This morning I decided to check my Amazon Author Central page. I don't do this very often. I saw I had a new review for my latest novel! I haven't gotten many reviews to this point, so I'm always excited when I see a new one.
But it was a bad review. (waa, waa, waa....) The person complained that the story was dumb and the book wasn't worth reading. Nice, huh?
Here's the funny thing, and another clue from the Universe that everything happens for a reason and in perfect timing. Just YESTERDAY I was exchanging comments (on The Daily Love site) with a woman about HER writing. She had said how she removed one of her self-published books when she got a bad review. She felt embarrassed and clearly believed that what the negative reviewer said was worth more than what she thought of what she wrote. So she took the book down.
I immediately replied to her and encouraged her to republish it. Saying there will ALWAYS be people who don't like something, and even the best and most successful authors have bad reviews.
Lo and behold, the very next day I get the worst review I've gotten to date.
I am grateful to the woman I had been corresponding with, because I know my mind was in a much better place today, to receive the bad review, than it would have been otherwise. I could read it and smile to myself, at how things happen and when.
So that's what I decided to blog about today.
You're not going to please everyone.
Ever. There will always be someone who doesn't like what you do, how you do it, or even you, yourself. That's totally fine. I mean, do you like everyone you meet and what everyone else does? No.
But when you do something in love, and you believe in what you're doing, that's all that truly matters.
If you know you're meant to do something... or even if you don't know, but you really want to give it a shot.... then go for it! Don't listen to the naysayers. There will always be naysayers, trying to hold you back or put you down.
This reminds me of a story I've heard a few times in my life. I believe it was an actual scientific experiment. About monkeys. Pardon me if I don't get it exactly right, if you know it, but here's the gist:
There was this group of monkeys in the zoo. They were all put in their new monkey habitat together. Their space was great, including a really tall tree with bananas at the top. Ripe, delicious bananas. Immediately one of the monkeys started to climb the tree to get to the bananas. Out of nowhere, a blast of water shot him off the tree. He was dumbfounded, but tried again. The water blew him off again. Other monkeys tried, because everyone really wanted the bananas, but the water kept blasting them all off the tree. Finally they gave up.
Then the zoo personnel added a few new monkeys to the group. The new monkeys looked up this tree and saw these ripe bananas just sitting there. Why hadn't the other monkeys gotten them? They wondered. So a new monkey started to climb the tree. But guess what happened? One of the original monkeys grabbed him and pulled him down! Whenever a new monkey would try to climb the tree to get the bananas, an original monkey would grab ahold of him and pull him off the tree.
Eventually the new monkeys accepted this, and stopped trying to climb the tree to reach the enticing banans.
Over time, the zoo personnel removed the original monkeys, the ones who had been sprayed with water for climbing the tree, and replaced them with new monkeys. Eventually there were no original monkeys left. None of the monkeys in the habitat had experienced the powerful water blast, knocking them off the tree. But each time a new monkey would be introduced, and try to climb the tree, the monkeys that were there grabbed him and pulled him down.
Why? It was their conditioning. They had been yanked from the tree, so they yanked other monkeys from the tree. No one understood why they couldn't climb the tree, but they all accepted that they couldn't. And they would prevent any other monkey from even trying.
I love that story. Do you know any monkeys in your life? The people who try to pull you, or others, down for reaching for success simply because they never reached success? People who think, "Well, I couldn't do it, so neither can you."
I know people like that. I also know not to listen to them, and neither should you!
Yes, it's a wise idea to listen to others who have more experience than you. We certainly don't have to experience every bad thing first-hand. If we can learn from someone else's mistakes, that's great!
But if you feel a calling, a yearning, in your heart to pursue something, yet there are people trying to talk you out of it, saying negative things about what you want to do or about you, yourself, that is when you need to tune them out.
If you are in love, and pursuing something in that space of love, then you need to go for it!
I'm happy to say that the woman I was conversing with on The Daily Love did repost her book! I know I'm excited to read it.
I've certainly fallen into the trap of trying to please others at times. I grew up trying to please my mom, so she wouldn't yell at me and get upset. I now see that no matter what I did, she'd find something to get upset about.
In school I sought to please my teachers. I always got good grades, did all my homework, didn't make excuses. I prided myself in being a good student.
Then I tried to please my bosses, of whatever job I was working in at the time. I wanted to be the best worker, do the best job.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the best. Certainly, I believe everyone should try to do their best, at whatever they're doing. But to do something for the sole sake of gaining approval and praise from others, or to prevent disapproval and negative remarks... that is not a good reason to do anything.
What do you want to do with your life? Or more simply, what do you want to do today?
What's holding you back? What, or whose, voices do you hear in your head?
I invite you to find a quiet space, tune out all those other voices, and tune into your heart's voice. What is that voice telling you? Where is it leading you?
Sure, it takes courage to branch out from the group. To be "different." To reach for something that no one you know has ever achieved.
But here's your choice:
1) Reach for whatever it is and risk not getting it (maybe you will, maybe you won't).
2) Don't even try, and never know.
You don't know what's going to happen. I, for one, would much rather do something that I want to do, than not do it and never know what might have happened.
This has played out in all aspects of my life.
I thought it would be "really cool" to be a sign language interpreter. I didn't know any sign language (aside from the alphabet). I didn't know if I could learn the language well enough to actually get work as an interpreter, or how long it would take. All I knew is that I really wanted to give it a shot. So I did. And I did succeed in working as an interpreter!
In high school there was this boy I liked and wanted to go to prom with. I had one class with him, and we talked occasionally. I wasn't an outgoing girl and had never had a boyfriend, at the age of 17. But somehow, I got the courage to ask this guy to go to prom with me. He turned me down. The next day I was so embarrassed I seriously considered skipping the class that we had together. I just didn't want to face him. But I didn't skip class. I went. And he was totally cool. He was a nice guy. No, it didn't turn out like I wanted, but I do believe it turned out for the best. I ended up going with a group of friends, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life (in a good way).
The thing with life is none of us know how it'll turn out. We take a chance, and it may or may not go the way we wanted. It may turn out way, way better, or we may fail miserably and be completely embarrassed.
The trick is, even if things don't go the way you want, is to dust yourself off, hold your head high, and keep going.
And don't, ever, let anything or anyone stop you from pursuing your dream or following your heart!
You're not going to make everyone happy. None of us are. No matter what you do, some people won't like it, may get mad at you, or in some form or fashion, make their feelings known. So what.
"What other people think of me is none of my business," Wayne Dyer.
When I first heard that quote, it was a revelation to me. Something I had never considered. "Of course it's my business what people think of me!" is what my ego shouted. But no, it's not.
Don't concern or trouble yourself over other people's opinions of you!
Live your life for you!
Make YOU happy!
You'll be eternally grateful that you did!
Quotes of the Day:
"There just isn't any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying." (Robert Mitchum)
“I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense.” (Eve Ensler, I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World)
“To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others.” (Criss Jami)