If you are the kind or person who is constantly blazing a new trail throughout your life’s journey, you’re likely to experience missteps when burrowing through uncharted territory; and this is a good thing.
Onlookers, casual spectators, doubters, critics and haters are watching every step you make and are likely to point out that you’re wrong to wander off the beaten path. It’s as if in the event that you suffer any damages that you deserve it because you’re not doing it right or as though something is wrong with you. The nay sayers may try to demean you, disrespect, try to discredit you or make fun of you. Their expectation is that you turn away from your cavalier exploration and return to the herd in an effort to save yourself from embarrassment, death or worse…
The truth of the matter is the haters and hecklers are not bad people, it’s just that they are incredibly frightened you might succeed and any mistake that you might make along the way, justifies their lack of taking a more proactive approach to their life. The more they exploit your mistakes, the better they feel about their own mediocrity, for at the very least, they are somewhat safe and no one is challenging their decision to remain in the life they’ve become comfortably accustomed to.
I applaud you for being one of the few of us who choose to take the road less traveled. It’s not so much that we develop a skin thick enough not to react to attacks by folks who are uncomfortable with our personal growth and progress it’s just that we wouldn’t let someone’s words throw us off track. At least they’re not using sticks and stones.
The best way to quickly recover and get back is to acknowledge you could have done better and get back to your work. If your accusers appear to have an attitude of genuine concern or reside within your inner circle of influence a little humility goes a long way. Humbly admitting
I Screwed Up
Will help people feel more empathetic to your cause if you are simply expressing your flawed humanity. No one can begrudge you for seeing us all as basically the same, all doing the best we can with what we have, even if some of us do it differently than others. On the other hand, if they are just hateful or disrespectful, you do not have to acknowledge their accusations at all.
Listen to Feedback
Occasionally, unsuspecting spectators can offer input or observations you were unable to see while entangled in the work that lead to your misstep. So, it’s good to lend an ear to those who have been watching from afar in case they may have insight that may prove to be helpful once you regain your balance and continue to re-engage your process. And you may be surprised to find helpful insight coming from hateful attackers (though it is unnecessary to acknowledge them, if it is your policy not to respond to people who are unkind), just file away the learning. In fact, for folks like us, there is no failure, only learning.
Learning from Mistakes
The most important component is that you extract all the knowledge obtained via your process of trial and error. The results give you a unique perspective which cannot be duplicated by the armchair observers as you move forward while taking responsibility for your actions.
You can spend years in college learning about all the best characteristics and techniques filling your head with practical concepts and knowledge, but the men and women on the front lines with their feet on the street actually doing the work and creatively approaching challenges as they appear on-the-fly and dealing with real-life circumstances which won’t show up in textbooks for years, they are the real heroes.
These are the innovators, not the imitators. They are setting themselves apart from the masses. To them it is better to create something from scratch, to bring value to the community for the greater good, even to aspire to make the world a better place, not just for themselves, but for the world at large for generations to come.
I am not condemning those who have opted to follow the path of academia. I applaud them for their efforts and discipline and find they make important team members. They bring skills and perspectives to the table that expands far beyond entrepreneurial street smarts, and they may well be innovators as well (and if they hang out with me for long, will find themselves spending more and more time looking outside the box, too).
Thanks for taking the high road.
We’re all on this journey together, yet independently.