“The more you shine the more shadows you cast.” – Shi Heng Yi
Yesterday in Part 1, we posed the question:
“How would you live your life if the negative opinions of others truly didn’t affect you?”
So today, we’ll ask the even more important question:
“Would that even be a good thing?”
(props to Larkin, who saw this coming as soon as we finished yesterday’s email — well done brother)
A few years after I grew a YouTube following, I received the inevitable gold-star reward that someday shows up in almost every semi-successful creator’s inbox:
A hate video.
Of course, most creators will claim that “it doesn’t matter what the haters think!” while pretending to practice the subtle art of not giving a fv#*.
But the obvious truth is that, unless you’re a total sociopath, 15 minutes of someone telling thousands of people how terrible you are is going to hurt.
And it did hurt — but as a mentor of mine reminded me:
It’s supposed to hurt.
We’re wired for social acceptance (our survival depends on it), so if social rejection doesn’t hurt, there’s something wrong with your wiring.
In other words, feeling hurt by criticism is not only normal, it’s a sign that you’re a well-adjusted human being.
So congrats on that 🙂
As my first qigong teacher (a multi-discipline black belt and former cage fighter) used to say…
“Masculine toughness is often just emotional weakness.”
Going numb and pretending you don’t care is not a display of strength, it is a mask for internal weakness.
Paradoxically, it takes strength to feel the sting of criticism fully, and allow it to pass through you — and what happens when we do that over and over again?
We get stronger.
In that way, criticism, negative feedback, personal attacks, haters, whatever — are all just emotional weights we lift along the road to self-mastery.
And the more we “lift” those emotions (ie. feel them fully), the more effortlessly we will handle them in the future.
Part #3, tomorrow…
P.S. So what happened with that hate video?
It turned into a deeply productive experience that led me to some powerful insights about this work.
I’ll share the details in tomorrow’s email.
Here’s where you can review Part 1 in the meantime.