We all have a ‘friend’ who likes to give us ‘advice’ on how to live even though you have never, ever asked them for any. You know how it goes. You are going along with your day to day business when, suddenly, someone you know (but not someone you turn to) sits you down and explains how you are doing your own life wrong. In their opinion. This person will also have some handy-dandy tips as to how you can improve things. In their opinion. At the end of this conversation, the majority of which was one sided anyway, they will offer some final words of advice (that are actually just opinions) that will sound like kindness but are, in actual fact, backhanders. Because….haters gonna hate.

Self-awareness is a b*tch.

It’s also vital to human development and maturity.

If you are one of those people who have made mistakes, taken wrong turns, fallen into holes, and managed to get back into the swing of things, you are probably also one of those people who might have gathered some self-awareness along the way.

There are those, however, who get all the way to the end without having picked up any clues to their own behaviour.

It is vital, and sometimes painful, to understand and accept your strengths and weaknesses. We all have an equal share of both of those, but having weaknesses doesn’t make us weak. Not knowing what your weaknesses are, does. The problem comes when we, and others ‘just looking out for us’, compare our paths to people we see around us, as ‘like-for-like’ you might say. The Max Ehrmann poem, The Desiderata, states “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” And that’s true. It also says in The Desiderata to “Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit”. And that’s true as well.

Funny how the really delusional ones are always the loudest. It’s like they have such a desperate need to block out the sound of their own Psyche that they have to aggressively try and influence yours.

Ignore them. Do what you are doing your way. If someone you truly do admire has something to say to you, stop and listen. If you are in the market for some advice or guidance, ask someone you trust. DO NOT ask the world of Facebook and other social media. Why would you do that? The thing is, opinions are like arseholes. Everyone’s got one.

People HATE watching others succeed where they have no courage to tread. It seems to highlight their own mediocrity. Oh well. It sux to be them. Some people chose to be lead, others lead. The ones we should really pity are those who are being lead and either don’t know it, or don’t know why they are allowing it to happen.

Once again, self-awareness.

If the middle path is your thing, by all means, stick with it. But make that middle path an ACTIVE choice. If you are exploring a map of your own making, do not be distracted by the shouts and mumblings of others. Just keep going.

We’ve all heard how JK Rowling was turned down by 12 publishers (imagine being one of those now…OMG) but history is packed to the rafters with people who could have had their lives derailed by noisy haters, but who went on and did it their way anyway. Anna Wintour, a fashion icon, was fired for being ‘too edgy’ when she was a junior editor at Harper’s Bazaar. She lasted 9 months, and later went on to become the Editor of Vogue. She is still massive in the publishing industry as Artistic Director of Conde Nest. She is considered a ‘bit-of-a-b*tch’, which is just man speak for ‘a very strong woman’. Does she seem bothered? No.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theatre, Film and Television THREE TIMES. Apparently, he wasn’t good enough for them. He dropped out of a different Uni after finally getting a place, and eventually received his BA in 2002. I bet his parents (if they are alive) are relieved.

Lucille Ball was advised to quit acting all together before she gave up on trying to be somebody else’s idea of who she was, and wrote her own show. I Love Lucy was a reaction to all the rejection and ‘good advice on going back to her hometown’ she had been given. Her ‘multi-racial’ relationship was also frowned upon. Oh well. Luckily for everyone, Lucille ball gave exactly Zero F**k’s about her haters opinions.

And even Rudyard Kipling was fired in 1889 from the San Francisco Examiner for “not knowing how to use the English language”. Well, he did stupid newspaper people. So there.

We should always take care to have a “wholesome discipline” with ourselves. It’s always worth checking in to make sure that we are not becoming less self-aware, and therefore, one of the noisy vexatious ones. But we should also be kind to ourselves and back our dreams and aspirations.

It’s tough enough out there without self-delusion to slow us down. But sometimes, we have to take a deep breath, close our eyes and shoot for the stars, even if others want us to stay beside them on the ground. When you reach your goals, you can look down from the higher benchmark you have set for yourself and shout down “LATER HATERS!!” and continue on your way.



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