There is a famous quote often attributed to Aristotle: "Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing."
Moving into the spotlight takes courage. You raise your head above others and sometimes people will want to knock you back down.
While we all want to be loved, not everyone is going to love you.
When I launched my book, From Unknown To Expert, in Australia I sent an email out to everyone on my database offering the book for free as way of saying thank you for their support.
One of the first replies went something like this: "You've lost all credibility in my eyes. I'm instantly un-following you from LinkedIn, emails and Twitter."
Um... OK. That is quite a reaction to a free book from someone who had been a vocal fan. I didn't ask why, I just replied with, "Have a great day."
But it did upset me. Up until that point, I hadn't put myself out there to the extent that people would have such a strong reaction to me.
It freaked me out, and I wondered if I could deal with the criticism. It was a massive learning opportunity for me, and I realised I would have to figure out how to deal with the haters.
So how do you deal with the haters?
Not all criticism is bad
At times criticism leads to positive outcomes. It opens you up to new perspectives and highlights issues that can be improved. Sometimes this isn't easy, but you can grow from it if you allow yourself to.
Feel the love
I delete the nasty emails, I don't keep them in my inbox. But I do keep the positive ones. I feel the love from the most incredible and amazing people every day. I also read my Amazon reviews to boost my confidence and reconnect to the reason why I worked so hard to share my book.
Live in kindness
Practicing kindness is transformational and beautiful. It is a very important practice in my life and the kindness you offer yourself and others can transform a situation (and your life). This also allows for forgiveness, so you don't carry the stress and negative energy around from your haters.
Don't give away your power
Sometimes I just say "Screw you" - very loudly! (And, sometimes I may use stronger language!) Use the hate to drive you forward. Don't allow cruelty or negative comments bring you down. Go out there and make it happen and seize your dreams. Believe in yourself.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of 'From Unknown To Expert', a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as thought leaders and influencers in their field. www.UnknownToExpert.com. Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business.