How do you stay good with you? Do you have thick skin or is it hard for you to let comments roll off your back?
The people pleaser in me can make blogging a rollercoaster…on a good day! Putting yourself out there always opens up the forum for receiving opinions or feedback. That what makes it a community…and most of the time it’s probably what I love the most about blogging. Discussion, different perspectives, understanding why people think differently…building community. It’s when criticism pops up that it’s shaky ground.
This area has been a huge growing experience for me. And it’s sinking in that who I am really isn’t determined by people’s opinions of me (ohhh my heart beats a little quicker when I write this!).
There are a handful of strategies that I feel like I’m slowly learning to tap into when I feel the struggle. Guys, hitting the 40’s isn’t all bad…with age comes some wisdom that it’s ok to accept oneself. Actually it’s rightful to accept myself and not because of anything I “do”… but more on that below. There’s extra motivation to practice this because it would be my desire for my children to know this. And…well…they’re always watching us. So modelling it might just be a huge gift for them!
These strategies…they might be common sense for many of you…but it’s taken me a long time to get here and I am still in process!
1. Care about the opinion of those who know and love me…and for those who don’t know me? Well…you get the picture. I’m not quite at the point of saying “I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” It’s not really in my DNA. BUT…leaning in to the judgement of those who don’t know me is not a good use of my energy. In fact, it sucks it dry! I have this need to explain myself in this scenario because “if they really knew me, they would know….”. Let it go, let it go! Putting my self worth into the hands of someone who doesn’t even know me is straight up not a logical choice.
2. A friend passed this on to me: “A person should assume that half the people she meets in life won’t like her for the precise reasons the other half will, and she might as well stop trying to please everybody because, given that fact, it’s mathematically impossible anyway.” Oh…this one has been sinking in. There’s merit here. There is NO way a person can please everyone…so do I think I’m that special that I will defy the odds here? Doing my personal best and staying authentically me is something that I have to be content with. As is having peace that, quite simply, not everyone is going to like me.
3. When hit with criticism, evaluate the source and their intentions. If it comes from someone in my circle, there is value in hearing it and then being honest with myself. What were my intentions? And when it just feels unfounded, being gracious in not engaging or fueling the fire.
4. In all of this, coming back to the anchor in my life: my faith. God has created me (and YOU) in the most purposeful, careful and individual way. My worth comes from knowing that I am beautifully made. This isn’t because I “do” anything.. it’s just because. There’s not a comment or a like (or unfollow ) that holds more weight than that.
5. Lining it up with my faith. Allowing those comments to start rolling off instead of sinking in is because I can keep returning to #4. And if my intentions are in line with my faith, there is a confidence and peace in that. The rest, I simply have to let go. Without bitterness!
“God is the only one who can love everything you are despite everything you aren’t.”
Hope you will read this as an encouragement. Maybe it’s not about having a thick skin, but rather putting on some armour that’s made of truth. That’s what I’m working on! Would love to hear how you handle criticism in your life…do you have strategies that you need to practice?
Wishing you all a great weekend…thank you so much for reading! Laurel xo