Several people have written to me and asked me why I haven’t been blogging. The official answer is that I am still struggling to balance all of the things one needs to do when running a service-based business. I am not just a blogger. I have actual clients. My clients (thankfully) have very real and pressing needs, and those obviously come first. Then there are the other publications I write for that have actual deadlines and editors, and guess what? Deadlines and editors make you get your articles written. Not having either here on a personal blog, there is always another load of laundry to run, or another snack to eat, before I sit down to write.
Although all of that is true, there is something more insidious that has honestly distanced me from this space and from Facebook. I want to take a minute to write about it, because I know many of my readers are struggling with the same issue, either as health coaches or other internet-based business owners, or just regular folk feeling the Facebook Burn.
When Facebook first appeared on the scene, I was so delighted to suddenly be connected with and exposed to so many creative thinkers the world around. It was thrilling! It was also super fun to re-connect with people I had lost touch with over the years.
But the Facebook honeymoon is now over and the internet has become a place where everyone has an opinion that they MUST broadcast, while being completely intolerant of anyone holding a different opinion. It is all shouting and noise and bullying and arguing. I was going to write out some of the comments I have received but decided that would be too “righteously wronged victim” -ish, so suffice it to say that I am too vegan, not vegan enough, too right-wing, not right-wing enough, too religious, not religious enough, amazing, inspirational and life-changing, as well as, disgusting, brainwashed, and stupid all at the same time. I am apparently some sort of walking contradiction to be all those things at once. Maybe that’s my bona fide super power – the ability to simultaneously aggravate all people everywhere!
I just post one word and it is either completely ignored, or simply wrong, wrong, WRONG and you are going to tell me why, I just know you are! It will likely start like this “It is because of people like you that ….” (insert shockingly awful thing to say to someone here)
Now, I understand this is all membership fees for participation on the internet playground and I wear my Duck’s Back Hate Repellent to help me ignore and delete, ignore and delete. But truthfully, I come to my website daily to do all the back-end stuff and I stare at the “new post” button and think “Is it really worth it?”
I am writing today to apologize for that. I need to take an ego-check and remember that any talent I may or may not have, isn’t actually mine. It comes through me from Higher Up and it is my job to be the faucet through which it can pour.
I have been a bad, bad faucet.
We cannot change the internet or the way people behave on it. But, as in all things, we can control our reaction to it. We can also control how much time we spend on it. We can evaluate daily if we are spending our precious time, adding something positive to the world or wallowing in the ugliness other people parade as “free speech” and “entitled to my opinion”.
As for my personal facebook page, for those who have asked, at the moment, I am no longer using that page. I keep it to post my blogs since more people see that than see my business page. Months ago I disabled my news feed so the only way I see any of my friends’ posts is by going to their actual page. So if you’ve had a baby and I didn’t wish you a mazal tov, I’m not a total schmuck, just an ignorant one. I also deleted hundreds of “friends” who were not really friends at all. I did that last summer when I was spending my days running from rockets and those facebook “friends” were saying (loudly) that I deserved it. (I am generally fine with people having different opinions than mine, but there are uncrossable lines and that was one of them. Honestly, I think last summer changed the internet for a lot of us, especially those of us here in Israel).
Now, for those of you who have internet businesses and get stuck behind that wall of wondering if it’s worth putting yourself out there in a vast sea of haters and criticizers, I want to remind you of something:
It is not about you.
The criticism is usually not about you, but even more so, the service you offer is not about you. If you believe as I do, that you are here to help people, then you have got to stop letting fear of criticism block you from doing so. Here is a quote I jotted down today from Gina DeVee’s Divine Living Magazine:
I stopped asking “What will everyone think of me?” and instead asked “How can I best serve others?” Allowing myself to be guided by this simple question, I stopped thinking so much about what others thought (which is what caused my insecurity), and instead I concentrated singularly on my Purpose. ~ Gina DeVee
I chose two videos to share on this post. In the first one, a youtuber who makes how-to make-up videos, shares a montage of the hate she receives when she appears in her videos without any make-up on. Then she puts on make-up and is hated on for that as well, thus demonstrating the can’t win for losing state of affairs mentioned above.
The second video is an interview with one of my fitness heroes Dana Linn Bailey on how she handles all the internet haters. This is a stunning video reminding all of us the immense amount of inner strength it takes to put yourself out there in the internet age:
“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”
I am back to blogging. Thanks for waiting for me. More to come…