when you get your first critic

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throw-back to my bestie in some stunna shades

I have spent plenty of time in utter disbelief at the things random strangers comment on social media pages of public figures and celebrities. I’ve been following Pop Pilates creator, Cassey Ho, for the past six or seven years now and have watched as she’s become famous and accomplished so many incredible things because she followed her dreams and didn’t let people bring her down. She makes sure to take a minute in her blog every now and then to call situations out in order to refocus on the importance of what she was doing in the first place.

So what does this have to do with me?

Last week at the end of one of my nutrition classes that I teach, I got a survey back which stated nothing I had spent four hours teaching over the course of a few weeks was new information or of any help and that this person would not recommend my class to others. It’s perfectly fine if that person feels that way. I am not saying I’m the world’s best teacher or that I know everything but I spent a LOT of time preparing for those presentations and that was my second time teaching the series. To put myself out there and talk about something I am so passionate about to help others only to have something like that written about me sucks. I am a living, breathing example that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to being healthy and I do not need others to validate me in that. That being said, for a few hours….. it did.

I’m not even sure how to describe the feeling that washed over me when I read that review. I’ve never felt it before. It was a mix between disappointment and sheer embarrassment. At first I doubted myself and then I got angry pointing out ways that what was written couldn’t have even possibly been true. I was sulking for a few hours trying to come to terms with what this meant or how to fix it. When I woke the next morning I panicked because my body seemed to know that something had been wrong like I was never supposed to have gotten a good night’s sleep under these circumstances. Shortly after I truly woke up and was mentally functioning, it became humorous to me. Laughter is often the best medicine…even if it’s only used to cover up insecurities. It works.

It never one time crossed my mind that I would ever be in a position to have a bad review written on me. I never even realized that it comes with the territory. When you open yourself up to doing things for others you’re in the line of fire for anything and everything that was disliked whether or not it has anything to do with your relative performance. I find it comical that I had just opened up in my blog about how much public speaking terrifies me and then this incident occurred. I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to quit right then and there and hide behind a safe job for the rest of my life where none of that would happen again.

I have had to force myself to realize that I’m better than that. That review changed absolutely nothing. On top of that, others in the class did learn and give me a positive review. I also got paid and my boss was happy with how the series went. As a people-pleaser, it devastates me to upset people but over the past year I’ve noticed a change in my attitude, even if it takes me a second to get there. Within reasonable limits, it’s extremely important to stand your ground and be the truest you that you can. If I let this one bad review get to me, I wouldn’t be a functioning human, let alone someone who can make a difference in the world on some scale (even if it is a small one) which is what I’m determined to do.

A week later, I do not have hard feelings at all towards the person who wrote my negative review. I’m actually grateful. This experience has prepared me for this to happen again in the future and for it to not get me down. I realized it’s actually pretty cool for me to be in a position to even have someone write a negative review on me – it means I’m being heard. It also gave me motivation to make the next time I teach/do whatever I’m doing better than it’s ever been before.

Haters gon’ hate.

I really don’t care. And neither should you.