The world is going to have a lot of feedback for you about how well you “should” be doing. 

How far you “should” have come.

What progress you “should” have made— and how. 

Again and again, you’ll see the emphasis placed on what you “should” be doing that you’re not— how you’re “doing it wrong.” 

The vast majority of the feedback we seem to get from the world is about how we “should” be doing better. 

There are lots of reasons for this. 

One reason is because much of the world is out to sell us products and services that will supposedly enhance our lives. 

It’s hard to sell someone a product or a service unless they think they “should” or could be doing something better. 

So, a lot of marketing starts out trying to convince us that we’re lacking. 

Mind you, this often has nothing to do with whether or not you ARE actually lacking— but rather has EVERYTHING to do with making you FEEL like you’re lacking. 

It’s about selling you something, not giving you any kind of honest feedback about how you’re doing life. 

Another reason the world’s feedback tends to be reflexively negative is because there are a LOT of people out there in the world who view success as a zero sum game. 

They think that in order for them to be successful, it necessarily means other people HAVE to be failing. 

Thus, a lot of people get in the habit of looking at someone else’s efforts, and instead of assessing and expressing how that person is doing it RIGHT, zeroing in on the things that the person could be doing better. 

For some people, life is a constant game of one-upmanship. 

It’s something people do when they struggle with their own self-esteem. They can only feel worthy if there happens to be someone around who they can favorably compare themselves to. 

All of which is to say: you’re going to get LOTS of feedback about your “performance” out in the world— and a LOT of it is going to be negative. 

This is true NO MATTER WHAT you’re doing. 

Think of the most successful, competent public figure you can imagine. Now Google that figure combined with the search term “criticism.” I GUARANTEE you’ll find lots and lots and LOTS of people happy to point out all the ways that person is doing it wrong. 

Don’t get up in your head about what the world tells you about whether you are or aren’t “doing it right.” 

“The world” is not your judge and jury. 

You focus in on moving toward your goals, on your schedule. 

YOU know what tasks are you your plate. 

YOU know what benchmarks you have to achieve. 

YOU know the areas that you struggle with. 

All that listening to the nitpicks and criticism of “the world” will do is discourage you and distort your efforts. 

Feedback from people you trust and value is one thing. Generalized feedback from the randos out there in “the world” is another. 

Keep your focus where it belongs: just taking the next teeny, tiny step in the direction of your goals. 

We can freak out and melt down all day about the criticism of others if we let ourselves (and believe me, I’ve let myself do that a LOT). 

Freaking out and melting down never got me closer to a goal. 

When you start to feel your anxiety about others’ opinions rising, push the pause button. Take a breath. Remind yourself of who you are and what you’re all about. 

Good job. 

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