Disclaimer: If you are reading this and your name is Richard, this is not pointed to you. If you’re reading this and you know a Richard who is stupendous, this is not pointed at them. No Richards were hurt in the production of this blog entry.
For those who don’t know me, I can give a first impression that isn’t always flattering. I have an unfortunate scowl when my face is relaxed, and I can be quiet, and sometimes direct. The truth is, I have a soft heart.
For those I trust and am comfortable around, I care for deeply. For those I care for, I can stress or worry when they are unhappy or hurt. For those I care for, their opinions of me weigh heavily on me. I take their words and feedback to heart. And, I always try to be better with each year on this earth.
I consider myself fortunate to have a great circle of support, honesty, and encouragement. In my adult life, I haven’t found myself often in a position to feel inundated with drama or “haters”. I’m sure there are people who don’t like this or that about me, but that’s okay. I learned (but not perfected) not to worry myself with others’ opinions of me, when they don’t really know me.
I didn’t always do this though. So, I can completely relate to negativity bringing you down, if it has or does. My only wish for you? Be happy. Be happy with you. Be the best you. Keep pushing yourself. Your kids, friends, parents, siblings, co-workers reap from your happiness.
One thing a great mentor taught me – was about motivation and intent. I use this inward and outward. I often have to check myself and ask, “What is my desired end result? What is my true motivation and intent?” This has helped (but again, not perfect) my ability to make sure that I don’t do something with ill-intent, to only end up feeling regret. This also has helped me to filter through what criticism I take as feedback and what I let roll off my back (again, as best I can). I ask myself what I truly feel their motivation and intent is with their criticism. If I feel that it comes from a place of ill-intent, then I can dismiss it easier. If I feel that it comes from a place of good intentions and really only wanting me to do or be better, then I make sure I take the time to reflect on it and see how I can improve.
I will be the first person to share my imperfections. I can be incredibly awkward, stubborn, and anxious. As mentioned earlier, I won’t sell you on some bad-@$$ girl who was born for a life of leathers and two wheels. I am learning to ride, and am certain to have moments where any word describes me, except “graceful”.
I’ve killed it more times than I care to count – to clarify, not metaphorically “killed it”…I killed it by letting off the clutch too soon. I left my blinker on after a turn. I waited too long to go through an intersection. I stumbled to a stop. Folks, this list could go on, but I’d be left with little dignity (kidding).
Someone messaged me, “I heard you look dumb as hell when you were riding the fat boy going 3 miles an hour”, and I put it through my filter (after I red-penned their message in my grammatically-judgemental mind). Someone, who didn’t have the gull to address me to my face, wanted to poke fun at me for how I look as I focus on learning and being safe? I was quickly able to let it be filtered out and decided to turn that message and its intentions into a positive message: Be Happy.
If you let others’ opinions of you shape you, it may not mold you to what you want to be. It may not form happiness for you. Let the encouraging messages fuel you, and let the negative light a fire under your tuckus to keep on keeping on to what makes you happy.
So, if you see me and think I look dumb – that’s okay. I just may look quite awkward as I learn more and more, each ride. I can’t imagine how bad-@$$ I look with my goofy smile that goes from ear to ear because I am doing something I’ve wanted to for some time. I am no longer talking about wanting to do something, and am making it happen (insert high-five!). And, I am happy about it.
So, put whatever criticism through that filter. And, if you know it’s from a good place, reflect on it and how you can be an even more awesome version of yourself. And, if you know it’s not, don’t waste your time trying to understand it. Just smile, and walk with your head held high.
Don’t believe the negativity. Don’t believe you’re something you’re accused of, that you know you’re not. Don’t let yourself not try something new because someone doesn’t think you can. Take in the constructive feedback from those who you know want the best for you. As for the negative from others? Let it light that tuckus-fire! If you do it, you’ll likely find yourself thanking them someday because they helped light the fire you needed.
So, in a world of a billion people – don’t listen to the ones who are a “Richard”. In a world of a billion people – don’t be a “Richard” either.
May your rides be smooth, and your drinks stiff. Cheers!