Give Yourself the Gift of Positive Feedback

Every now and then I see a quote on Facebook that truly resonates. Most recently the message was: “When people are intimidated by your strength and happiness, they’ll try to tear you down, and break your spirit. Remember, it’s a reflection of their weakness, and not a reflection of you.” Those words were attributed to Peggy Sue Bowe, a woman not known to me, but we’ve clearly had similar life experiences.

Because of course we’ve all been there. We’ve had others come at us when we’re up, and they’re envious or intimidated by our accomplishments, or when we’re down and they smell blood in the water, compelling them for their own maniacal reasons to come in for the kill.

As a writer, this is something unfortunately experienced not only in life in general, but in commentary in writers’ groups. Yes, it can be difficult to be objective when it comes to judging the work of others. But apparently, it’s a brutal competition for some, a kneejerk egoist instinct that compels them to stand in opposition to the abilities or productivity of anyone else.

You’d think I’d be used to it, having been a lawyer in a past life.

But here’s the thing I can’t seem to get past. What is it about the depraved human condition that makes a driving need to break the spirit of others so prevalent and predictable? No matter what, there is always that someone injecting their ugliness, spewing negative thoughts to undermine confidence, as if they believe their only path to success is for everyone else to fail, and to feel badly about themselves in the process.

Is this why I write about aliens?

In Alien Sensation, book five of the Other Worldly series currently in the works, protagonist Rowan Layne is most definitely struggling to maintain a positive attitude toward her fellow humans, or human hybrids. So much so she repeatedly marvels how those from other worlds haven’t just thrown in the towel and flown screaming from the planet, never to return.

As the story evolves, Rowan grapples to find the good in people, having observed far too much evil and vitriol in the three years since the news broke about aliens among us. Violence, corruption, greed, bigotry, misogyny, and anti-alien hatred born of willful ignorance. All of it and more have denigrated Rowan’s faith in humankind as she questions whether humans possess the ability to be kind to the otherworldly.

In Alien Sensation, there’s plenty of toxic people coming at Rowan for myriad reasons, not the least of which is her passion for alien rights (and aliens), and her willingness to give voice to sociopolitical issues in dire need of a change of perspective and attitude when it comes to the human psyche.

In real life, there are those who have come at me not just because of who I am and what I stand for, but most specifically because I write about it, and then have the audacity to discuss my books proudly and confidently with others.

Here’s what I know for sure. Those naysaying folks will not break my spirit or determination. They will not keep me from writing about that which they can’t comprehend, accept, or support. I’ve come to learn that confidence is a shield and a source of power to keep moving forward and put pen to paper.

The more confident one feels about themselves and their abilities, the less we need validation from others. And, hopefully, that confidence will enable folks to not be one of those whose aim is to tear others down because their own insecurities won’t allow them to see anyone else thrive.

Don’t wait for someone to provide that which you should give yourself. Positive feedback. Choose to focus on the good, trust in your personal strengths, and encourage yourself to do your best work.

Give yourself the gift of validation. Because far too many others are unable and unwilling to do so.


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