everything you do, and some won’t. It’s all about who’s reading, watching or listening. Some might even get all shitty about it but in reality, that just means that you’re striking a chord somewhere. You could try to avoid judgement altogether by not saying anything, ever, or by declaring that you LOVE rock music and you HATE rock music but really, where does that leave you?
In the middle of rock bottom nowhere, quiet town, that’s where.
So what to do? If you decide (and you can) to stay in the middle of nowhere then you won’t be loved and you won’t be hated. This is what I refer to as Troll-Avoidance. Sounds appealing, avoiding the haters doesn’t it? However, by declaring middle ground and not having an opinion on well, anything at all you lose the ability to be memorable and if you want a tribe of raging fans telling all of their friends how you or your business changed their lives then the middle ground isn’t for you. Imagine if we all declared middle ground? Life as we know it would become a massive sea of that hospital waiting room yellowish-beige with the occasional limp wallflower hanging around. What would the trolls and haters do then? They would complain that the wallflowers are too wall-ish, or too purple or the beige would be too-bloody-beige.
In other words, nothing is ever going to be to their liking and that not about you, it is always about them.
You can win.
You can choose, today, to be unapologetically and gorgeously you and speak your own truth, whatever anyone else thinks. This isn’t about going out of your way to upset people (that’s just weird and unnecessary) it’s just about minimising your own expectations of everyone loving everything you do. They won’t, and in my opinion, that’s the best outcome you can possibly hope for. Stay in your lane, be you and your people will love you for it. Like, really love you. Aim for and focus on that.
I’ll leave you with this quote form one of my all time faves Brené Brown;
“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”