Let’s assume you have created a piece of work, and you put it out for the world to see: an idea, a plan, a blog post, a hobby project, a presentation.
Let’s say 500 people take a look at what you’ve done.
499 people like it: some praise you, some tell you it’s wonderful, some say nothing.
1 person hates it, and you plus your approach, then tells you publically.
Who do you listen to the 499 or the 1?
Logically you know:
a) not everyone is going to like your work or what you do (or you).
b) not everyone is going to say ‘well done’.
c) 499 is really a fantastic result.
So why the hell does 1 person make more impact on you than the 499?
I’ve watched this happen to three people last week, and I’ve been there. They have let 1 person decide the value of their work.
Why this really bothers me.
Because I’ve seen too many people being utterly destroyed by folks who’s only remit is to belittle and destroy a person, and the ‘work’ or what they have produced is the easiest way they can begin the attack.
- One comment can stop a person producing and creating.
- One comment can stop a person working towards the career and work they dream about.
- One comment can ruin a persons chances of every claiming back their confidence and self esteem.
If we don’t like something, fine, we can say so, that’s our right, but to rip an individual to shreds because what they’ve produced doesn’t fit with their view of the world (I think) is just wrong, what do you think?
If you’re affected by the ‘one person’ comments, this is a problem that only you can fix.
Because these comments (and people), if you keep producing, growing and changing will keep coming up time and time again.
So you have choices to make and you have work to do:
- Ignore. And I mean ignore. This isn’t hard, we make it hard because we tie up emotions in there. Ignore means you finding the ‘screw it’ button and turning it on.
- If you get the opportunity, ask the person ‘what would you do to improve the work’, don’t wait for answer though, I’ll bet they haven’t got one if they are attacking you and not what you produced.
- Pull up your panties and be prepared for negative comments.
- Toughen up. I don’t mean grow a hard heart. I mean toughen up. Thick skin and all that. Oh, sorry should get all deep and meaningful here. Screw that. Look, sometimes you just have to toughen up.
- Next time aim for 100 people hating it. Why? Get the rid of the myth in your head that in order to be successful you have to liked and loved by everyone. Produce your work, in your voice, in your way, develop your own unique style or blend in to keep everyone happy, your choice.
- Listen. And if they have something constructive to say, sure you may learn something. If it’s an attack on you, you’ll know, you’re smart. Back to number 1.
If you are emotionally upset by what others think, you have work to do on yourself.
Yes, you do.
It’s not a trip to the therapist, you can do it yourself while lying in bed eating ice cream. I suggest you work out why it bothered you so much and I’ll take a stab it will all be wrapped up in the past.
- Who has laughed at your work before?
- Who has ever said to you ‘that’s not good enough’?
- How were you given feedback growing up?
- Did you ever hear ‘try harder’ or ‘next time you can do a little better’?
- When has your best never been the best for someone?
Identify the pain behind the comment. That’s the best place to start, I bet you’ll discover that the 1 person comment is a combination of all the people who said your work wasn’t good enough, however you may have learned these messages when you think you heard ‘you aren’t good enough’, big difference.
Have you been the attack of a one person comment? How did you react?
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