self-love Apr 27, 2020

And there’s nothing you can do to avoid it.

Women who let themselves shine and achieve a certain level of success will attract a small amount of negativity.

There will always be some asshole who thinks you’re a lucky bitch with no talent.

Nobody really has the right to an opinion unless they’ve done the exact same thing you want to do. Even then, if they did it 20, 10 or even 5 years ago, then times have changed.

Helpful advice is always welcome, but I’m talking about uninformed people making blanket declarative statements designed to make you feel unsure and anxious about your decisions.

You can’t make it in showbiz because you’re too short

You need a degree for that

You’re not qualified to do that

There’s no money in that

I tried that once, didn’t work

They always sound like they know they are talking about because they are so damn sure of themselves.

And just because someone put it on the internet – doesn’t mean it’s true

It can be shocking how unsupportive and actually downright bitchy other people can be when your life starts to take off. You’ll start to get all sorts of well-meaning “advice” which is often criticism in disguise.

Leading an exceptional or even unconventional life can be really threatening for other people. But remember, that’s it’s their stuff and not yours.

As silly as it sounds, most of us are more worried about what random strangers say than our loved ones. After all, our partner or our mum are unlikely to outright say “you suck and you have no talent”, but people on the internet will and do!

People like love to give their criticism in the form of “wisdom” or “advice” and you cannot please everyone so don’t even try. However, negative press or a bad review should be celebrated, it means you’re moving into a new level of success.

The first piece of negative feedback can often be devastating, but it’s the fear of the potential criticism that can cut the most.

As Mark Twain said

“I’ve known many troubles in my life – most of which never happened.”

To illustrate this story, I went searching for Amazon reviews on commercially successful books. Take Lauren Weisberger’s first novel, The Devil Wears Prada. I loved this book and found it a great summer read. It’s not literary masterpiece, but wouldn’t you be proud of that novel’s success?

The Devil Wears Prada has sold millions of copies, spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list, and has been made into a fabulously fun movie starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, which won a Golden Globe and grossed over $300 million worldwide. I bet her parents and friends are so proud.

However, I hope Lauren has a thick skin. The official Amazon reviewer calls her “an inept, ungrammatical writer” and out of over a thousand reviews she has several more 1-star reviews than 5-star ones. Do you think she reads them and regrets she ever put herself out there for public scrutiny? I doubt it – she’s written at least six other books. She just kept on creating.

Don’t you think she was thrilled about her novel being made into a movie? Perhaps she was less so when on the DVD commentary, the screenwriter basically said that the source material was shit and she had to make a lot of changes to make it barely watchable. I’m paraphrasing dramatically, but OUCH!

Can you accept that a certain level of success inevitably attracts bad reviews?

What would you prefer?

1. Ten people buy your “great work” and all love it. Every single person (which includes a big percentage of your friends and family) has only great things to say about it. Yay for you!

2. A thousand people buy your book, come and see your play, buy your art-work or come to your workshop. The majority of these people are strangers to you. Thirty people say it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen in their whole life, 940 people seemed to have enjoyed it, but thirty people say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen. They viciously write about it on their blogs, they publicly vow it was a waste of money and swear that you’re a terrible con-artist with no talent.

Your ego probably prefers the first option.

You can feel good about yourself, even if you have the sneaking suspicion that you’re meant for something greater. But you can’t live off applause. It’s not enough to hear “well done” and our thrill over getting a gold star doesn’t last forever.

Becoming exceptional means making yourself vulnerable.

Some people will think you suck no matter WHAT you do. It’s the truth. You will never please those people who live off complaints and revel in other people’s failure.

You can try and make yourself small to make other people feel better about themselves but the truth is that you are already a success story and someone will always be threatened by that.

So celebrate it!

Denise xx


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