Critics are Irrelevant

guts over fear
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Nowadays, I mostly go for runs as a way to spark ideas. It's amazing. When you can eliminate the distractions that constantly bombard you and just think, great things happen.

In order for these ideas to come about, I usually have to listen to a podcast or audiobook about marketing. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of audiobooks by Seth Godin and Bernadette Jiwa. I like their style and the way they think about marketing is different than how I thought about it before.

Self Doubt

During a recent morning run, I was listening to the audiobook version of Seth's book Tribes.

It sparked a lot of ideas related to a personal project I'm in the planning phase of, but he also talked about fear. Fear that keeps us from doing what we want to do.

I've written about fear before. My first blog post for The Winding Road, in fact. But this sparked another idea.

A type of fear I've had with this new project. The idea of it excites me. Then my inner critic shows up and goes negative with thoughts like:  "What if this happens?" "Or that happens?" "How will it be received?" "What if it fails?"

Fear of Criticism

When Seth mentioned that a primary driver of fear is born out of criticism. It's the fear of receiving criticism that holds us back from achieving our ideas, goals, and dreams.

Then I thought, why do we care what certain people think?

We shouldn't. When we create something, we have a 'tribe' in mind. A specific group of people that do things and think like 'us.'

Criticism is inevitable. People that don't understand why we do what we do are going to be critical of it. It doesn't fit into their worldview or understanding of how they perceive things to work.

That's OK. What you're doing or creating is not for them.

They may be critical because it disrupts their norms. Maybe it could threaten the way they've done things. They're comfortable and don't want to change. So they lash out through criticism.

Maybe they can't grasp what you're doing or talking about and it makes them feel inferior. It could threaten their status among a certain group of people.

People Like Us

Whatever it is that generates the criticism, you have to disregard it and understand that what you do isn't for everyone. It's for your 'tribe'. People like you who do things like this.

Don't let the people you're not for derail what you're doing for the people you are for.

Let that sink in for a minute. Maybe read it again.

Listening to these critics would be doing everyone a disservice. Including the critic. Enforcing their rigidness and thinking that everything needs to be for them is not something you need to worry about.

Silence the Voice

Next time you have doubts, tell that voice in your head to go to hell. Tell the ones criticizing your idea to go create something better if they don't like what you've done.

The truth is, they won't do it. They won't do it because they don't have the guts. They're also afraid of the same type of criticism. So they'll sit on the sidelines and criticize but do nothing.

That's why they don't matter.

They aren't doers. They don't have guts. They don't have grit.

You do.

Go be great! Go kick ass!

F*** the critics.