It wasn’t long ago I warned you to stay away from distraction. Now you’re going to know what I mean…
Standing ovation! Yeah! My head often puffed up like a balloon full of oxygen. It’s not a good thing. You see, a standing ovation is the ultimate reward the audience gives us.
It’s kind of ironic since I have always had a hard time receiving compliments and accolades. Something in me tends to doubt the person giving me the accolade is genuine. Some of you might know what I’m talking about. Well, this evening was different…
I really believed it. I was on Cloud Nine. (Hopefully I’m using this term right. Carla always gets on my case about using expressions properly. Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s nine clouds or cloud nine or nine lives… Heck, this is not my first language.)
Members of the audience filed in to shake my hand. I didn’t have a book to sell. But I sold lots of cassette tapes (that tells you how long ago it was…now all I sell are cds.) And I heard some of the nicest comments ever. I mean, my head was exploding with air–oxygen that is.
It was indeed a great day! And it wasn’t because my pockets were full of $20 bills. It was because I watched the emotional intensity on some of the faces. I felt in my gut that they were at the right place at the right time to hear the right message.
I then grabbed my stuff along with the feedback forms and headed to my car. Well, I needed a little more oxygen inside my head. And so, I decided to quickly thumb through the feedback forms to read more about how good I was.
Well, one comment popped out of the pile that stuck me like a sharp needle. It punctured a hole in my head and immediately let all the air out. I went from being on Cloud Nine to being in a dark basement of despair.
“You’re full of yourself. You don’t belong on any platform. Your speech sucked,” one woman wrote. Then she went on to explain how I offended her. My friend, the word “sucked” is what did it for me. Who ever said men don’t cry must be crazy. I did.
I seriously considered quitting the speaking business. That entire evening and for many days after, one song kept playing in my head. Can you guess what that song was? That’s right! “You sucked. You sucked. You sucked.”
Now my audience was about 400 people. All of a sudden I felt like it was an audience of one person. I forgot about the other 399. I also forgot about all of the nice words I heard. It felt like no one mattered except that woman. What I didn’t know at the time was that 2% of any audience will not like you for whatever reason.
Also, 2% of the people you know will not like you for whatever reason. But what do we do? We continue to go through life focusing on that two percent. And that becomes a major source of distraction that throws us off course.
Has someone ever said something that punctured your self-esteem? Maybe it was your husband or wife or a friend or a family member. Maybe it’s some issue you are dealing with at work.
Do you want to give up and walk away? Don’t do it. Don’t let anyone cause you to abandon your dream or quit. Do it because you want to. Do it because you feel it’s time to move on. But certainly don’t let anyone chase you away.
And keep this in mind: Sooner or later, you will be vindicated. Just be cool. Show kindness in return for their meanness. And believe that you are worth so much more than their unkind words.
What others think about you is their reality. But what you think about yourself is your reality. Refuse to be defined by what others say or think.
No more tears. Instead, disappear for a quick moment and find the nearest mirror. That’s right: mirror, mirror, mirror. See the power house that you are and say to the person in the mirror, “I know you don’t believe what you just heard.”
Your existence cannot be defined by any word. I know it hurts when losers say mean things about us. Petty gossipers can ruin your day or life if you allow it to happen. Don’t let it happen. Today, thousands are thankful I didn’t let the phrase “you sucked” make me quit. Hey, if I had, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
Be strong! Stay strong! Don’t let them bring you down!
Rene Godefroy is the award-winning author of Kick Your Excuses Goodbye, a motivational keynote speaker and business consultant who shares ideas and strategies that help individuals achieve extraordinary results in their lives. For more information, visit Rene Godefroy’s website.