A new self-hypnosis audio is part of this post, but first the back story…
For the first five minutes of a guided visualization during a weekly meditation group meeting, I had a hard time concentrating.
Right before we met, I made a small mistake of checking into the online bookmarking site reddit, just one media channel I’m retrying (after a go around back in 2007). In hoping to increase engagement and traffic on the Unwinding Path, I occasionally post and participate on the site. One of my recent posting was downvoted. That means someone did not like my link sharing.
Now let me say, my underlying current of this blog is for it to be a positive thing. Sure, I share some of my anxieties and such with you (I am human most of the time), but I try very hard not to get do emotional rants. I also work not to be judgmental in a negative way (this is a slippery slope to the bottom of the hill). If I share opinions, I prefer that they are positive, or neutral at the worst.
In order not to leak negativity all over this cyber page, I’ll keep it simple. I had some negativity going into the meditation. As I sat in the peace garden’s shade, noticing the comfort of an afternoon breeze, my mind and body felt clenched and tight.
At first, I though I might give into temptation and go for a rant, but instead I took stock and cogitated on all the things my inner-3-year-old wanted.
It occurred to me it is time for a little more self-hypnosis on dealing with criticism – as it is often a large part of being a creative or an artist. And no, growing a thick skin is not the answer. Understanding it, accepting where you actually stand within it, and only taking the helpful out of the situation is the answer. And that is how I found peace during the rest of that day’s meditation.
Often criticism says more about the other person. Maybe they are offering something helpful that you should hear, but sometimes not. Perhaps they are reacting to an emotion you triggered and do not understand how to direct a proper response. Possibly they are having a bad day or their self-esteem is threaten?
Often something about themselves is revealed in their words. I see receiving criticism as a time when ideally the receiver is not on the defense, but rather the offense. This allows one to pause and reflect, to gain insight into someone else and how they perceive the world.
With the case of my downvoting, perhaps someone felt threatened because I lauded another artist on the blog and it made them jealous; maybe the interview was too long or too short; possibly they know and do not like one of us; it might have inauthentic; or and then there is the change they just did not like my writing. When a person only has to click a downvote button without a providing a reason, it’s impossible to discern what they were thinking. Sadly, this means there is no room for improvement and no positive learning experience or insight gained. And since I will never know, it seems silly obsess about the indefinite.
Will I leave reddit? I’m undecided. My analytics on the blog show readers coming from this source, so I’ll probably keep trying. In the interlude of writing this and publishing it, the reddit post received upvotes a few times and conversations happened.
So, as it turns out the downvoting had a positive benefit. It made me start to dissect the idea of criticism.
- When dealing with criticism, here are some key points to consider:
Is the criticism constructive? From the message it sends, is it helpful and can it help you improve? Even if it is presented poorly, if you gain something positive from it, then it was helpful.
- If it is truly not helpful and just mean, what does this say about the giver of the criticism? If it is someone in your life for better or worse, maybe the comment will help you to navigate troubled waters in the future.
- You cannot base your overall self-esteem on someone else’s opinion because that is all criticism ever is – someone else’s subjective thoughts.
- And this is the most important part – forgive yourself for taking a risk and putting yourself out there. It is easy to believe that had we not done this or that, so-and-so would not have reacted with negative words or actions. If we all did nothing, shared nothing – the world would be an ugly place.
And these are the ideas and suggestions inherent in this new hypnosis audio. Once I decided to create it, I was finally able to realign myself with the guided visualization, release the stress of the moment and let go. There really is something said for taking something negative and turning it around into something positive.
And now the self-hypnosis audio link