The world is full of people that love to hate. This is a sad fact, but it remains true, and sometimes the hate will spill over into your life. In the video above, I talk about how I deal with hateful comments, both in real life and online.
People are going to try to discourage you
In fact, I believe the more successful your or your platform becomes, the more people will hate on you. There are probably lots of reasons for this – people will be jealous of you, they will feel insecure about themselves, and sometimes people will just genuinely disagree with what you’re doing or what you stand for (and they may actually have a point). Regardless of the reason, we need to know how to deal with hateful and discouraging comments.
Don’t let just anyone speak into your life
This is a powerful, and I believe life-changing philosophy. I think it’s important to have a small group of people – a circle – that speak into your life, and for the vast majority of those outside that circle – just ignore them. There are a few caveats to this line of thinking, though…
- Your ‘circle’ of people needs to have the freedom to communicate both your strengths and your weaknesses.
- They need to be made up of people that you have a personal relationship with, although I think it’s good to listen to outside sources as well.
- They need to earn the right to speak into your life.
- They need to be an expert or have authority in the field.
- If they point out weaknesses or areas where you need to improve, they should either help you improve themselves, or try to point you toward resources that do.
So begin creating a circle of people who will help you. This doesn’t have to be a formal thing where you inform somebody, “You are in my circle of people who can tell me when I’m good/bad at something”. Rather, just formulate a list of people that, when they tell you that you’re either good or bad at something, you listen to them and take action.
Brad Paisley has a song called “I’m So Much Cooler Online”. If you don’t know it, you should listen to it. The basic idea is that anyone can be whoever they want behind a keyboard. People will say all kinds of horrible things to you online – and again, the bigger your influence, the more hate you’re going to get. This concept if ignoring everyone except those who have earned the right to speak into your life is even more important when it comes to the Internet. The bottom line is this: when it comes to online comments, everyone is an expert, and everyone believes they should tell you what to do and how to do it. Just ignore most of it.
Pay attention to trends
This whole concept does not exist so people can bury their heads in the sand and believe that they are amazing. On the contrary – hopefully your circle of people will be comfortable enough to tell you where you need to improve, and even when you might need to change a course of action and move on to something else. But when it comes to comments from people outside your circle, pay attention to trends.
If you constantly hear people say something like your vocals are pitchy, you should probably pay attention and see if there is something really there. Maybe you could benefit from some voice lessons. It’s important to pay attention to trends that you see over and over.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to push yourself to be as good as you can be. The difficult part is understanding your potential and then doing what it takes to realize your potential.