I’ve been wanting to write this one for a long time, seeing so much budding brilliance in the world as well as some subtle (and not so subtle!) haters in the mix.
Haters? You know, people who don’t want to see you shine. Or, as we’ve come to understand it, are afraid to let themselves shine. Often haters can SENSE the subtle subconscious ways you question yourself and speak it to you outright. On a basic level they play out fear and on a bad day, their messages can bring you down.
Can you think of the last time a hater crossed your path? Sadly, you may not need to think back too far – even well-meaning friends or family can slip into this role on an off day. Perhaps you can recall a hater who played a BIG role in your life early on. My third grade teacher was definitely a hater – lucky for me and the rest of the kiddies at Meadow Heights Elementary, there were many other teachers there spreading love & learning with stylish ease.
Now that you have a hater in mind (did you pick one?) think of someone who is the opposite. Someone who loves and supports you even when you f* up, and possibly more importantly, who celebrates with you when you let your awesome out. Call to mind how you FEEL when you are with them. This feeling, the image of this person at your back, is your resource shield for hater parades.
Before I kick some serious wisdom to you that I’ve been fortunate to pick up over the past week, lets stop and get really real. Because sometimes, as awesome as we are, we get jealous, fear or limitations get the better of our frontal lobe, and we too, can slip into the role of hater. If you can see this in yourself, you’ll be able to have compassion for others when it comes over them.
So just think for a sec, when did you last feel a pang of jealousy? Perhaps your friend did something you think you’ll never be able to do. They got a degree you wish you had, they got in shape, they tried something new, they seem to have a perfect relationship or they got a raise. There could be entire groups of types of people you love to hate, because they have something you want. When did you last get a little jelly? Be honest.
Very important – WHAT DOES THIS TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT? I wish there were a way you could fill in the blanks on these screens. Write it here, write it somewhere: I WANT TO: (write a book, run a marathon, get a new job, have better communication with my partner, take a nap, take a day off, take a vacation, have a unique style, make more money… etc etc). This is why jealousy is a good thing: it tells us what we want, reflects our deep desires, and in an interesting (albeit, somewhat backwards) way, jealousy shows us what we appreciate.
NOW – part of the philosophy of this blog is reciprocal transformation, that one person’s growth is another’s. When you are jealous, you have to learn to see this person’s awesomeness or good fortune as an reflection of your own possibility. Ask yourself, what would that most supportive friend do – they would CHEER YOU ON! Whether or not you decide to actually pursue the goal another appears to have met before you, recognize your desire and appreciate the accomplishment as if it were your own. When you feel jealous, just own it, it’s natural and it’s really okay. But feel it through to the other side and CHEER THIS PERSON, AND YOURSELF, ON.
I’ve been lucky in the last few weeks to receive some great wisdom about deflecting haters, from a rainbow of sources, and I’d like to pass on the gist of each person’s insight right here, right meow.
1. GROWTH MINDSET
Carol Dweck, a social psychologist, researcher, and professor at Stanford, writes in about two mindsets we can fall into – one of growth, and one fixed existence. She cautions that, in a fixed mindset, we feel inadequate, competitive, and like we have to PROVE something about ourselves to the outside world. In a growth mindset, we are open to not knowing SO THAT WE CAN GROW. Next time a hater tells you you don’t know, agree with them, and, if it’s important to you, GO LEARN:) You – 1. Haters – zero.
2. BUILD YOUR OWN TEAM AWESOME
Next up, a quote from my dear friend and colleague Jodi Komitor, who leads kids teacher trainings all over the world. She just got back from Kenya, where she taught the awesome instructors of Africa Yoga Project some serious skills in teaching yoga to youth. Jodi says, “There are people in your life who are selflessly rooting for your success ~ recognize, appreciate & acknowledge them.” Again, THESE PEOPLE CREATE YOUR FORCE FIELD! Find, acknowledge and thank these people. (Thank you, Jodi!) Keep them around – you clearly make a great team!
Need to pause for a sip of your latte? Quick cause these last two are good.
3. USE MIRRORS
Is someone spouting off fears in response to your quest for an amazing life? Visualize a mirror in between you two, reflecting towards them, and allow it to deflect their fear and send it back their way so you can stay strong in your passion, hope, and vision. Thanks to my dear neighbor & fellow yogini Shakthi for this one. The best part is, you give them a gift of not agreeing with their fear, and possibly, by not reacting, disrupting their assumptions in the process. Whether or not they take the hint, it’s not up to you to do the work to resolve their issues, only they can do that, so let them take a look at themselves rather than spill their sh*t all over you.
4. Serve up some cold HaterAde
Last image, which I love, comes from my neighbor Mike’s 17-year-old cousin Sam. I just met her, but I many need to ask Sam to be on my personal Team Awesome. According to Sam, all you need to do is provide haters with a refreshing salty sweet beverage – do as she does and leave them “Sippin’ on my haterade.”
So, how many haters does it take to bring you down? None can. If you’re in a good mood, you may even give a hater a hand by cluing them in to what’s really going on for them, as they are always preventing their own flow even more than they can seek to stop yours.
My promise to you: even if you win the lotto, marry royalty, have the first condo on the moon, discover a new country, or identify the obvious cure for cancer that was sitting right under my nose, I will not hate on you. I want you to be awesome, as you are, and I know that when you rise, we all rise, so I’m not worried about it. I’ll even serve up some Haterade at your congratulations party.
Alright, now it’s your turn! Who hates on you? Who are you jealous of? Share your tips for dealing with haters and being the most awesome version of yourself in the comments below. Shine on, my beautiful friends — in a world where fear can sneak in insidiously, I am confident you’ll continue to choose to spread love.