How many times have you ever doubted yourself and your ability to convey your desired message? How often have you ever asked yourself in secret, whether what you were doing, was worth the effort? Most of you won’t admit to self-doubt or insecurity. It’s not in us to share those intimate moments we have to ourselves, when we question our ability to be successful in our endeavors. Most of us wouldn’t admit that we second-guess our own “swag”, that’s not politically correct.
A few months back, when I was in the cross roads of deciding whether I want to do this media project full time, I came across my answer. A person on my timeline stated that if you couldn’t go a day without thinking about something you do, then that is what your focus should be on. They also said that when you are truly dedicated to something, you would steal time to do that particular thing. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time I admitted to doing my side hustle on the full time clock. I was getting closer to making my decision, when something even bigger happened. I received my first piece of official hate mail in my email account.
Here is the message:
“Name: w. nightmare Email: email@example.com
Comment: you are the worst performer I have ever had the displeasure of listening to. I search the internet for performers for a living, and do rather well I may add, and I would be doing you and anyone that may have to listen to you in the future a disservice if I didn’t tell you to hang it up.
I’m Interested In: GaptoothDiva.com
Time: Friday April 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm IP Address: 184.108.40.206”
Now this message hit me in two ways. Of course, initially I was mad. I was livid, it hurt my feelings and it made me question every step I took up until that point. Second, I was feeling defensive. Who is this? Why in the f*ck would someone come at me like that?
I looked for this person online by the email address and I couldn’t find anything. I even looked him up on my social media platforms, worked that resulted in nothing at all. I was determined to hunt this commentator down and tell him what he could do with his opinion. Then I had to step back, and look at myself. Although I don’t condone giving people a straight negative comment without so much of a positive solution, I absorbed the message.
Have I been giving it my all each time? Was I taking the time to get my point across and being myself? I couldn’t say yes to those questions. There were obstacles that I placed in front of myself and some that I couldn’t avoid. Either way, if I was going to be truly serious about this – this message was the catapult that I needed.
I re-evaluated myself and how I conduct business. I was holding back on saying many things for the sake of wanting to build a following. I wasn’t putting out the truth, fearing that my “real self” was too much for people to handle. Apparently, it wasn’t getting me anywhere. Now granted, this message came from one person, so its value isn’t that high. Nevertheless, when you have doubts about what you’re doing, that’s a sign that things aren’t fitting right. I was uncomfortable with how I was working because I wasn’t being ME. I didn’t come with everything I had, holding shit back and biting my tongue. I believed my people deserve more. I was motivated by hate. The hate that this person spewed to me, stating that I was awful and should hang it up, motivated me to go even harder.
Was my critic, right? It doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, if he was wrong, I still choose to use that negativity to propel me to new heights. That’s what everyone should do. Don’t take critiques as gospel, don’t take it personally, use that fuel either to re-master your craft or to understand your audience. If you are happy with what you’re doing than continue to do it the way you’re doing it. However, when there is voice in the back of your mind telling you something is not right, listen to it. On the other hand, you can just wait for some hating ass dude to tell you, it worked for me.
People won’t always come to you as this “gentleman” did. Sometimes they will talk amongst themselves, leaving you on the outskirts of your reputation. Keep your ear to the streets, always stay informed about your brand and your name, and pay attention to commentary. Don’t live by it – just pay attention. They say there are haters and critics everywhere, and you shouldn’t listen to them. However, sometimes you have to see that if more than one person is saying the same exact thing, most likely it isn’t just hate. Take that and use it as a foundation, to either move above it or transform. Either road you decide on, just focus on that little voice in your mind that tells you which way to go.
We all should be motivated by hate.
- Developing the Freedom to Quit a Job, Go Bald, and Admit Some Things (gaptoothdiva.com)
- My Wake Up Call alarm clock provides motivational messages (gizmag.com)
- GaptoothDiva TV – Interview w. DOE The Paperboy, Lyricist in RVA (gaptoothdiva.com)
- Hate Mail: Ignorance isn’t bliss … it’s ignorant (cbssports.com)
- Hate Mail: Free speech isn’t free of stupidity (cbssports.com)
- Should I Post the Identities of Those Who Send Hate Mail? (atheistrev.com)
- GaptoothDiva TV – Interview w. Francoise Hamilton, R&B Artist in Richmond, Virginia (gaptoothdiva.com)