Have you ever been pondering something only to be bombarded with information or messages about the very thing you’ve been pondering? It’s been happening to me pretty frequently recently, and I take this as a good sign. It means I’m present and paying attention.
It’s like the universe is conspiring so that I can’t avoid particular issues.
Mostly for me it seems to revolve around courage, bravery and believing in myself. Now I know I can be a bit of a ‘fragile flower’ sometimes, which often causes me to retreat back into myself when the brave thing to do is stay ‘out’ in the open. I know this is a recognisable tactic for an introvert, but I don’t believe it’s always the most appropriate.
The most recent example relates to an article that I’d had published in an industry journal. I decided to share it in a Facebook group I’m a member of; I thought it might be of help as I’d noticed many posts asking for advice. Not so it seems! The only comments I got were around my article being ‘click bait’ as it offered nothing new. I thought about how to respond and I have to confess that my earliest thoughts were not very kind! There are times when people seem quick to criticise but not necessarily willing to put themselves out there. After another group member agreed with the click-bait comment, I decided to delete my post and I have to say I was feeling pretty dejected. It felt like I was scurrying away to lick my wounds. I started to question myself and why the article was accepted in the first place. Fortunately, I had a busy schedule, so couldn’t dwell on it for too long.
What I had forgotten, was that I had also shared the article on LinkedIn, as my mentor is encouraging me to be more visible. So, you can probably imagine that I was more than a little nervous when I got a notification that someone I respect immensely had commented. I took courage in both hands, opened LinkedIn and read the comment. It was not only complimentary, but this person went on to share my article with their network. I then read the other comments and they too were positive. All of a sudden, I was smiling again and breathing easier.
So, what is my learning from this? My work is not for everyone and I’m going to receive challenges and straight-up criticism. When that happens, I have the choice to retreat into the shadows or stay visible. I’m choosing to heed the nudges to stay out in the open. It will require a degree of courage and resilience, as I know I still have to work on not being so affected by what others think of my contributions to my field. I’m prepared to work on myself and it’s a price I’m prepared to pay for working on my passion.
So, should I re-post my article in the Facebook group? Answers on a postcard please.