Guest post by Kimberly Gauthier
One hundred people can tell me they love my blog, but one person calls me passive aggressive and that’s the comment I focus on. This is something many of us have in common. I’m always envious of people who focus on their hits instead of the misses.
In the 2003 article Our Brain’s Negative Bias on Psychology Today, I learned that “nastiness just makes a bigger impact on our brains.” … “Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily most likely evolved for a good reason—to keep us out of harm’s way. From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.” ~ Hara Estroff Marano
My Inner Critic
There is no comparison between my inner critic and a negative comment on my blog. It’s astounding how hard I can be on myself and I see this with other bloggers as well. I don’t think we notice how many times we cut down our own confidence with small, negative comments:
- I’m not smart enough
- I’m not business minded
- I’m not good with numbers
- I’m not creative enough
- I’m not techy enough
- …and on it goes.
I’m not techy enough to know Java Script or CSS coding, but I’m smart and I can figure out what I need for my blog. As bloggers, we encounter things that test our intelligence, patience and creativity all the time. After a year of telling ourselves that we can’t do it, is it a wonder that we hit the wall and stop moving forward?
Teach a Man to Fish
My boyfriend has been a huge inspiration; when he wants to learn how to do something, he sits at our kitchen table watching YouTube videos, reading articles and connecting with others in forums. He’s saved us a lot of money on repairs by learning at our table. This knowledge now belongs to him.
When I redesigned my site this summer, I followed his lead. It took more than five hours, but with the help of YouTube, articles and online forums, I was able to customize a WordPress theme. I felt like rock star! I didn’t break my site, I didn’t lose any data, and I had fun learning something new. And this knowledge now belongs to me.
I ignored that inner critic that kept telling me that I’m not smart enough or techy enough.
It’s All About Fear
Since I’m not “dodging danger” in my day to day life, I gather that my brains’ negative bias is driven by fear. Fear of failure. Fear of getting to the end of the line and seeing that nothing is there. Or letting myself down.
What’s Your Excuse
I see bloggers putting themselves down all the time. Sometimes in jest, but I think those jokes may grow from a seed of self-doubt. Together we make a huge impact in the animal lover world. That has to mean that we’re doing something right. But despite that Win, many of us are still focusing on a Loss.
Silence your inner critic by focusing on what you do well. Allow your kudos to drown out the negativity. Imagine all that you can accomplish when you become your biggest fan.
About the author: Kimberly Gauthier is the Fur Mom to 4 dogs and founder of Keep the Tail Wagging, an online magazine for dog lovers. By sharing her experience as a dog mom to 4 pups, Kimberly hopes to help others make better choices for their dogs too. When she’s not laughing with her boyfriend or playing with her dogs, she can be found writing, taking pictures, reading, or watching movies.