Dealing with Criticism

hailey gardiner dealing with criticism haters harsh words kindness uplifting courage bravery

Words are powerful.

Some of the most common questions I receive are about having the courage to put yourself and your work out into the world, and how to deal with criticism from other

Get Grounded

I used to let the opinions of others really affect me and my feelings of worthiness around writing, sharing and creating music.

I’ve learned that there will always, always, always be someone who doesn’t like you, your voice, your face, your cat, your favorite sweater or whatever it may be that you do for work.

But I’ve decided not to pay any more attention to the small percentage of “haters” I encounter, and instead focus my energy on those who bring love and support into my life and the lives of others.

Here are five tips that can help us deal with the negative comments and opinions of others that we inevitably (or accidentally) may come across as a creator.

1. Criticism comes with the territory, so celebrate your own bravery as an artist if someone feels the need to slam you!

Isn’t it funny how the people who leave ruthless comments on your YouTube videos or Instagram posts are usually anonymous, faceless, and have NOTHING to show?

Most trolls are cowards hiding behind a computer screen, not brave enough to write a song and post it on the internet, or post a video of themselves singing.

They simply feel threatened by you and might be jealous of your talent and awesomeness.

Give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to take a risk and share your gifts with the world, something most people will never have the guts to do!

2. Don’t read the comments. You don’t need them!

If you need an opinion, seek out a professional or someone you trust.

I was once advised by someone who was very successful to read and respond to every comment that people left on our YouTube videos, which turned out to be some of the worst advice I’ve ever received.

Turns out that person struggled with deep feelings of inadequacy, and was allowing their happiness with their work to completely ride on the opinions of others.

Reading and responding excessively to comments is not only unnecessary, but could detract from the joy that you experience when you’re creating just to create, not to receive good reviews.

What you never see can’t hurt you.

I’ve learned that there are only a few opinions that really matter to me.

I feel totally secure enough to trust the opinions of the professionals I work with, my family members and close friends and no longer feel the need to get validation from strangers on anything that I do.

3. Don’t respond to hate. Use the extinction method.

Most people who write critical comments are only looking for one thing: attention.

They are desperate for it.

So don’t give it to them!

I’ve seen people engage with those who write hateful comments on their posts and guess what?

Even if what was said was mean and spiteful, the only person that ends up looking bad is the one who chose to react and pay attention to the comment.

Just ignore it!

Once they realize their bullying isn’t going to work on you, eventually they’ll move on and find someone more reactive to torment.

4. If someone has a problem with you, let it be their problem!

If you do come across something rude or mean or negative, just tell yourself, “this person’s opinion of me is none of my business” (thank you, Rachel Hollis), and go on with your day.

If someone hates my music, that’s their problem. Not mine.

5. Just because someone says something about you doesn’t make it true.

I could say that the sky is purple. Does that make it true?

No. It just makes me a colorblind liar.

Don’t absorb what strangers on the internet say about you as truth!

Ground yourself in a deeper sense of identity and purpose, and you can be rock solid no matter how harsh the words are that are thrown your way.

We have the power to use our words for good, to uplift and encourage others.

Trust me when I say that I know what it feels like to get a low blow critical comment on something that you put your heart into, but also know that it’s not the end of the world!

I think you’ll find that most people will offer positive support and kindness when you’re expressing yourself through your unique creativity.

Show your creations to a select few people who you trust- friends, family, and professionals, and let the rest of the world’s opinions rest in peace.