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Quiet the Critics

One of my greatest teachers was Dr. Abraham Maslow who wrote about highly functioning people—what he called self-actualizers. The number one quality of these people is that they are independent of the opinions of other people, particularly the good opinions of other people. I wrote a lot about approval seeking in my very first book, Your Erroneous Zones, 1976. But I didn’t always follow my own advice in those days. When I’d do an interview or appear on a talk show, I’d read the stories about me the next day. I’d look for reviews of my books and so on. Today, especially in the last four or five years, I feel like I’ve really and truly gotten into a place in my life where it just doesn’t make any difference. The reviews are something that I now have very little concern for.

I gave a speech in Las Vegas recently and I talked about the whole idea of living your life free of concern about outcome. If you can stop worrying about whether people are going to like it or not, what a freeing place to be in your life. You can learn to treat other people’s opinions, whether good or bad, exactly the same way. If someone tells you how wonderful you are, you can treat that exactly the same as if they tell you how awful you are. One of the places I practice this is on Amazon. They have book reviews and almost every day there’s a new review or two. One will have five stars and then another will have half a star and say—“he’s writing books because he’s just there to try and make money.” I know that’s coming from someone who has no idea why I write.

I write because writing is something that I have to do. And it doesn’t matter whether people like it or not. When I write, I feel the pressure and anxiety that come with taking an empty piece of paper and trying to fill it with something from your own consciousness. I sit there for 6-7 hours a day for a year. It’s something I have to do.  And I would suggest that’s true for most creative people. They don’t go to their studio and paint every day because somebody else out there is going to be buying their work. Van Gogh never made a penny in his entire lifetime. He painted because it was his soul, his excitement. It was what aligned him with his Source of being. It’s the same with me and writing. But people who are not in that place, people who are themselves short on resources, will often impose the idea that the only conceivable reason why anyone would sit down and write or paint or compose would be because it might make money. And that’s exactly the reason that they are not following their calling and not making money. An artist or a creative person of any kind goes about their work because it’s their path, it’s what excites them, it’s what aligns their soul with who they truly are, who they showed up to be.

You get to a place where you are no longer concerned whether people like or don’t like your work. I’ve just finished a book, I Can See Clearly Now, and I know in my soul that there will be people who are going to criticize what I’m saying about the things that influenced me throughout my life. I’m going to write about those things anyway.  The nicest thing about being in this place in your life –when you look at the review section, you don’t have to look at how many stars you get—you can read them dispassionately and read the negative ones exactly the same as the positive ones.

Comments (34)

  • 1.

    March 13, 2013
    1:14 pm

    I love these words and really needed to read them today. Diving timing! Thank you Dr. Dyer - you are so wise.

    – Erin
  • 2.

    March 13, 2013
    5:09 pm

    Thank you Wayne! Your timing of topics in my life has been uncanny. You've been by my side guiding me and enabling me to see my true path for years. Thank you for always continuing to write. "...aligns their soul with who they truly are..." Beautiful :) Looking forward to your new book! Have a great day!

    – gee
  • 3.

    March 13, 2013
    6:38 pm

    Attachment=prison. Detachment=freedom + happiness. Simple equations, yet so hard to understand for so many people. As I grow spiritually, I'm aware of my attachment to anything, including the good opinion of others, and I stop myself in my tracks.

    – Cloris
  • 4.

    March 13, 2013
    6:41 pm

    As I writer, I write because I'm called to do it, and even if my books don't make a ton of money, it's been pure joy to write them. You've inspired me to write a blog: selfactualizedlife(dot)blogspot(dot)com. Namaste.

    – Cloris
  • 5.

    March 14, 2013
    2:54 am

    Thank you!!! Today, I feel this was written exactly for me to heal a current situation. :-)

    – Karen Margrete
  • 6.

    March 14, 2013
    4:52 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful reminder that we should follow our heart, follow our passions and follow our intuitions. As someone about to embark on a new business venture that will help others, I need to remember that not everyone will be excited for me, and it should not matter -- I think it's the best path! God bless you!

    – Kathryn
  • 7.

    March 14, 2013
    7:49 am

    Since God's Approval in creating you must be absolute and therefore unchanging, everything else just becomes your wavering judgment about yourself.

    – Dennis
  • 8.

    March 14, 2013
    5:42 pm

    Wayne, I have been following your career with great interest over the years, thank you for sharing this blog with us.

    – ron
  • 9.

    March 15, 2013
    4:24 am

    I resonate so strongly with what you have written. It takes a brave heart to stand in your own light, and be the individual you are supposed to be.

    – gillian
  • 10.

    March 15, 2013
    4:25 am

    I am part of an authors group and we frequently have discussions on this topic and how the challenge of writing from our heart and soul can get clouded in the concern for where the motivation is really coming from. I will share this with them. You continue to help me find the inspiration within myself to grow and love.

    – Tonio
  • 11.

    March 15, 2013
    7:31 am

    Wayne, everything you write about for many years now, resonates with my inner being. Your writing has been a gift in my life. It is my true desire to meet you in this lifetime. I hope to meet with you one day. I am a nurse and life coach and have a message to get out which was inspired by you and Imaculee. Thank you for your consideration.

    – Jeanette
  • 12.

    March 15, 2013
    9:15 am

    "to be truly independent of the good or bad opinions of others." I think being able to do this involves being able to connect more with your inner guidance. I have been trying to do this by meditating. Perhaps I will also start journaling. Does anyone out there have ways in which they connect to their inner spirit?

    – Mary
  • 13.

    March 17, 2013
    2:41 am

    Been gone for a couple years and didnt realize the power you bring with your words.I cant believe the power I have llearned with positive manifestation but the problem is I can also be be powerful at negative manifestation.Its very frustrating to have a gift and use it the wrong way .I need to hang w Dyer and the gang !

    – brian aboyoun
  • 14.

    March 17, 2013
    6:15 pm

    Hello Mary! You may be interested in Larry Crane's "ReleaseTechnique." (That's also his site's name). Anyway, he offers a simple, effective, method of removing any personal blocks that stand between you and your inner spirit.

    – Dennis
  • 15.

    March 18, 2013
    12:02 pm

    Been reading your booking for couple of years, Honestly it really doesn't matter what people think about you, its always what you think about you, I myself always have this disapprovement from society , but hey its their problem to fix not us.. love you immensely.

    – Mitra Far
  • 16.

    March 19, 2013
    7:44 pm

    As usual, your words came at the perfect time. Thank you so much for being the beautiful soul that you are. I feel your light all the way here in Massachusetts.

    – Dianne
  • 17.

    March 19, 2013
    9:56 pm

    Thank you for your inspiring words of wisdom in all of your books and especially for your movie "The Shift"....I truly have watched it probably 50 times hearing different messages each time or just messages that enter at a deeper level....it's all so clear what is conveyed in this movie....to just let go and allow God to direct our lives

    – Janet
  • 18.

    March 19, 2013
    11:00 pm

    just what I needed today. I love you <3

    – Elisabeth
  • 19.

    March 20, 2013
    3:26 am

    Mary, from my current experience,what you say rings true for me - meditation is the way for me to connect with my inner guidance - expecting or desiring results is what blocks them from coming through. During my meditation sessions, initially ask my mind and my body to be servants of my soul and then I visualise myself (continued below)

    – Louise
  • 20.

    March 20, 2013
    3:27 am

    when I was a baby and then just before I was born, sensing my existence without a body, before all the pain and trauma of life impressed upon me. when I was pure love and pure awareness without thought, when I register a sense of peace and absence of worldly strain. I then stay with that, letting go of any results or (continued below)

    – Louise
  • 21.

    March 20, 2013
    3:27 am

    desire for guidance, just knowing that resting in the peace of my sacred original self often enough will condition me to eventually remain that way when I am living my day to day life and I will remain connected to my soul guidance constantly. Everyone is different and how we register your soul selves will differ from person to person,

    – Louise
  • 22.

    March 20, 2013
    3:28 am

    but if you like the idea, meditate while having the intention of blending with your sacred original self and you will be guided by your senses as to what to do and how it feels for you.

    – Louise
  • 23.

    March 20, 2013
    3:28 am

    My experience is for me and there are as many experiences as there are people on this planet. Its our intention not knowing how that moves us forwards. Hope this helps. Namaste xx

    – Louise
  • 24.

    March 21, 2013
    6:37 am

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!

    – Ely
  • 25.

    March 21, 2013
    5:58 pm

    Dear Dr. Dyer, I cannot tell you how much Wishes Fulfilled has inspired me. You really brought me full circle-from my father studying you when I was a teen, to getting interested in Carlos Casteneda in college, then a theology course that left me, despite Presbyterian upbringing,

    – Martha
  • 26.

    March 21, 2013
    5:59 pm

    Feeling that all religions are the same- the only difference is the ritual and that God is made up of that little bit(soul) in every person. Throw a little Joseph Campbell in there and, More recently, Eckhart Tolle has inspired me, but you have really brought me home. Thank you! With love and gratitude...

    – Martha
  • 27.

    March 21, 2013
    6:12 pm

    And, I cannot wait for I Can See Clearly Now!

    – Martha
  • 28.

    March 22, 2013
    7:02 am

    I see myself reflected in these words. I'm also a writer, and I can not avoid writing in my blog and on Facebook every day ... It's an impulse of my soul, and I follow it always, no matter my financial situation. Thank you very much for sharing so much beauty and wisdom.

    – Enriqueta
  • 29.

    March 22, 2013
    10:58 am

    I have always enjoyed your teaching. I remember the first impression it made on me. I also had a poem written by you titled, "I'm OK, Your OK". I havn't been able to find it. Could you please send me a copy.

    – Darlene
  • 30.

    March 22, 2013
    11:00 am

    When I joined the military, I lost my copy. This article is right on point and couldn't have had better timing. Thank You Very Much!

    – Darlene
  • 31.

    March 26, 2013
    11:19 pm

    Exactly. Thank You Dr Wayne for writing this article. :)

    – Andrea
  • 32.

    March 27, 2013
    4:45 pm

    Amazing!

    – William Porter
  • 33.

    April 7, 2013
    1:12 pm

    My dear Wayne, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! for these words! It seems like rather a daunting task at the moment but i know i'll get there! :) I come from a family of artists and i'm going to share these with them! As always your brilliance helps us all! Loads of love!

    – Unmesh
  • 34.

    May 1, 2013
    2:53 pm

    Thank you for taking Maslow's words to heart. People spend years in therapy trying to figure out why they themselves do what they do... yet those same people are CERTAIN when they speak of what motivates others!!! Ironic, isn't it? I wish you continued peace. Namaste!!

    – Joseph Wadas

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