Light bulb moments
Welcome to issue 11. Thank-you for stopping by again. Pull up a chair. Make yourself comfortable.
The past fortnight has been a time of reflection and introspection. This writing lark has meant I’ve needed to think about all kinds of new things and possibilities. The act of having to articulate yourself on paper, computer screen or whatever for other people to read creates a new obligation to kick start your grey matter, get up off your metaphorical laurels, step out of your own regular headspace and contemplate. I’ve been having more and more epiphanies and light bulb moments about all sorts of things.
It may sound strange, but it’s very easy to forget that you’re sharing your ideas and opinions with anyone else when you’re merrily blogging and tweeting away.
I had my first interview published this week on Passion, diversity and the importance of personal branding. Thank you to Your Better Business. I was talking about setting up Womanthology and the gazillion things it has taught me about myself and about other people. I am officially one of the grown-ups now with a proper opinion and everything…
So I got quite excited by the idea that people might actually be interested in reading about what I’ve done. When you put your heart and soul into anything for a sustained period of time, believe me, this means a lot. There was a flurry of activity on Twitter and various other platforms and I felt a bit like Beyoncé (although I’ve obviously got less of a penchant for wandering round in skimpy gold frocks).
But then, I stumbled upon one or two negative comments in amongst the sharing and general positivity and my confidence fell off a cliff. Everything I’d said was about supporting people and helping others. I’m there encouraging everyone else to be themselves and be brave, be themselves and find their passions, so I couldn’t crumble at the first sign of a bit of negativity, could I? That would be an insult to the people who had listened and supported.
Compliments or criticism: It’s not me, it’s you… Don’t take it personally
A few days later I happened upon a blog post on LinkedIn about toxic behaviours that got me thinking. It was written by Kathy Caprino, a smiley lady in a chunky knit cardigan (have a look at her website) who talked about not taking things personally.
“The reality is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their filters, and their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, it’s more about them.” I think Kathy is spot on here and it’s something to hold on to in all our interactions with others.
Timely reminder to be your own judge
So maybe I needed that blip to keep me centred and remind me that the only person’s opinion that truly matters is my own. And I need to keep reminding myself of this. It’s the best feeling ever when something you’ve done with genuinely good intentions around helping others works well, but we have to remember that there will always be critics who may judge us harshly, no matter how noble our intentions. And maybe that’s a good thing.
This has certainly made me for mindful of the way I interact with others and the need to try and be kind. I’m not making any promises, but I’m hoping that Beyoncé and Kathy will both be with me on this one.