Anytime someone cares enough about what I’m doing to take the time to comment, I’m deeply honored.
Whether they love it or hate it or are just “meh” about it is none of my business. People are allowed to think and feel however they like, and it really has nothing to do with me.
Are you having a hard time digesting that?
Think of it this way: you know that none of their other opinions have to do with you, right?
I mean, if someone said, “Oh, I just loathe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!” you wouldn’t take that personally, would you? You know that their feeling about PB&J isn’t about you, yes? Right. So just because the opinion under discussion happens to be “you” or “your work” does not make it any more or less about you. It’s all about them.
The moment someone starts to talk about likes and dislikes, or about “better” and “best,” they have stopped talking about the thing itself and they have started talking about themselves. (Thanks to Carolyn Bremer for the origin of this pithy phrasing.)
Here’s why I bring this up:
I was getting ready for another drive into LA, which takes about 90 minutes, and I was thinking that maybe instead of listening to a podcast, I might download a new audio book.
While cruising Audible books and reviews, I realized that I had never once looked up my own books to see their reviews.
So I look them up and…
They are just lovely!
People say the most wonderful things about my writing and about my narration and I’m just beaming over here.
And the one negative review cracked me up so much my ego forgot to even wince.
(Laughter almost always defeats ego. Try it.)
Take a look at the screenshots below and you can see for yourself.
And if you’re looking for something nice to listen to, please consider
“Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day” or use this aff link: http://amzn.to/2vKEK6s
“Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers and Recovering Perfectionists” or use this aff link: http://amzn.to/2eP4R8x
And for what’s it worth, I think your work is fabulous.
Guess what? It’s okay to have some positive thoughts about yourself.
Many of us were raised in intellectual households, where if you couldn’t prove your point, well, you were just being delusional. I’m asking you to be a little delusional. You may be reluctant to think nice thoughts about yourself. I understand. You may feel that your negative thoughts “keep you in line” and you don’t want to “get a big head.”
Darling, you will not get a big head. I promise.
EXERCISE: TEN NICE THINGS
Step 1. Write Down Ten Successes, Wins, or Blessings from the Past Year.
Grab a pen and write down ten good things that have happened in the past twelve months. It’s time to give those chattering critical voices in your head a rest. It’s time to change the tape. It’s time to accentuate the positive.
If it doesn’t work, no worries — you can always go back to thinking negatively any time you’d like.
(“I paid off all my credit cards” or “I learned how to cook a perfect roast chicken”), things that happened to you (“My cousin gave me that wonderful birthday present” or “I got asked to perform the solo”), things that happened around you (“There is some jasmine growing right next to my bedroom window, and it smells heavenly” or “Those noisy neighbors finally moved away”) or (most likely) some combination of the above.
Don’t have a contest with yourself about the “best” things that happened to you; just list some things that, when you reread the list, make you nod and smile to yourself and think, “Yep. That’s pretty good.”
Step 2. Write Down Ten Nice Things about Yourself.
Now make a list of ten nice things about you. They may be nice qualities that you were born with, like your quick mind and your lovely eyes. They may be nice skills you’ve learned, like your gorgeous gardening skills and your ability to run a mile without losing your breath.
Or maybe they’re things other people appreciate about you, like what a safe and courteous driver you are, and how you always remember everyone’s birthday. Push yourself to come up with ten.
After all, the assignment is not to write down ten extraordinary things about you, or ten things that no one else in the world has ever done — just ten nice things that, again, you can look at and say, “Yep. That’s pretty good.”