You’re going about your day and feeling G-O-O-D.
Your morning routine had you starting the day on point.
You had a few great calls with people who lit you up.
You’re knocking things off your to-do list left and right.
Heck, you even had the best tasting lunch that included a walk outside.
You come back to your computer and see a notification on social media.
You click on it and…
“Just another online scam. Why is this ad on my feed?”
“Your post was inappropriate.”
“If you didn’t move around so much on video, I could follow along.”
“Sounds like another get rich quick scheme. PASS.”
“I can’t believe you would talk like that in your business. Very unprofessional.”
Your heart drops.
Your mind starts racing.
And you can’t help but feel both sad and angry at the same time.
Welcome to the peanut gallery of business. Just like life, it is filled with people who want their opinions known.
My very first peanut gallery criticism happened within two weeks of me setting up my very first business page on Facebook. #welcometotheinternet
I took a photo of my food prepared for the week on the counter and was not so nicely told that I am in no way qualified to talk about health because I was using plastic containers instead of glass.
“Omg am I a fraud? Should I never share these photos again? Should I not share anything if this is what’s going to happen?”
At the time, I thought it was the end of my business (which, yes, I’m aware is hilarious now but when you’re new in business EVERYTHING is a big deal).
Looking back through, I can’t tell you how thankful I was to have this happen so early on because it has allowed me to develop skills to quickly overcome these moments.
Which was great because the critics didn’t stop as I grew. In fact, they grew right along with me.
And that’s ok.
Because I can’t control others’ criticisms of me.
However, I can control my reaction to them.
And this week, I want to help you to do the same so that criticism online doesn’t stand in the way of your big vision either.
STEP 1: Get it All Out
You aren’t going to just love and light this away. If you want to truly let something go, you have to give space to the dark too.
For me, this starts with letting my inner five year old self have a full out tantrum to get it all out of my system. This typically involves saying things like “you’re obviiiii not doing much of anything if you have time to comment that” or “if you knew me, you’d eat those words so quick” and possibly screenshotting it to a friend so they can confirm how wrong that person is with me.
Does it sound a little childish of me? Yep. And it should because that part of me deserves space too.
Without providing this space for that energy to get out of me, it stays to come along into the next steps.
Next time you get caught up in reading comment threads, pay attention to how many are carrying their tantum with them because they didn’t let it out before moving on. It’s astounding.
STEP 2: Give Yourself a Reality Check
Now that I gave myself that space to get everything out, I can move forward with a clear and logical mind.
This is the time for me to check in to see if there was anything true to what they said.
Did they expose a vulnerability of mine (albeit, with bad delivery) that can now become a blessing in disguise?
If we use the very first example about the plastic vs glass containers, the answer would have been yes.
And it had nothing to do with the containers.
It had to do with the fact that they didn’t think I was qualified to be in the health space and, at the time, either did I. This meant that it 100% exposed my own weakness that I needed to work on. Which I did and it led to a very successful first business for me.
Now, this won’t always be the case. And, if not, you can skip right to Step 3.
However, I always like to check because there could be a great opportunity for personal growth.
STEP 3: Embrace the Power of Empathy
We do the first two steps before this one because this step is near impossible to do if you aren’t in the right frame of mind.
The fact is that happy people don’t have or make time for comments like that. Hurt people do.
Those who feel burned, behind, alone, etc.
Just like your feelings and experiences in life are valid, so are theirs.
If we use that first example again, maybe they are a health coach that feels frustrated by all these newbies coming in? Or, are they a consumer who has experienced health issues from the use of plastic and seeing my post triggered her?
While I don’t know the actual answer, I do know that there’s always more to a situation than what we can see from the outside.
And I can empathize with that.
STEP 4: Take Action
This is where you get to make a choice from the truest and most clear version of you.
You can choose to respond or delete and move along.
Personally, my belief is that most of us simply want to be heard. So, unless it’s something super catty or “nice boobs” I will respond, with empathy. Otherwise, I delete. I see it as an opportunity to open the door to a different way of thinking. They don’t have to agree but maybe it will plant a seed that will help them later.
Again though, your business and your call on what you want to do in that specific situation.
However, if you do respond, at this point it is from a place of compassion vs. where we were in step one.
I see you. I hear you. And just wanted to let you know I do.
How Do You Handle Criticism on Social Media?
Is it similar to what you just read? A little different?
Come on over on Instagram and let’s share ideas!