Guest post by Lena L. West, Social Media Strategist
Now, you might think that someone with 14 years of business experience tagging behind me might be ashamed to admit something like that publicly. Nope.
Anyone who tells you they are fearless is a liar, a sociopath or the Dalai Lama (and he probably gets skeered, too!).
People who "feel the fear and and do it anyway", do fear less, but we aren't fearless -- not by a long shot.
I used to be absolutely FROZEN by fear. For YEARS it stopped me cold in my tracks. Thankfully, I've always been able to make a good living, because if not, there would have been trouble. I wasn't innovating or IMPLEMENTING big (I've always been a big thinker). I was just doing the bare minimum until one day I ended ALL THAT.
If you're anything like me, you cannot sit right in your skin if someone tells you that you can't do something. If someone doubts you or tries to throw the least bit of shade on your game, you're Jane-on-the-spot. You're like my dog when it's snowing out -- you dig your heels in at the door and refuse to be moved. In the words of Jay-Z, you become, "fully focused, man."
I've learned to transform this negative energy to work for me.
Here's the thing, this tactic probably wont work for you if your feelings are easily hurt or you have not learned how to proctect your personal energy field. If you've got these things going on, learn what you need to learn before you try this tactic.
So, here's what I do. I either work with a partner...someone I know who can hold space for me and who, at their core, has my best interests at heart or I work with a mirror.
I say all the things I imagine my haters saying. Not all the mean, rude, idiotic stuff (that stuff is just dumb), but the more insidious junk, like:
- "Who do you think you are?"
- "I can't believe you went the 'long sales letter' route!"
- "What a sell out. I thought you were REAL!"
- "I already know all this stuff. This is not news. Tell me something I don't know!"
These are just some of the statements my clients provide when I'm taking them through, what I call "the Hatercise". You probably have your own, so use them instead. If you're at a loss for ideas, start with these until you get the hang of it.
Essentially, I role play with myself. I say all the things I think my haters are saying and I counter them one by one with exactly what I would say if someone said those things to my face (the counter statements I say while looking in the mirror). Hearing those negative things makes me want to prove to that "other person" that they don't know what I'm capable of at all. In fact, hold on a second, let me give you just a taste of what I'm about to do...
Those negative statements...I diffuse them. I want to prove that other person wrong so badly, I start taking all kinds of action. I raise my Hater Blockers and only accept calls and emails from people who mean business -- everyone else talks to my team. I zone in and get dead-ass clear about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I remind myself that somewhere there is a woman who is totally stuck when it comes to social media marketing and either I'm going to reach out in a BIG way or she's going to sit there and wonder why no one will help her. I draw my focus on my target like an owl.
Many people might say that this is focusing too much on negativity or giving haters too much play in my mind. But, you and I both know that there are times when you can only hear the haters. There are times when you're too scared to move. There are times when you wish you were someplace else doing anything else. So, while I might feed into the haterade a little bit, I flip it to make it work for me. It doesn't happen often, but when I'm petrified, this REALLY gets me going. Call me crazy, but the Hatercise hasn't failed me yet.
Are you scared stiff? Instead of beating yourself up about it, "listen" to what your haters are saying and come back with your own STRONG replies. The more you "show up" for this exercise, the more powerful it is. Be willing to be surprised.