When you paint something, write something, sell something that you create and share a little piece of yourself, you are “laying yourself on the line”. You are putting yourself in front of all sorts of people for them to have their opinion about you and your work. You are sharing your heart, your energy and your creation. You are being vulnerable. Having a blog with my writing all over it means that absolutely anyone can read it and form their opinion of me, what I say and how I say it. This is the same with all my work.
So here’s the thing and I know that you’ll know how this works; you get 99 people telling you that they love your work, it’s made a difference to them. They love what you do and how you do it. And then somewhere in the midst of that sea of positive energy and affirmation, one person looks the other way or tells you that they don’t like it or ignores what you’re doing or worse still for me, misunderstands what you’re trying to achieve. Where is the natural place to focus? Yes. That’s right. We’ve all done it. It’s on the one person out of a hundred that doesn’t ‘get’ you; that’s who you decide to focus on.
I have learnt to listen to the other 99 people but that’s come from retraining my thinking and learning to shift my natural propensity to go and concern myself with the one for whom has a criticism or dislike or problem with what I’m doing or saying.
There is a balance to be had in reflecting upon our own malady. We do need to ensure that we are learning and growing and being the best we can be, using the material provided to us by others and their reactions to us. But we also need to remain true to ourselves and speak our own truth.
I was told very early on by someone far wiser than I when I said “But what if nobody likes my writing?”. I was told that I am not to write for you. It is not possible for me to write for you because I do not know what you (whoever ‘you’ are) want from me. I am to write for me and enjoy the bonus of you liking my writing and of you wanting me to write more.
So the secret is you can’t please everyone. It’s not possible and it’s vital that you continue to do what you do in the way that you do it. That way, the people who are truly your audience, will always be pleased…..