If you’re in the spotlight in any way, whether that’s at your job, you’re putting creative work out there on social media, or you’re sharing your infertility story with others, the reality is there will always be people who have opinions about it. And as someone who’s chosen to live my life bravely and boldly where I’m constantly challenging myself, this has definitely been my experience.
Whether you’re met with negativity in the form of judgment or even hate, or whether you receive praise about your endeavors, the truth is that you always have the choice to internalize what serves you, and simply disregard what doesn’t. I know this sounds so much easier said than done, but I’ve discovered a powerful new way of navigating both criticism and positive feedback, and I’m sharing it with you today.
Listen in as I show you how to listen to criticism without letting it affect you, and how to enjoy all the positive feedback you get too. Both receiving negative feedback and truly hearing the positives can be challenging at first, so I’m sharing a process I’ve been using to discern what benefits me and what doesn’t.
Hi, friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind, and create joy during my infertility experience. I’m here to help you do the same, sister. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Hello my friends, and welcome to episode 43 of the Fearless Infertility Podcast. This week I am sharing with you how to listen to criticism without letting it affect you. And how to enjoy all the positive feedback you get too.
I am sharing my requirements that people have to meet in order for me to internalize and question their criticism and maybe ponder if it will be helpful for me. And I'm also sharing with you how to internalize the positive feedback you get as well. So listen in to today's episode, I'm excited to share it with you.
Hello, my friends, I am so excited to be with you here today. Hope you guys are enjoying your busy, fun, hopefully somewhat relaxing holiday season. I had a really fun busy last week, last week. It's so funny because I–
So if you know me, and you will get to know me if you keep listening, I am just naturally prone to living a more anxious life. I think my brain automatically defaults to anxiousness. It's kind of hereditary and there's a lot of things that I can do to help prevent anxiety.
But it was so interesting last week, I feel like some of the things that normally feel fine, I lose sleep over when there's a lot of things going on. Just little stuff like, “Oh, my kids have a lot going on. How am I going to get them from point A to point B?” And the logistics of it all, my brain was kind of having a little bit of a freak out last week.
But I have learned this last year, I would say one of the biggest and most amazing things that I've learned that has helped me personally, is to just take that next step. Maybe just get a good night's sleep and then think about logistics and how you're going to handle the crazy busyness of logistics of getting this person here, and this person here, and getting this thing accomplished that I really want to get done.
And so that next step has helped me a lot because my brain can tend to get very overwhelmed with the big picture. And when I started to focus on that next step, it has helped me so much. And I will actually do a completely different podcast on that that is dedicated entirely to that concept because I think it can help you a lot too.
One of the amazing things that I got to do last week with host a dinner, a book launch dinner for my business coach, my life coach, Jody Moore. She just launched a book called Better Than Happy and it is such a good book. And it is one of those books that I will reread over and over again. And she was kind enough to ask me to host the event for her here in Utah.
And it was so much fun. So if you follow along on Instagram, hopefully you got to take a peek at that. I'm @Jenicaparcell over on Instagram and I have a lot of fun over there with you guys and interacting with you. So if you're not yet, please go follow along over there and we can connect a little bit more often.
And it was a good week. So anyway, I hope you guys are having a good week. I hope you're able to find the tools that you need to help you to slow down a little bit, to be able to help you to process and enjoy what you are currently experiencing in your life. And I sincerely hope that the tools that I share here on this podcast will help you to be able to do that.
If you are experiencing infertility and you are looking to grow your family in 2022 and you want to enjoy your life in 2022, I'm offering a free class this month and I hope you will join me. If you go to fearlessinfertility.com/webinar you can sign up for that.
And if you can't make it live, it's not a problem at all. I will email you the class afterward. And I think it will help you to be better equipped with some tools to help you understand how approaching this new year you can enjoy your life and love the circumstances that you're in, while also growing your family. And it is possible, so I hope you will join me there.
Today's podcast review on Apple Podcasts is from Brit3402. She said, “A must listen. Very encouraging and great to listen to when feeling down about infertility. Finally someone who understands and brings in all different types of people and tools to provide information for all things surrounding wellness and fertility.” Brit, if you will email me at [email protected] with your address and your size that you want for your pajamas, I will get those shipped out to you.
And for anyone else listening, I would love to send you a pair of PJs and socks. They're my buttery soft PJs and socks I designed. The pajamas literally took me a year to design because I'm kind of a perfectionist. And I feel like all of you will benefit from that because the waistband is thick and luxurious and it just feels so cozy.
So if you want to win a free pair, just simply leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. And I will choose a winner every single week. And the reason why I encourage you to do that is because there are so many people, probably the number one feedback that I get from women experiencing infertility is that they feel like they're alone.
And in rating and reviewing the podcast, you in turn help make this podcast more viewable and searchable for those people who are looking for support. So let's bring those people in, go leave a rating and review.
And this week I'm excited about this topic. I'm always excited to talk with you and this week is no exception because this is something that I've discovered this year.
And first, before I start, I want to preface with all of the things that you hear people say are thoughts. And we can internalize those things that they say if we want to, for our benefit and if we think that it will serve us well in our lives. Or we can simply listen to them and say, “You know what, that's not a thought that I choose to believe or that I want to adopt or think about in my life because I don't think it will benefit me.”
So if you listen to the positive feedback from people in your life, whether that be people online that you don't know personally, whether that be people in person that you are getting in person feedback from, if you listen to their praise, then you also need to listen and absorb the feedback as well.
And I've heard this from multiple people, multiple people that I respect and love. And again, this goes back to the thought that I shared with you that all concepts, all tools are thoughts and you can choose to adopt those thoughts to serve you for your good or you can choose to disregard them because they're not serving you.
And for the longest time I thought since other people that I respect and love thought that this was true that maybe it should be true for me and I kind of accepted it as fact. And so I thought to myself, well, if I accept the negative feedback, then I also need to accept the positive feedback. And vice versa, if I accept the positive feedback from people, then I also need to accept the negative feedback.
And so when I would get positive feedback from people online, from people who said, “Oh my goodness, thank you so much for sharing this, this particular thought helped me so much.” I would be like, “Okay, well, I'm so excited about that. But I don't think I'm allowed to be excited about helping someone because that means I also need to internalize all the negative feedback too.”
And maybe I misunderstood the people that have talked about this before, but I'm pretty sure they had it in the context that I'm talking with you about. And particularly for me online, I have an online account, I've had it for years. Sometimes I'll get really positive feedback, sometimes I'll randomly get negative feedback from people that I don't know. And so this was applying to Instagram specifically.
And so I thought that well, maybe that's true. And then I also started thinking about it and I'm like, “You know what, no” I'm like, “I actually want to get really excited when I share something that really helps somebody for the better. I really want to get excited about sharing a tool with someone that helps them think in a different way that positively impacts their life. And when they share that feedback with me, I want to be excited about it.
I also don't want to be offended or internalize the negative feedback that I get from people that don't know me and that I can tell are coming from an energy of criticism and judgment. And I was like, “You know what, I get to choose what I want.” So I think that whole thought that you have to internalize the negative as well as the positive if you choose to do so, I think that's bull crap. Over the last few months I'm like, “Okay, I can do what I want because this serves me so much better in my life.”
And so there's certain things that we can internalize that other people share with us that are genuinely helpful. And I think a few questions to ask ourselves is, does this thought or this concept, does it feel helpful to me? And if it does possibly feel helpful to you, you can try it out. And for me, that wasn't helpful. I was like, “I want to get excited about being able to positively impact people. And I also don't want to get super negative or down when I get criticism.”
And I think that there's a place for both. And I'm going to share with you today on how I'm able to navigate this and really be able to stand in my own power of what I believe in myself and the thoughts that I choose to keep, while also receiving negative criticism occasionally. And seeing it and not getting angry about it and not internalizing it, and that there's a place for both. And I can choose how I want to respond to that and get excited about the good stuff and not really care about the bad stuff.
So I think it is possible to only listen to the praise and be selective about the constructive criticism you get. And I use the word constructive because there is a big difference between straight up criticism and judgment and constructive criticism. And we get to determine who we will listen to in our lives.
We will constantly, always, always get feedback from other human beings. That's a part of the human experience that is helpful in so many ways. And it can also be damaging in a lot of ways. And so for me, I've chosen to look at it in this way that I will share with you that is extremely helpful for me in building myself up while also helping me to continue to grow and learn.
So I will listen to people who have feedback for me. So first of all, they have to meet these requirements. The requirements are, one, is that they need to be in the ring with me.
So picture yourself in a gladiator ring. Tyler and I went to Rome, it's probably been 10 years ago. And I picture myself in that ring. I mean, it doesn’t need to be in Rome, you could picture yourself in a football stadium.
You picture there's a few people on the field and then the rest of the people are sitting there eating their popcorn, they are eating their hot dogs, they're relaxing. And they're watching the great effort of the people that are on the field or in the ring.
And so I've decided that the people that I will listen to in regard to criticism and in regard to constructive criticism is that, one, this person needs to be in the ring with me. This is someone who needs to be living boldly. This is someone who is being brave in their life. And this is someone who was challenging themselves.
Because that's where I'm at, I am in the ring and I am constantly challenging myself and pushing myself. And I'm uncomfortable a lot of the time by choice because I know that's the place that I need to be in in order to continue to grow.
Now, for us in the infertility community, this could be other people experiencing infertility. This could be other people experiencing hard challenges for them so that they're also in the ring with us. And they're not just sitting on the sideline, not being brave with their life, not challenging themselves, and thinking that their opinion matters to those of us who are.
And so that's my first requirement, they've got to be in the ring with me. They've got to be out there fighting, sweating, bleeding, and doing the things in their life that challenge them. And I respect people who are in the ring who are also wanting to help lift me up and offer me ideas and how I can improve because they are coming from a place where they know what it's like to also be in that hard space.
And I know that people who are offering me criticism who are also in the ring or in the arena are people who are most likely wanting to help me grow, rather than criticize me. And that is two completely separate types of energy. They're not on the sidelines, they're not hiding behind a screen, they're living boldly. And I will take those into account.
So for example, I literally can't share this story without laughing because it makes me laugh. It's just comical to me and it's so interesting too, because I think it's a step in the right direction. Or I guess it's an example of how far I've come in terms of criticism.
Because when you're first online, say you have an Instagram account, say you’re in the spotlight in any way. I mean, you can be at work and you get criticism from people at work. I mean you could put yourself in any situation where you're kind of in the spotlight, you're pushing yourself and you're putting your creative work out there. And it can be a little challenging when you first get negative feedback.
So the first few times I was very taken aback and I was offended a little bit. But for example the other day, so Tyler and I went to Hawaii, as you guys know, back in November. And we left our kids at home and we had an amazing couples trip. They were very, very, very well taken care of at home with some really incredible women who I hired to babysit them. And they were happy and they knew that Mommy and Daddy were coming back.
And I think that for us it's really important to be able to connect with one another. And I stand by that when it comes to date night, I stand by that in general because my kids will leave the nest one day. They will leave the house and they will live their own independent lives and will I be slightly devastated? Yes, I will. Also this is exactly what I'm preparing them for. Right?
But Tyler and I will always be together. We chose to be married together, we have chosen to live our lives together. And so when we are no longer parents to young children in the house, we will have one another. And I think it's really, really important to foster that relationship. And so we consistently do things to build one another up to stay connected. And this Hawaii trip was one of those things.
So it was beautiful. And we get back from the trip and some girl that I don't know– I don't know if it was a girl, I don't know if it was a woman. Somebody, I don't even know her username. And if I did, I wouldn't share it, obviously, because I'm not tacky like that. But she wrote on my Instagram on the main feed for everyone to see, she said, “You leave your children at home a lot.”
And I can't remember exactly what she said, it was something about how you leave your kids at home a lot without you. And she did like that little emoji that's like, “Hmm.” You know, like the judgy.
And I wasn't even mad. I'm like, honestly, I don't know you. And someone who's going to say something like that has their own story that they're dealing with. And I personally would never criticize someone in the way that she was criticizing me. It was obvious that she was basically saying by her language that she thought that we were being bad parents because we went on vacation without our kids.
So I wrote back and I just said, “Want to babysit?” And I actually don't even know, I can't remember what post it was on. I should have looked back to see if she said anything, I just didn't. I was just laughing because I'm like I could defend myself but I don't need to because I know I'm a really, really incredible mom.
And am I perfect? Absolutely not. Do I make mistakes all the time and give my children ample opportunity to learn how to forgive in my household? Absolutely. But I'm a really good mom. And I'm doing a really good job, in my opinion, of raising my kids.
And so that's the type of criticism I'm talking about where it's like, you know what? Some things are said out of ignorance and I'm not even mad about it. Because it's like, for me, I've chosen to not waste energy on that type of criticism in my life.
Now, if somebody that I cared about and loved said something like that to me, first of all, they wouldn't say it, I think, in that type of energy. But if they did, either way, if it was somebody that I loved and care about, I would probably consider the criticism a little bit and ask myself, “Okay, what about this is true?”
And I still might have come up with the same result like, “Oh, want to babysit?” Because I genuinely feel like I am doing the best that I can and I don't feel bad about leaving my kids with really incredible people for a week when my husband and I went on vacation. But I think when it comes to criticism, we can really look and see who it's coming from.
Now, another requirement for me to be able to consider criticism as perhaps helpful is that the person who is criticizing me or offering me maybe another option in how I can approach things must be someone that loves me. And they must be approaching me with love.
And I think it's pretty obvious when you are approached with criticism from judgment and hate, and when you're approached with criticism from a place of love and support. And either way, all of us can still choose whether we want to believe it or not. But for me, typically, I am not going to really even entertain a criticism that's coming from hate because it's just not an energy I want to have in my life.
So I will listen to criticism from people who I know love me and I know who genuinely have my best interests at heart, and approach it with love and support of me and my family. And if the people don't meet those requirements for criticism, I'm just not going to give it any energy.
And I'm also not mad at people for criticizing me because, one, they have their own life experience that they are approaching it from. And oftentimes when you are coming at someone with that negative type of energy, it is based on some life experiences that are hard to manage, and that are really difficult. And so I have a lot of compassion for that.
And so I'm also fully aware that those who are criticizing me or you, it's all about them and their life experience. And so that's how I've decided to look at it.
Now, when anyone praises me, I'm going to take that in. I'm going to celebrate that, I'm going to believe them because that's what I believe about myself. And have I always thought that? No. And I'll tell you the difference between now and in the past where maybe I wouldn't have believed praise.
And now it's because I accept myself as a whole human being that is 50%. absolutely amazing and spectacular, and 50% kind of sucks a little bit. 50% doesn't quite measure up. And I think that genuinely, that's the way that God has built all of us.
I think that that's the way that he sees opposition in all things, including us, including nature. We can see examples of it all around us, which I've talked about before, including on last week's episode. And so I accept myself and I don't expect myself to be perfect.
And it's from this beautiful place of love and acknowledgment that I'm trying my best. And I'm also not the best that I will ever be. I can always progress and improve. But I'm also going to believe people when they say that I have impacted them for the good, because I probably have. And I don't think that they would say it if they didn't mean it.
And regardless, I'm just going to go ahead and believe them because I like to believe positive things about myself. When we believe positive things about ourselves that make us feel good, we can then approach the world and the goals that we have with a better energy. And in turn, we will be able to make those goals a reality for ourselves. So I think it is important for myself.
Now again, these are just thoughts, right? If this thought doesn't serve you, then drop it. Just say, “You know what, great podcast episode. I'm going to go ahead and go back to my other thoughts that I think serve me.”
For me, this concept has helped a lot where I'm going to believe the people that say amazing things about me. And the people that don't know me who criticize me, that's okay. There's nothing wrong with them criticizing me, they're allowed to, but I don't believe that. I don't believe that about myself. And it's a very non-judgmental, drama free way for my brain to think about feedback from others.
Now, there are ways I think that even certain criticism that maybe I wouldn't give to others could also benefit me. For example, I got a podcast review the other day. And this lady said, I can't remember what she said. She didn't like the podcast that much because she thought that there were a couple episodes that had information that it was like repeating. She's like, “Oh, well, she repeated this story a couple times.” And I'm like, okay, well.
It's fascinating to me because this woman, in my opinion, I don't think that there's a way that she could also be producing a podcast. Because if she did, she would realize the effort that goes into each episode, the amount of money it costs to produce each episode, which is worth every penny to me, by the way, to get you these tools.
And I personally, in the way that I approach life is I don't tend to publicly criticize people. Especially people that I don't know, because I genuinely know that they are doing their best. And I also know that I'm not for everyone, and everyone's not for me, either.
There might be things that other people say and do that resonate with others, that wouldn't necessarily resonate with me. And so I personally just wouldn't leave a negative review like that. That's just not my style.
Now, that being said, I didn't take it personally, I'm like, “Well, what about that review can I take to improve the podcast?” And I've been able to think about that and improve the podcast in certain ways that have been able to provide you with more tools and resources, and maybe draw from other stories that could hit that same point home that I was trying to get at by repeating that same story.
So I think that the approach of criticism that is helpful is when you take the criticism and ask, “Well, maybe how could it be true? And how could it benefit me and all of my crew, all of this family here at Fearless Infertility, by taking it to heart without judgment of myself, without criticism?” And look at it from a place of curiosity, and it's just this amazing, beautiful energy, and creativity that can come from that versus blocking it off or taking it personally and being angry.
So I wanted to leave that with you today because I know that whether it be in infertility and the things that you are doing in order to grow your family, whether it be at work, whether it be in relationships with everyone in your life; your spouse, your friends, we will receive criticism.
And so I wanted to give you some helpful ways to look at criticism that will help you to have an energy of acceptance and non-judgment. You don't need to be angry. And if you choose to you can and there's nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to give you an option instead that could benefit you.
And you can listen to the positive criticism and disregard the negative criticism. And you can set in your life, your own requirements about who you're going to listen to with criticism and who you're not. And I hope that was helpful for you.
Once again, if you are interested in my free class this month on how to grow your family in 2022 and enjoy your life, I would love for you to join the class. If you can't join it live, it's not a problem, I will send you the recording after. So go to fearlessinfertility.com/webinar. Sign up for that. And I love you, my friends and I will see you here next week. Bye.
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