Are you afraid of being seen? Heard? Judged? Criticized?
You are not alone.
In fact, it’s becoming more common for me to hear this in the age of unbridled opinion.
I think that the democratization of media gives us all a voice, and that’s so powerful for our creative lives.
There’s also a whole new opening though: an opening to mass critique and response that isn’t always filled with love.
20 years ago if you wrote an essay and published it in a written journal or newspaper, for example, there may be letters sent to the editors or writers. There could be an uproar over a controversial piece. There could be dissent, which is healthy and great, for all sides of an issue to be expressed.
One or two op-eds would be published. Everyone would have their opinions. Life would go on.
I think all the healthy debate and constructive stuff that happens online now is a great catalyst. It also opens the door to unfiltered (and consequence-free) bashing and hating and lots of other stuff.
With great good comes great responsibility, and so, it’s a different world.
That actually happened not to long ago. A unicorn toast created an uproar. A pretty piece of toast. Was. Hated.
So, why does this matter?
Really it doesn’t. Unless you are attached to the comments.
The thing is, you’re never quite sure as a creator what you’re going to elicit these days!
I mean, artists have always had a thing abut criticism. Even before social media. Now, though, the critique can go much further and can be off the cuff. A letter to an editor took some time to write. A quick-fire comment is a few seconds.
I’ve seen lots of creative people holding on to their ideas so tightly for fear ot criticism, or watering down their genius so as not to shine too bright, because they’re not sure they can handle the voices that aren’t the most awesome.
I found an easy way to deal with these things.
I am fine with all of it.
You’d think that in the most innocuous field of somewhat hippie design (albeit there’s science and there’s lots of art involved) that I would not see much of this. But oh, the x-rated emails and filtered comments on YouTube I find at times, the videos that elicit comments about my being too “x,y,z” in how I look, the dress I am wearing… And, my favorite, always, are the people who say I am stupid. My last piece that ran on a news network that had lots of people calling me stupid. I stopped reading after the first few comments. I laughed, reflected a few minutes on the work I did at Stanford with some of the most game-changing professors in the world and how I dreamed of having the career that I have, and then smiled as friends told me the comments kept pouring in. Lots of good, some constructive questions and commentary, and whoa, loads of haters.
Does it make me not want to create?
That’s what many people asked me.
A few years ago it might have stopped me frozen in my tracks.
I mean, if I didn’t believe in my work or in my deep desire to get this work out into the world as much as I do now, it might. But I am so deeply in love with learning and growing, so connected to so many in my audience of readers, my family of clients, my online Camps… I know what this work does to create and support change and I am always ready to learn more and share more. For you. For the thrill of seeing spaces shift and the stories of lives changing. For the art. For the way it expands my life.
If you’re afraid of hater criticism, fall more in love with your creative process.
Constructive criticism is awesome. The rest is… well… it’s there.
What we focus on will grow.
I’m focused on the millions of folks this year who have read, seen, used, and maybe felt inspired by the stuff I’ve shared… even the ones that didn’t like what I had to say, what I was wearing, what my hair looked like, or any of my ideas and practices all. It means that there’s now an interest in environment and creating more healthful, shining environments. I may not be your feng shui master of choice, you may not like anything I say, but I see the change and the reach toward more and more ways to optimize life and I’m thrilled for the change.
I’m well aware that not everyone will love me, but loving myself a whole lot more has make it all fine.
If you’re creatively blocked or feel held-back, try some self-love.
A lot of it. More and more self-care. Indulge in it. Embrace it. Feel stronger and brighter, and keep on making things.
The more personal your work, the more you might fear being criticized because it’s no longer just your art… it’s you being criticized.
It’s why so many huge agents and publishers and artists have asked me to write a very personal story and I have put it on the back burner for years.
By letting my own decisions be dictated by fear, I felt strange and disconnected.
And now… it’s on the the front burner.
And, I feel so alive!
Personal connection brings life to life! I’m reminded of the Buddhist truth that when you are slandered, it helps to eliminate your negative karma. So, the random haters can be a big boost to your positive fortune! No need to read it all. I send them love and thank them all.
There are so many gifts and talents you have to share with the world. Embracing more love and connection can move you past the fear and into the awesomeness.
I’m willing to bet that you’ll never really regret following your heart, making your art and living life in ways that allow you to be who you are in vibrant, amazing ways.
P.S.: If you want to really immerse yourself in the light of joy so much more, my favorite Feng Shui and cutting-edge energy-shifting tools that I use almost every day are HERE for you in the Joy Immersion: 30 Day Negativity Detox!
Welcome to Creating Genius!
I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.
Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!