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Not everyone will like it

January 10, 2012

Isn't it amazing how fast we can dismiss an original idea because we think, "Naaah, they won't like it"? We may spend hours, days, maybe even weeks or months, developing an idea, creating something new that, if you've spent that much effort and time on it, means something to you.

Or consider an idea that just formed. It may not be well-thought-out yet, but in your mind, something about this idea is worthwhile. "I know someone won't like it," you tell yourself.

Well guess what? You're right. Someone probably won't like your idea, your work, or your creation. But is that alone reason enough to dismiss it as a worthless idea? Does it mean that you shouldn't share the work you do that people might not like? Absolutely not.

How easy it is to place the entire value of a product or idea on the opinions of a few. If you have ever created anything, you know what I am talking about. You prepare to release your work and you immediately wonder, "How will Person One receive this? Is it good enough for Person Two? I so hope he thinks it's awesome." And what if he doesn't? Doesn't the work have any value to you? What about the hundreds or thousands of others who appreciate the work?

Author and speaker Jon Acuff puts it this way.

 

You don’t get to open yourself up to other people loving an idea unless you also open yourself up to people hating the idea too.

 

If I am vulnerable enough to share who I am and what I do with the world (thanks, Internet), should I expect 100% of the population who sees my work to like it? And consider it a failure if they don't? How ridiculous! Yet that is often the direction of my thinking. And all it does is confine me to my own little world of self-pity and lies.

Let's flip the situation for a moment. I take in a lot of content in a normal day, and some of it I don't care for, whether it's someone's blog post, a new percussion composition, or a website design. But it's awfully selfish of me to think that my opinion of someone else's work is all that matters. Just because I don't care for a piece of music doesn't mean that it has no value to its creator or many others who love the piece.

Some people like certain things, others hate those things. That's the way it is. But facing the risk that someone won't like your work is never a reason to stop being you.

 

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