All most every human I have met has in front of them the choice between the path that calls them but is filled with uncertainty, risk and exposure, and the other path, the safe path. We are often faced with this choice every single day in some form or another.

When we take the risky, exposing path then we face everything that we fear. This includes shame, failure, rejection, ridicule.

Our world is full of the bullies and critics. They are mostly prevalent in the cowardly spaces of social media where they can stay anonymous.

When we step out, really step out, there will be critics. There will be bullies. Know this. Step out anyway.

As the fabulous Brene Brown says…unless the critic is in the arena as well, then do not listen to them. They know not what they do. Give them zero time and attention. They are not qualified to speak.

For the bullies, they need you to be affected, for without affect they cannot bully. They need you to respond…to break…Ignore them and be free.

For the critics in the arena, make a space for them. Invite them in. They have something that may be valuable. Or not. Also invite the friends that really matter, those who will tell you that your speech really sucked, and here is what you can do next time, plus bravo for getting up and speaking.

If we are terrified of the critic and bully we may never step up. Then they win. You lose.

Don’t make that the thing that stops you.

Photo credit: Creative Commons License qthomasbower via Compfight