Dealing With Your Critics.
For an age it seems complementary medicine, alternative medicine, natural medicine, whatever your choice of title has been under attack from various organisations and individuals within our community. Criticism has been rife and questions regarding the validity are constantly being raised.
What has Hercules got to do with it?
A lot really.
Hercules is a mythical character that so many aspire to, the immediate result, the pinnacle of success, the giant slayer. Is it real?
The ideal we attribute to Hercules is courage. Yes courage is that word that belittles most of us. We watch the Hollywood movies depicting the warrior, strong and fierce conquering all in their path.
Courage however is not the Hercules character but the David and Goliath scenario, the little guy who is wetting his pants facing off against the feared warrior. If you look at it it’s not the Hollywood version of the seriously buff actor ready to take on the masses. The story is fiction.
Clint Eastwood would have had a thousand bullets in him in his lifetime of movies, Bruce Willis perhaps a million and Sylvester Stalone would have fallen at the 3rd punch in Rocky 1.
Being strong and powerful is not a true indication of courage or fortitude.
Currently we find ourselves in our collective industries in the position of David, standing before a giant who wants us humiliated and extinguished for all time.
What is courage really?
Courage is the ideal of fortitude, standing up to your adversary using your faith and conviction of your beliefs. Courage is being David and going for it regardless of how frightened you are or what others say. It is the same with practice and going for it regardless of the naysayers and critics. Fortunately in this case it won’t kill you if you mess up as it would have David. In this case you get as many chances at this baby as you want. You have nothing to lose.
Dealing with the Naysayers
Whatever your modality it didn’t just arrive overnight and the results aren’t fictitious. What you do is not fiction it has been proven over and over whether through the current trend of Evidence Based Medicine or Empirical Evidence.
When I tell people what I do for a living there are generally two responses. The first ‘Wow that’s cool’ and the second is more of a look suggesting their opinion of me is now that of a new aged hippy talking about crystals and chakras all the time. So what do I do? Do I take on the low opinion one person has of me and or my profession? Do I let it wriggle under my skin and morph into a low self-esteem boil wearing away my confidence? Or do I recognise an opinion for what it is and carry on helping people?
How can we respond?
‘I don’t believe in acupuncture or natural medicine or whatever’. You have heard this a million times I am sure as have I. A response a friend of mine told me about was ‘well it’s not a religion’ which resulted in some rolling around on the floor in hysterics. In essence it doesn’t matter whether someone believes in what you do or not. You know it works. You know it has value and you know it can create untold change in the lives of the people you treat.
When it comes to criticisms avoid them unsettling you. Go back to your faith in what you do. Respond calmly with information. Don’t get caught up in slanging matches as it will harm our professions.
Unfortunately there are people wandering around on the internet looking for arguments. They attack mercilessly with highly emotive and sometimes abusive language. We are the perfect target for them as we are, in some circles unfortunately, seen as controversial.
What’s my approach? I respond by writing I am more than happy to debate the issue being raised but if the commentary continues to be abusive or emotive then I will cease to respond. I never delete comments because in my experience trolls end up hanging themselves with their unreasonable approach. This shows a level of professionalism on my behalf and raises the opinions of our collective industries furthering our goals.
For me I have learnt to enjoy these arguments as I am not particularly intellectual and have never been good with debate. These arguments help me to be able to articulate my position more effectively over time. These arguments help me to be learn the ways to defend my and your industry more effectively. These arguments make you and me stronger.
So what will be your response?
Own your modality, own your skills and keep moving forward. Avoid the pointless arguments about the validity of what you do, resist fear holding you back and stand up for your industry. Be courageous. You don’t need the warrior accompaniments or skill. You already have them.