This post feels a bit New Age but I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing and how freely I throw links to my writing out there. When I first started doing it I used to feel incredibly vulnerable and self conscious and worried about what people thought, but over a year later it’s like second nature and I don’t really think about what people think. Obviously, I know some people don’t like what I write but at some point last year I realised not everybody will and that made my life a lot better, so here’s some tips that will hopefully make your life better:
1) Realise not only God can judge you.
I follow an account on Twitter called ”Condescending Wonka” which once tweeted ”Your tattoo says only God can judge you but here I am” which tickled me. It is important to remember though that no matter what we do people are always going to judge us, we can be the nicest, smartest, prettiest person in the world and there will always be people who will find something to judge us on. It is easy to get upset about this, but with 6 billion in the world it is virtually impossible that somebody won’t judge us. The only people’s judgement we should really value is family and friends who care about us, and not the judgement of people who barely know us.
2) Don’t value praise more than criticism.
In life, some people usually focus on the criticism that they receive rather than the praise and for other people it is vice versa. Focusing on the just the criticism we receive is detrimental because it will end up damaging our self esteem, leading us to overlook the positives aspects about us. However, focusing on just the praise is equally unhealthy because none of us are perfect, and often, no matter how severe the criticism is there is something about it we can take on board.
When I went to write at the Edinburgh Fringe I received a lot of criticism about some of the things I wrote and at first I wanted to go crawl into my bed and cry, and then I wanted to lash out and fight back. However, I soon realised that if I was going to sit and write my opinion on theatre then better get used to people having an opinion on my writing; I also realised that even though some of the criticism was quite wounding there was a lot of stuff I could, and should, take on board. Until the Fringe, the only response I’d received in regards to my writing was ”I like your blog” so it was a shock to receive a negative reaction. However, I’m grateful I did because it taught me to take criticism on board and not to heart, and that whilst praise is awesome you shouldn’t let it blind you to the fact some people will hate what I write.
3) Stop comparing yourself to other people.
Social media is awesome , but I think we’re all guilty of using a Facebook to brag about an achievement and also feeling slightly inadequate when we see someone else achieving something incredible. Whether it is looks, grades or other achievements we have to face facts that there is always going to be someone who is just plain better than us. It is easy to fall into a trap of comparing ourselves to other people but what good will it do? The only time comparing ourselves to other people is beneficial if we use it as inspiration which is much more positive.
4) Don’t hang around with negative people.
A lot of people say that you can tell what someone is like by looking at their friends which I don’t believe is strictly true because some of my friends are polar opposites. The only things my friends have in common is that they bring positivity into my life whether it’s by having an infectious upbeat attitude or simply being able to make me really laugh. Life’s too short to surround yourself with negative people who bring you down directly or indirectly. Studies have shown that friendships help us live longer, so it’s worth making sure that those friendships are true friendships and that they are with people who make you feel good about yourself and who you enjoy being with.
5) See every bad experience/rejection as a chance to grow.<
Often, when life is going well we forget about the negative experiences in our life. This was the case for me earlier this year; after having a fantastic time in 2012 I faced the cold, harsh reality of life in 2013 which simply started with me beginning the year being ill with my head in a bucket and escalated from there. During the first half of this year I found myself asking ''Why me?'' a lot because it seemed that everything that could go wrong went wrong. However, looking back from the apparently safer half of 2013 I can see it's just a case of it being ''That's just life''.
As clichéd as it sounds, you really don't appreciate the sunshine without a little rain. The first half of 2013 was less than fantastic but the very day we entered July things started improving and I'm incredibly grateful. However, I'm also weirdly grateful for the first six months of 2013 not being a walk in the park, because as Eleanor Roosevelt once wisely said ''A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water'' – Amen to that.