It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life or what decisions you make. Whatever you do, someone will judge you for it. There will ALWAYS be haters. If the haters are inevitable, then why is it so hard to drown out the negativity and the judgement? If you are living life on your own terms, then why do you remember more of the criticism and less of the compliments? Everyone says to “ignore the haters” and “haters gonna hate,” but can anyone really truly ignore haters? It’s easier said than done, but yes, it can be done. It may have taken me 37 years to start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and I’m still a work in progress, but I’m choosing how to react differently this time.
It’s easier to complain about the haters, the people who are truly just the outside critics in your life. However, the biggest critic in your life is usually yourself. It takes a lot of inner work and courage to move past your own insecurities, vulnerabilities and uncertainties. You and and your mind will ultimately be your greatest road block and challenge on your path to success and accomplishing your goals.
I’ve had my fair share of bullies and haters throughout my life growing up. People would be jealous of different achievements that I worked hard to earn in school, college and as an adult with joining the work force. I worked hard to accomplish a lot by a young age with regards to school, sports and opportunities. However, I don’t remember really being upset by the hate and criticism until after I had children. So many of my giant, important life realizations have come over me in the last five years. It’s all so interesting to me, because when I was just a teenager or young adult, I thought FOR SURE I would have life figured out when I was old (aka by the time I was 30 years old ).
A turning point for me and my life was when my Dad unexpectedly died. That was the moment in my life that shattered me to pieces, but made me realize that I had no choice but to keep moving forward as I had just given birth to my 3rd daughter, was exclusively breastfeeding and trying to move my family to another state. Throughout that unequivocally monumental time in my life, I started to question everything about myself and what I stood for. My ex-husband and I changed our diet and the way that we thought about the conventional world as we knew it. We questioned religion, historical events and moments in time that we were taught in school and growing up. Our friends and family thought we were “weird” and going down a rabbit hole with no end in sight.
In 2019 during the thick of trying to get healthy and lose the last of my baby weight, I did a boudoir photo shoot and posted a controversial picture on the internet, on my (at the time) private social media accounts. It was one of the first “risks” I took on my social media accounts, as I felt so strongly about my mind and body and the changes and suffering it went through during years of pregnancy, breast-feeding, losing weight, gaining weight and working towards feeling the best that I possibly could. I lost many friends and followers and upset family members. I even was asked by my employer to remove the photo or make my social media accounts private. At first I reacted extremely emotional and couldn’t understand why my freedom of speech and posting photos on MY private accounts had anything to do with other people. My ultimate goal has always been to share my life experiences in hopes of inspiring others. All I want to do is leave an impact and help others better themselves. I wasn’t hurting anyone in the process, so why did others care so much? As upset as I initially was, I stayed strong in my beliefs and slowly started to realize that people’s criticism towards what I was doing really had nothing to do with me and my goals and life. It has more to do with their own self and insecurities and desire to be heard.
I’m lucky to have strong, supportive Mom friends throughout my journey of motherhood. I’ve been able to have a great support group despite the Mom criticism that EVERY mother receives! It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom, a stay-at-home-mom, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, baby-wearing, using a babysitter, disciplining your child a certain way, and the list goes on and on and on! It doesn’t matter! You are going to get criticized especially if you are comfortable putting your life out there for the world to see on social media and blogs. I’ve learned to truly not care about the people who shame my choices in regards to my children. I know I am a good Mom and have gained so much confidence with each subsequent child and experience.
It was last Summer when I remember being at my breaking point with my decision to get divorced. I was so personally offended when the haters came out of the woodworks when I got divorced. I even lost a lot of friends. A very special person listened to me vent and then responded with something that I will always remember. He said, “Just remember that haters hate because you are/have something they want. That really sunk in and I was reminded that I am a strong LEO, a lioness. I always have been, but this was my moment to come back stronger.
Last Summer was when I started brainstorming my idea of this website and the Live Lean with Lindy brand.
Starting a non-conventional business in the midst of a divorce and a global pandemic is definitely risky, but I knew I wanted to stay true to myself and my dreams. I have learned to do things every day that scare me and this was one of them. There is a lot of criticism from outsiders and people with “keyboard courage” on social media. However, it really is my own mind and my own insecurities that are going to hold me back with regards to my business and my success. It’s not the mean comments from others that prevent me from moving forward with my business and getting out of the negative headspace. It’s my own fears about what others think. It’s my own insecurities about being a people pleaser. It’s my own fear of failing.
After a great meditation session this morning, I saw the world today with a different set of eyes. I am choosing to believe in myself and my desire to contribute my passion and inspiration to the world rather than protect myself from the criticism.