A few weeks ago, I experienced bullying on a facebook group online. I was shamed, called names and criticised. It hurt deeply, and it seemed so unjust.
This week blog explores how to overcome criticism. Have you ever put yourself out there, and felt knocked down or experienced a hurdle that knocked you for 6? This is how I felt and I had to tap into my tool kit to bounce back with resilience. It takes courage to share your story and ideas with the world. To be creative is to be vulnerable and I want to share this story to encourage you to get back up when you are criticised and to never let anyone stop you from daring greatly.
I share my wellbeing workshops with corporates, at events and also as a MS Ambassador, a volunteer role I have enjoyed for 10 years now. I decided to share a free event I was doing with a MS community, in honour of World MS Day. Not all, but some of the online comments in a facebook group were so gruelling I was shocked. I had people say, “who do you think you are, I don’t believe you, she is full of crap.” “Shame on you for preying on sick people.” “Scam artist”, “My bio was copied and pasted and they made fun of me in the comments.
Perception is everything, and unfortunately sharing my work and inviting this particular community to a free event, was taken the wrong way.
This week’s blog is about how to deal with the moments when you are criticised and challenged. When you have the courage to be out there trying to make a difference, you may not always be well received. So needing to be liked is kind of asking for trouble if this is your passion. We need innovation, creativity and disruption in this world, not only to make a difference but I also believe that having a mission in life is genuinely good for the soul.
Please support people that have the courage to be vulnerable and be mindful of the words you say online and the impact it can have on the other person. I hope I can shine just a bit more light on the darkness that we can all experience, when we feel criticised.
I have learned that when you have decided to be a leader, a speaker and are out there to challenge people’s thinking, you are going to piss people off. It is part of the deal. It has been something I have been scared of my whole career, dealing with criticism, the haters and the most toxic - online trolls. When I read the comments that were a personal attack on my ethics, my morals and my business I was beyond mortified. But I breathed in and remembered that they were not true and were simply a projection from people that may be in some pretty significantly dark and emotional pain.
For just a moment, I’ll admit I ever so briefly questioned who do I think i am, should I be promoting my story and talking about positivity and health? Should I share how far I have come or will this upset others?
I gave myself some couch time and time out. I was on watching TV and jumped on Netflix, I found Brene Brown’s latest serious “The Call To Courage”. She gives an amazing show on courage, vulnerability and how she dealt with it when she blew up on youtube with her Ted X talk The power of vulnerability and most importantly how she was shamed online.
She quotes Theodore Roosevelt that she discovered after she was googling the actors in a Netflix binge.
“It not the critic that counts. It’s not the man that points out the strong man’s stumbles or where the do or deeds could have done it better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who's face is marred with blood, sweat and dust. Who at the best, in the end knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst if he fails, he fails daring greatly. “
Wow - this was everything ! It was all I needed to hear to replenish and restore my courage and vulnerability again. Thank you Brene Brown for sharing your story and how you coped with the bullying experience you had online that was more hurtful than I could ever have imagined. As you saved me in that moment.
Brene also says “If you choose to live your life in the arena, you will get your assed kicked”.
And she goes on to reclaim her power with this game changing epiphany that I get goosebumps readying every single time. “If you're not in the arena, also getting your assed kicked. I am not interested in your feedback.” Brene Brown
I learned a lot that week. If I get a push back again from promoting a happier and healthier life whilst sharing my story bravely, next time I will quietly smile and close my eyes. It will happen again as I grow. It is not my job to be liked by all, it is my job to inspire and to get people thinking.
I learned that it is not useful to try and get everyone to align with your message and to like you. You only need a small tribe to get you and at the right time they will find you.
How you react is a reflection of what you are believing and perceiving. Toxic thoughts and unprocessed emotions can make us sick and the energy needs to so somewhere , often stored in our bodies or expressed in outburst of anger and blame. Knowing this, can we be kinder to ourselves and have the ability to see with compassionate eyes, when we witness this pain in others. As love transforms everything.
When you stand firm in your courage and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you are expanding and evolving to be the best you. Remember, it is not the critic that counts. Be the example and be the light, as when you shine your light you secretly give others the permission to shine their light too x
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