How I Learned To
Shake It Off
We all have Taylor Swift to thank for our new extra confident, no bull attitudes I think. At least I know I do. Parents in our younger years would tell us 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me', but in reality it really isn't that easy is it?
I've often thought how simple and easier life would be if I could delete the negativity from my brain, just as simply as I delete it from my social media. One click of a button and the ability to dwell on that one negative comment, over all the wonderfully supportive ones, just wouldn't exist anymore.
I learned quite early on that some negativity is inevitable with any career that relies so heavily on social media but it also meant I learned quite early on, that I would have to learn to shake it off and grow some thicker skin to get through it all.
Here's how I've managed to deal with it.
I recall quite vividly the first time I opened YouTube and read a message that was simply horrible. I over analysed it, wondered if that person was right and took it to heart so much. Suddenly all of the lovely comments and questions faded into the background and the only thing that was clear to me, was that anonymous negative comment. That one comment managed to blur out the other 100 great ones and I couldn't let it go. I would just sit there and stew on it and think of the hundreds of horrible things I'd love to scream back at such a lowlife person. I knew of course deep down, that any comment so full of hate as opposed to constructive criticism should be deleted and forgotten about, but how? How could I ignore such a seemingly personal, hate filled attack?
As I mentioned above, I knew quite early on I had to grow some thick skin if I wanted to be in the public eye and it's taken a very long time to do just that, even though I really shouldn't have the need to. I've previously thought I was letting negative comments go after cleansing them from my channels but I would often let them dictate my mood for the rest of the day, without even realising. I would never vocalise to anyone else how I felt about the comments I would receive, as I knew they weren't particularly bad in the grand scheme of online vitriol, but over the years Ive allowed myself to detach from the negativity and focus on all the positive across my channels.
I'll be honest, I don't receive that much hatred online as I know some have and still do. Luckily the majority of my audience are kind, loving people who realise this is just social media and it's not that deep. No one deserves to be attacked because they said something harmlessly in a video, and someone else disagrees with it. But any constant trolling I do get, just gets deleted and blocked from my feeds, so I no longer need to think about it. And that's my choice. That person leaving hate wouldn't allow a work colleague to come over to their desk and start shouting verbal abuse at them. They'd either get up and shout back, hit them in the face or report them to a senior. SO, why should I sit back and allow someone with a chip on their shoulder to shout abuse at me via my images. I click block and it's gone from my life and they can sit and stew over their own phone for as long as they like.
It's my choice how I react to anything that happens in my life, online or otherwise and even though I have no control over what someone might choose to say and do online, I have the ability to control my reaction to those words. I can take the negativity to heart and allow it to affect my day, or I can hold my head up high and rise above it. 2018 was definitely the year of learning to shake the negativity off in all aspects of my life and now 2019 is the year to continue to focus on all the love instead.
BEING CONFIDENT - In every respect. Not just online but in everyday life too. The more comfortable I get with everything my career entails like public speaking, photoshoots everywhere you can imagine and spending time with people I've never met before, the more confident I am becoming as a person. Bringing confidence and assurance of who I am to the table, helps me to let go of anything that might have hurt me in the past and allows me to see past what I now know is trivial.
REACTING POSITIVELY - This probably sounds strange to think about reacting positively to someone who is choosing to attack you online but I have actually found 9 times out of 10, if I respond back to someone questioning them rather than attacking them back, we end up talking it out. I've actually had people say 'I didn't actually think you'd see this - sorry.' which I think sums social media up to a tee. Similarly in real life, I always find bringing positivity to the table allows me to tackle a situation that I may previously have struggled with, far easier than I dreamed it would have been. It would be far easier for me to call them out for being downright rude, disrespectful and unbelievably bitchy, but, all they're going to do is comment back with even more hatred. I'd rather just let them have their space to vent about their bad day, delete it, block them if they're aggressive, violent or abusive, and then move on.
HAVING PERSPECTIVE - I am forever learning that perspective is one of the most important things you can have in life. It gives me the ability to react correctly, to take control of my situation and to also have patience with myself and others. It's been a huge part of growing up and a huge part of being able to confidently share my life online too. Life with perspective is a life lived well and is probably the biggest reason I know I can shake it off when I need to and continue to live my life the way I would like to.
I'd love to know if you've had any experience with needing to shake it off over the years or if it's something you have to do in your career too? I love chatting about these things with you and I always find the best pieces of advice being shared below with each other - so inspiring!