how to deal with the critics

entrepreneurship, podcast

September 3, 2020

Lindsey Clark

THE DARING ROMANTICS— EPISODE NO. 126

in attempts to find a strong quote to start this off— i made my way to goodquotes.com and typed in ‘quotes about the critic’. i found some quotes that brought conviction and some that made me laugh (thank you, mark twain). and, well, what better way to start a blog post and podcast episode about critics than sharing some words from people who have gone before us— 

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” ― Elbert Hubbard

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” ― Dale Carnegie

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things. If it is heeded in time, danger may be averted; if it is suppressed, a fatal distemper may develop.” — Winston Churchill

i’d include the one from mark twain… but, i’ll let you google that on your own. 😉 

in a world where technology exists,

two things are happening: 

ONE— we are all putting ourselves out there more and stepping out onto the stage of life and, in the same breath, NUMBER TWO— the voice of the critics are louder and more consistent than ever. 

they show up in our comments, in our DMs, in our emails, in our conversations. 

for many, the fear of being publicly critiqued by other people keeps them on the sidelines of life. because let’s be honest— no one wants to be on the other end of someone else’s criticism. 

when we’re showing up in the world to contribute something, we’re showing up in our most vulnerable self. we’re showing the world what we think is smart and innovative and creative. we’re showing the world a piece of us and letting ourselves be known by others. and, that, in itself takes bravery. 

meaning, when the voice of the critic comes through— telling you that your work doesn’t matter, that it’s not good, or that you as a human isn’t good enough, 

it’s hurtful.

and, painful. 

no matter who you are, 

or what you do, 

or how long you’ve been in the game— 

the voice of the critic isn’t necessarily anyone’s favorite. 

because, real talk: no one wants to be torn down and ridiculed. 

but, alas— 

the voice of the critic goes hand-in-hand with showing up to contribute something in the world. because, we live in a world where everyone has an opinion and everyone feels like it’s their right and their prerogative and duty to share their opinion. like elbert hubbard said, the only way “to avoid criticism is to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”  

but, as human beings, we were created on purpose for a purpose. we were created to contribute something beautiful to this world. we were created to be light and hope in the world. which means we can’t sit on the sidelines of life— saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. we were destined to shine brightly in this world— in the way that light does. 

which means, if we we’re going to show up and the critic is going to show up— we have to learn how to deal with the critics. so, despite what is spoken and said — we continue to move forward with confidence that we matter, our voice matter, and our ideas play a significant role in his world.

because, that’s the truth— no matter what anyone says, you and your ideas matter. while you may encounter negative opinions as you journey, know this: people’s negative words and thoughts can never keep you fulfilling the destiny that you were purposed for. 

the only thing that can keep you from fulfilling your destiny is getting distracted by their words and letting them soak into you and change how you view yourself and your work. so, be on guard— know who you are. affirm yourself, encourage yourself, and remember that your work has a place in this world. 

tune into this week’s episode of the daring romantics “how to deal with the critics” on the PEPTALKS™ app, iTunes, spotify, or stitcher. in this episode, i share 5 tips on what to do when you encounter the critic so that you can continue you on your way with honor and integrity and perseverance. 

you got this, friend. 

let your belief in yourself be louder than the voices of the critics. 

xx 

lindsey eryn 

 

Hello my friends! and welcome to episode number 126 of the daring Romantics with Lindsey Eryn. and, I’m Lindsey Eryn. so, two things, starting out — I have a really awesome quote and a new Netflix show that you guys need to watch. and then we’ll get into episode, which is all about how to deal with the critics. because, Lord knows, we all have them.

But I’ll start off with the quote because I think that it was so encouraging. I found it so encouraging in my own life this week, and I texted it out to a couple of my friends and they were like, “OMG, yes! I needed this — thank you so much!”

so, I wanted to share it with you because, hello — that’s what friends do!

okay, so the quote is from Napoleon Hill in the book “Think and Grow Rich” and the quote says this: “those who succeed in an outstanding way seldom do so before the age of 40. more often, they do not strike their real Pace until they are Way Beyond the age of 50.”

okay, so I don’t know how this strikes you, but for me, when I stumbled upon this quote, I was… I honestly, just felt relieved. and, I felt so much pressure taken off of me — because, I think that, in our culture and in our generation, we often feel the pressure to have this wild success, and this really unimaginable thing happen to us in our early 30s.

I was even just talking to somebody the other day, talking about the 30 under 30 list from Forbes.

and, I was joking around about how I hate that list — because it just puts this unnecessary pressure for you to hit the climax of your success before you’re the age of 30. And I really just think that that’s unrealistic. if we’re going to be creating our whole lives, if we’re going to be creating til we’re 87 years old and gray, then I don’t want my climax to be in my thirties!

it’s like the equivalent of every single Netflix movie about somebody going back to their High School reunion, and realizing that the jocks in their High School lived in their Glory Days when they were 18 — but then never amounted to anything when they were in their adulthoods.

you know? like, if we’re going to have a reunion in Entrepreneurship in our 80s, I want to be hitting my glory days then — I don’t want to look back and say, “well, in the good old days, when I was in my thirties, I was at the top of my game…”

like, no! like, I always want to be achieving new and great things and I don’t want to climax in my 30s.

so anyways, all that to say, I hope it gives you some encouragement too, that, we’re on a journey and that, it’s okay to take our time, and it’s okay to Pace ourselves, and it’s okay if we’re not hitting the climax at 30, because honestly, who wants that?

I hope that this quote from Napoleon Hill is true, and that in my 50s, I’m really finding my pace. so, that’s also encouraging in the sense that, man, right now, is setting down the foundation — and if we’re building a strong Foundation, just think of how far we can go when we get to 50, when we get to 80.

pretty wild! so there’s that.

number two — guys, I watched this show on Netflix this weekend — it’s called speedcubers, and, it’s about the Rubik’s Cube. and, did you guys know that there’s a national championship for this? and not just that, but a world championship for speedcubers and for the rubik’s cube?

it was unexpectedly good, and really powerful. and, I mean, you have to go watch it, but, basically the premise is — there’s these top two cubers who are insanely fast and can solve the Rubik’s Cube within 6 seconds — which is just insane to me, because, I swear, it would probably take me a full year to figure that thing out.

but the story follows these two kids, who are Rubik’s Cubers, and one is autistic and one is just this guy who became famous when he was a kid doing the Rubik’s Cube and is now in his twenties, I think.

and it follows the story of this autistic kid named Max, who really looks up to this Australian kid named Felix, and their relationship — and it’s just so beautiful! and I’m not even going to lie — I cried, I legitimately cried watching this Netflix show on speedcubers.

and it was so good! so, I need you to go watch it so that we can have a conversation about it. so after you watch it, send me a DM, so that we can talk about how we all need to be a little bit more like Max and Felix.

Because they are amazing. I just love them, I love their little friendship, and I think that they should all be our role models and how we should deal with interacting with people we’re competing against, yet working with. it’s honestly really beautiful. so, go watch it, let me know what you think, hit me up in the DM’s, and let me know if you also had a crying moment — because, I just want to know that I wasn’t alone in that.

okay, so — today. getting into the meat of this episode — I want to talk about how to deal with the critics. Because, one — I think that it’s something that we all encounter, and two — it’s something that we cannot avoid!

and, if we actually want to live lives of integrity and honor and leave a lasting Legacy, then we have to learn how to deal with and interact with the critics that come along the way, because the fact is, there’s always going to be a Critic. there’s always going to be somebody that has an opinion about who you are, what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it, and how you could do it better, or why you shouldn’t even be doing it, because you’re not xyz enough for them.

over the past couple weeks, I’ve gotten several of these negative feedbacks, where it just kind of is like, “ouch.” you know? like, we can put on a tough face and say that it doesn’t bother us and say that it doesn’t affect us, but at the end of the day — nobody likes negative feedback. but the thing is, people are people, and people are bold over the internet, and people are bold when they don’t have to say something to your face, and people are bold when they can just type something over a computer screen or a phone screen — and just walk away without having the repercussions of what that means to somebody else.

and so, what that means, is that not only do you and I have to develop thick skin, but we also have to learn how to deal with this, in a healthy way! so that, no matter what is said, no matter what negative words we encounter, no matter what critiques we experience, we still have the confidence to keep moving forward, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and to continue to show up.

and this is one thing that I’ve learned about the critic, as well, and this isn’t one of my points — this is a freebie. a lot of times, the critic is projecting their own fears — typically the same fears and insecurities that are holding them back from showing up and contributing Something Beautiful in the world.

so, be mindful of whose words you’re valuing.

look at the source — is the source somebody credible, somebody that you admire, or is it just somebody who has too much time on their hands? …who is maybe projecting their own insecurities and their own fears or their own negative opinions of themselves, onto you.

this segues into Point number one, which is — to take it with a grain of salt. even if it is a projection, take somebody’s critique with a grain of salt. look at the critique, look at the critic, look at the comment, and see if there’s any truth from it, see if there’s anything that you can learn from it.

don’t just brush it off in defense, and send it, and screenshot it to a friend and say, “can you believe that they said this?” — look at the comment, listen. is there anything to be learned from it? is there anything that you can glean from it, in order to be better, in order to sharpen yourself and refine what you’re doing? if yes — then awesome, take it with a grain of salt and move on. if no, cool. leave that comment there, and get on your way!

I think one of the most powerful things that we can do as dreamers and entrepreneurs and just as human beings, is to be teachable, and to be moldable. I think that we limit ourselves when we think that we know everything.

and, when we literally brush off anything that anybody ever says to us, because it makes us feel uncomfortable, or because it hurts our feelings. And, we just can’t be that way. like sure, yes there are definitely negative and mean comments on the internet, but what if you didn’t take things so personally, and you allowed yourself to maybe learn from something!

because I don’t think that every negative comment that is left is meant to do damage or to hurt feelings — but rather to give good, constructive criticism.

an example of this is, earlier this week I got a comment on the peptalks app that says, that they love the app, that it is helping them so much with their mentality and their mood and their perspective on life — but they wish that there was less typos. and when I initially read the review, I was like, “seriously?! did you have to mention the typos? like, literally, can’t you just leave me a five star review and just tell me that the app is awesome?”

And, I then took a step back, and said, Lindsey this isn’t personal. this person loves your app, but they’re just bring something to your attention that you could do better. you could pay attention to detail more, and download grammarly on your computer, and get rid of some of those typos, and the extra “and’s” and “the’s” in there that you missed.

that comment, that review — wasn’t meant to hurt me, but to help me! but, I had to position myself in a place where I didn’t take it personally, but said, “is there something that I can learn from this review in order to do better?”

if we are actually serious about creating the best Services as possible, if we’re actually serious about creating beautiful and tangible experiences that change people’s lives, then we also have to be open to the fact that our audience may have some valuable input for us.

and in order to provide something for them that’s going to serve them in the best way, sometimes we have to Humble ourselves, in order to listen.

so that’s the challenge, is to look at the negative, look at the critiques, don’t take it personally — humble yourself, and see if there’s any truth to it. and if there is, make some changes! if there’s not — move on!

Alright, number two — is to thank people. okay, and this comes with an asterisk, so let’s just get the asterisk out of the way. thank them if it’s appropriate. like if somebody is straight-up saying like, a really mean and bullying comment — this does not apply. You don’t need to thank them for showing up in your space — just delete that comment and move on your way.

but if somebody is offering some criticism or a different opinion, thank them!

“hey, thank you so much for your opinion, thank you for your Insight, thank you for your perspective, thank you for showing up to the conversation.”

and this does two things…

number one — it does something in you. when you thank somebody for showing up into the conversation, you are changing your heart and your attitude towards that person, so that, no matter what — you are shielding yourself with positivity, so that nothing negative can stick on you. which is incredibly powerful.

and number two — it tears down any walls of defenses. I think, as human beings, we just tend to get defensive of our work, of our opinions, of our ideas — of what we’re trying to do and accomplish in the world, of our goals.

and whenever we’re defensive, we always find ourselves in sticky situations, because we don’t actually think with Clarity or with wisdom when we’re defensive. so, taking down the walls of Defense by saying “thank you” is just something really good for you, and for the other person — because it also shows them that they don’t need to be defensive either, and that you guys can have a conversation, if necessary.

and when it comes down to it, most people don’t want to be convinced that your work is good — they just want to be convinced that their voice has been heard. they just want to know that you care. so, just by saying “thank you” it’s showing them that you have courage, and that you’re a person of integrity, and that you hear them.

and a lot of times, that’s just what people want — they want to be seen, they want to be heard, they want to be noticed.

and that leads me to point number 3 — which is, to be gracious and transparent.

if you choose to respond to somebody’s comments — treat them with kindness, treat them in the same way that you would hope somebody would treat you.

One of the difficult things about the internet, is that we are just getting Snippets of people, and we stumble across people and their work, and we automatically come up with assumptions without knowing who they are, where they’re coming from, or what their background is, and why they’re showing up in the world in the way that they do.

and so, sometimes comments come in, critiques come in, because people don’t know the full story. So, if appropriate and when appropriate, take the time to share your heart with people — share why you’re doing what you’re doing, share why you’re showing up in the way that you do, or how and why this is your method. if you can share your heart with people and be transparent instead of defensive — people are going to have a better understanding of you.

and, their critique will turn into support. but that can only happen, if you take the time to thank people and then to be transparent and gracious towards them.

all right number four — don’t let the critiques distract you. and, I think that this is a huge one, because this is why so many people don’t want to show up in the world, or begin to second-guess themselves — because they get critiques. and, like we talked about at the beginning of this episode, critiques are going to happen. if you decide to show up in the world, if you decide to step out onto the stage of the world and put yourself out time — then at some point in time, somebody is going to have something to say.

And that’s scary! it is scary, it’s intimidating, it’s hurtful, it’s a lot of things. but — we cannot allow people’s opinions to hold us back from living out our destiny and living out our purpose. we have to realize that our purpose is greater than any comment that we could receive.

but what happens for a lot of people, is the criticism and the negative feedback that they get from difficult people, end up being like a wall. and, if you keep on focusing on it, then without a doubt, you’ll run into it. because it’s the whole idea of, what you are focusing on, you run towards. it’s like a bow and arrow, right? they tell you to look at the Target, not the arrow, as you’re trying to point it, because if you want to hit the target, you have to look at the Target.

and so, it’s the same thing, if you are focusing on the negative, you are going to feel like you are continuing to hit up against a wall and that you’re stuck, and you’ll find yourself angry and bitter and upset, and just in this Perpetual state of, “I can’t get anywhere…”

Because again, it’s like what we’ve talked about before, what you focus on multiplies. if you continue to focus on the negative comments that somebody has said about you or your work — you’re only multiplying it, you’re only magnifying it, and making it bigger.

where as, if you focus out in front of you, if you keep your eyes focused on your vision, then no matter what negative comments you get, you’re still on your way! because you’re focused on the road, you are focused on where you’re going, you are focused on your vision.

criticism and negativity will never hold you back from where you’re supposed to go.

it doesn’t matter how many critics you have, what they’re saying, how many there are, how loud they are — the critics can never keep you from your destiny!

the only thing that will ever keep you from your destiny, is choosing to focus on the wrong thing — choosing to focus on the negativity, instead of your vision, instead of your future, instead of the road in front of you.

so with that said, when the negativity comes in, take it with a grain of salt — but keep your eye on the vision. keep your eye on why you’re doing what you’re doing. keep your eye on why it matters that you continue to show up.

because, without fail, your mind will go where your attention is focused. so, stay focused on the right thing.

Alright, last but not least, number five — is, don’t allow the critiques to Define you.

as human beings, I think that it’s so easy to allow other people to Define Who We Are. it’s so easy to look to the outside world for validation.

but we have to know who we are, outside of other people’s opinions. we have to know who we are outside of people praising or critiquing our work. and I think that this is why affirmations are so important — this is why I believe in them, this is why I built an app that has affirmations, so that we can know who we are, outside of all of this.

listen, you are not what the critics say you are!

so, when you hear the negative opinions, when you see the negative feedback — don’t allow those negative words to attach themselves to you. don’t carry them with you into your future. guard your spirit and mind!

this past weekend, I was in Dallas with one of my best friends and somehow we got on the topic of negative things that people have said about us. and — I specifically remember in college, I had an encounter with the dean of women, and, she had a lot of critiques to give to me. and, she told me that I would never amount to anything, that I would never be a good leader, that I was a disgrace. she had a lot of critiques for me.

and I took it with a grain of salt, and realized that nothing she said held truth or validity. and, I had to choose in that moment to not let her negative opinions of me Define me, and I had to choose to not let her negative opinions attach themselves with me as I walked into my future.

words are so incredibly powerful — but we get to choose which words we carry with us.

somebody else may speak them, but it’s our choice whether we carry them. had I chosen to carry the words that this dean of women spoke over my life and spoke about me, I wouldn’t be here. you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast. I wouldn’t have an app. I probably wouldn’t have a business.

but because my mom raised me on affirmations, raised me to speak positive words over myself, raised me to declare who I am and who I am becoming, I knew who I was! and, I didn’t allow her negative opinions and negative critiques about me, to redefine me.

and that moment, as a teenager, I just distinctly remember rejecting everything that she had to say about me. and reminding myself, that no one is perfect. and as long as I keep on showing up every day with the intention to become a better version of myself, in order to produce better, then I’m Limitless!

then I can accomplish anything, because there is Grace in my movements.

listen, you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea — and that’s okay. not everybody is going to like the way that you do things or show up in the world, and that’s okay! They are entitled to their opinion just as much as you’re entitled to your opinion. but opinions are not fact — they are opinions. so, we should never allow them to Define us.

I don’t know what you’ve encountered in your life, and what words people have spoken over you, but I just want to encourage you, if people have spoken negative things over you and told you that you were X Y and Z, and have caused you to second-guess yourself and what you’re capable of — I just want to remind you, that you are smart. that you are capable. that you are creative. that you are Innovative. that you are fun. that you are likeable and lovable.

don’t let the critics pull you down and cause you to second-guess yourself and cause you to second-guess what you have to contribute in this world.

because I promise you, you are here on purpose, for a purpose and you have something beautiful to contribute to this world. creating is such a vulnerable thing, because we’re showing people the deepest parts of us, we’re showing people our dreams, our Visions, what’s going on inside of our heads — how we think and how we move.

and, it takes so much courage!

and it’s something that you should be proud of yourself for. so, when the voices of the critics come, just take it with a grain of salt. remember who you are and who you’ve been created to be.

be gracious and kind. show them that words can’t hold you down. But that you are more than a conqueror, that you are strong and courageous. and, allow their words to just be fuel to produce excellent, to show up in the world with audacity to keep on trying, to keep on forging ahead, to keep on refining yourself in the way that you do things.

as humans, I think that we just want to be applauded all the time. and, we want to know that we’re doing a good job. and while the Applause has its place, I also think that the critic has its place, too.

Because — whether we like it or not, the critic challenges us. it challenges us to be our best self, our strongest self, our most Innovative self. it challenges us to show up in the world with integrity and honor and humility.

it challenges us to develop strength — Spirit, mind, and body. to develop perseverance and determination and self-discipline. it challenges our character. it challenges us to become gracious and kind and gentle in all of our interactions — no matter who it is, and no matter what they’re saying.

And character will take us a long ways. character is what sustains a dream and causes a dream to flourish in the world.

and if we can become people of character, then there is no limit to what we can do and create in this world.

so, I guess in a roundabout way, we have to thank the critic for existing. because, even while it’s not fun in the moment — if we choose to interact with the critic in a way that is Honorable and full of Integrity, if we take what they say with a grain of salt, if we listen more than we are defensive, if we thank them and show them our courage, if we show transparency and are gracious in our words, if we don’t let their negativity Define us or distract us — then we’ll be unstoppable! …and what they meant for harm, will be the stepping stones that lead us to our greatness.

so, my friend, Wherever You Are, don’t be hard on yourself. you’re doing a good job.

showing up takes so much courage and you ought to be so incredibly proud of yourself. so, in the days when the words of the critics are getting you down — choose to refocus, and give yourself a pep talk, remind yourself of who you are and what your vision is and why you’re the perfect person for the job.

don’t second-guess yourself or slow down or hold back — because your obedience to stay faithful to your dream will have a direct impact on other people’s Destinies.

the truth is, we need you. the world needs you.

you are needed, and you belong here.

remember that this week, okay?

now, go out into the world and let’s make some magic!

hey friend, thank you so much for tuning in today. it means the world that you would spend a little bit of your day with me. if you enjoyed today’s episode, go ahead and leave a 5-star review, and share this episode with a friend.

Also — don’t forget, the peptalks app is now in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. So, if you are looking for something that will help you stay encouraged throughout your day with affirmations and words of hope, then go download the app PEPTALKS by Lindsey ERYN in the apple app store or google play. It is $0.16 a day, and I promise, it’ll be worth it.

last but not least, be sure that you’re joining us on Facebook for the Facebook Community, the daring Romantics. you can search it on Facebook, or find it in the link in any of my BIOS on the daring Romantics Instagram, or Lindsay Eryn.

and, get plugged into community, so that you can find other like-minded dreamers. because, the reality is, dream chasing is hard, and we are better together. so don’t do this journey alone — make sure that you have people in your corner and make sure that you get plugged into the daring Romantics community on Facebook. alright that’s it — I will talk to you guys next week!

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