Today, I wanted to answer a question that was brought to me by one of the women in my audience. The question being, “How do I handle negative comments?”
In this episode, I answer this question based on how I personally handle negative comments whether it be in business, on social media, and life in general.
I remember being teased in first grade about my bikini and it tore my little heart apart. Today, in my adult life, negative comments come on the regular. The more I’ve grown in business, as an entrepreneur, as a brand influencer, as a leader in my community of tens of thousands of women, the more I see negative comments come up. They never stop. You just learn how to deal with them.
However, I’ve come a long way in handling negativity in life and business and I want to share with you what I’ve learned in those experiences and how I overcome negative comments today.
So, join me in this episode, and let's tackle this topic once and for all.
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Aloha and welcome to the Dream Into it Podcast. I'm Roxelle Cho coming to you from my hometown, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. After building a multiple seven-figure swimwear brand from a dream starting in my garage, I became curious into learning how my thoughts created the reality around me.
This is the Dream Into it Podcast where we will look into how powerful inspired, motivated women like myself are able to rewrite the stories of their lives and step into their power. I am so excited to be able to join you on your journey of stepping into your potential and creating the life of your dreams. Mahalo for being here today, let's dream into it!
Aloha, dreamers. I am so excited to be here with you - episode number three of our Dream Into It Podcast.
Once again, I'm coming to you live from my studio here in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Meaning I am sitting here in my closet with a $50 microphone that I bought from Target. Here we are being real and authentic with all of you.
I have a swimwear brand, as you know, Fused Hawaii. It was built from my garage with a $30 broken sewing machine into a multi seven-figure brand that's continuing to grow. Once again, today, we are sitting here in my closet with a $50 microphone. I literally put a sock over it today because I didn't have a pop filter at the moment. And we're here, we're doing it! I believe in living to our fullest potential, whatever that means, with the resources that are available.
I'm going to continue to document this journey, this process, to allow you to continue dreaming into it yourself.
So, here we are! And today, I wanted to answer a question that was brought to me by one of the women here in my audience. And I thought it was fitting for all of us. I thought it would provide value and I'll give you my perspective on my answer.
The questions being, “How do I handle negative comments?” Whether it be in business, on the internet, through social media. I'm just going to view it as a general question of how do I handle negative comments in life.
I thought that it was something that would bring value because we all go through this. We've all been dealing with this at some point in our lives.
I think that today, we have social media, it's easy to see trolls and negative comments everywhere popping up in our feeds and our DMs - all of these things. But, if we look back in time, we've been handling negative comments since a very young age.
I can remember the first time I was teased in school. I think this was really where my swimwear brand originated because the first memory that I have of swimwear was being teased when I was in first grade.
I was so excited! I went to school and it was summer camp. I was in first grade and my mom bought me this bikini. My favorite color is black and white. It was a striped bikini and it had this little red bow at the front. I was so excited because I still love Minnie Mouse at that time and I was like, "This is so cute!" It's Minnie Mouse color. I felt so beautiful going to school that day and I couldn't wait to rock my new bikini at my summer camp.
And, again, we go back to these negative comments and how I dealt with it even back then.
Honestly, it tore me apart. I walked into camp that day and I remember one of the popular girls at that time. She looked at me and she teased me that I was the only one wearing a one-piece bikini! I didn't have a two-piece bikini like all the other girls.
I didn't realize it until I started my swimwear brand, Fused Hawaii, that it affected me. When I was trying to think back of my first experience, or my first memory of swimwear, it went back to me being teased in the first grade of the bikini that I was so proud to wear and I felt so beautiful in. I was being teased because it was a one-piece and not a two-piece.
So if that doesn't give us a slight example of how much negative comments (whatever we want to label it - as bullying, teasing) and all of these things affect us in our adult lives like it really does.
So I thought that this was a very valuable topic because even as a mom of four girls right now, I have to also prepare my daughters on how to rise and empower themselves when facing these negative comments. Honestly, with four girls, negative comments sometimes happen within their siblings. Having a big sister or a little sister poke fun at you at times.
For me, that was my story as well. I had a big sister that primed me to be strong in the face of negativity. Being a little sister at times has an advantage. I've learned to grow very ( I don't know what to call it) calloused in a way or quick-witted at times to kind of combat these negative comments that may come our way.
So if I were to just kind of summarize the tools that I use especially now as a brand influencer (I have tens of thousands of women now in my community) along with all the good as a brand owner that scaled as quickly as I have, there come more negative comments. When those things started happening, I'm not gonna lie, it really did hurt me to scroll through the feed and see things with my name and face on it.
A lot of times, the products that I release are very close to my heart. Like the designs. As an entrepreneur, a lot of the things that I do have my personal touch to it. I define myself by the products that we create. A lot of the brand stories are my story so when these comments have started coming my way, I didn't know how to deal with it. It's a very real thing and it did hurt my feelings and it did get me down on it. At times, it hurts to the point where you don't want to continue living those dreams like going after those goals that seemed impossible back then.
If I were to look back at that time, and if I have quit during those moments that it was hard or I felt like I wasn't enough, well, I wouldn't be here now feeling empowered, strong, confident enough to be sitting behind this microphone.
I'm sharing with you these experiences. I'm happy that I was able to get through those points and I'm going to give some of the tips that I use in those moments that still come up now.
So now that we have grown to this amount, negative comments come in on the regular. It comes with the territory. I believe that if you don't have a little bit of push back, well then your dreams aren't big enough.
It's forced me to become a lot grittier, braver at times, and those negative comments along with the good and the bad were a catalyst in creating the brand and the person I am today. So I'm proud as I am of the good things that have come along with the bad things that I was able to overcome in the process.
So what I've learned through this process of being a business owner, brand influencer, and leader in my company, I always like to look at things from a standpoint that I feel empowered. I like to look at things where I am in control of my outcome. So I've learned one thing that helps me. It’s to reframe these comments. Rather than putting the power in someone else's hand and taking a hit, I reframe it and I ask myself, "Why am I getting offended by this comment? Is it something that offends me and why?"
I continued to dig into those findings because it's empowering to see what you come up with. And I've learned a lot of things that I define myself by, the things that I get offended when people put me down.
Say it was something like playing soccer. I'm not great at playing soccer. So if somebody walked by and said (or wrote on my feed) like, "You are a horrible soccer player!" It wouldn't even offend me because I know that already. I am not a great soccer player. I would just scroll through that and none of that would affect me.
I could be walking down the street and someone would tell me, "Well, you are not a very good musician!" I would believe them. I would laugh and I would probably let that go like dirt off my shoulder. It wouldn't even affect me.
What I find interesting is that when we feel emotion towards something negative - whether it was someone telling us that or reading it in a comment somewhere - what I would do in that moment for myself is to take the power back into my hands. And to know that I am in control of the situation as a whole. "Why do you feel that way? What are you feeling? Am I feeling a little upset? Am I feeling offended? Did it make me sad? And what am I feeling and how can we dig into that more to pull up something that we can realize about ourselves?"
Like if somebody came and told me, "Well, you are a horrible swimwear designer! You know, you're a horrible businesswoman! You suck at those things!" Honestly, it probably would affect me a little bit because those are things that, "Hey, I thought I was pretty good at those things, alright?". I've noticed that when comments come my way, “Why am I getting offended?” Is a good question to ask. “Is it something I'm defining myself as?”
What I've learned as I dig up those questions and answers is to tell myself as well that I'm not defined by my accomplishments. And that's something really big that stuck with me this past year. It's like, as you kind of check off these goals, here we are at the Dream Into It Podcast, if you are on this journey with me, you are going to be checking off goals. You're going to be reaching dreams that you never thought you would have before. You're going to be having some accolades and some things that make you feel great. And if you let your ego get a hold of you, you're going to start defining yourself by your accomplishments.
And one thing I will make note of right now from the start of this podcast is like, we are not our accomplishments. We are not made up of the things that we've achieved or received. And that's something I view as well, and that's something I want to be able to share with my children.
Like if you happen to sing great, you happen to do business well, you happen to win a race - that does not make up the core of who you are. And that's something that we can remember at all times when these comments come across our way. It's just that we are not made up of anything that we've achieved, or that we've done.
Like our inner dialogue is much more valuable than that. If we can remember that, and remember our worth (that's what I do at all times!) Like we are worthy, I am worthy, I am enough, I am not made and not defined by these words of others or these opinions of others. That right there gets me a lot further.
That helps me to put one foot in front of the other when I'm feeling down, low, and when I'm defeated or feel defeated by these negative comments that may come my way. So I hope that's helpful to all of you as well.
Another thing that comes to mind (I think this kind of sums it up). I like to keep this episode short and sweet as I can. But a lot of the times I want you to realize - this is something I tell my daughters as well when they're getting offended with one another and they're teasing and poking fun of each other, and they'd come back to me and they're like, "Mommy, she did this to me!" One thing I remind them is like, "Another person's opinion is none of your business. It's none of our business".
As a business owner myself, definitely, someone's opinion is not what makes my business a success. It's not what makes me a success. It is not what defines my worthiness.
So I remember in those moments, I'm not going to take it personally because honestly everybody knows, we've all heard that comment, “Hurt people, hurt people.” Sometimes, my daughters, when they come home from school they'll say, "She said something means to me and she did something mean to me". One thing that I remind them of (and I hope they remember as they grow older), is that I always say, "I know that might've hurt you, but sometimes those people need a little bit extra love and care".
If we can remember that as adults as well when these comments come our way when people maybe are just having a bad day. If we could put ourselves in their shoes and know that it's not personal (sometimes those comments hurt a lot). I'm not gonna validate those comments in any way but to know that at any time somebody is hurting someone else. It comes from a very hurt place. If we have it in us, just give that little bit of extra love and kindness in return. Whether it be in a kind of remark, whether it's just a smile or just sending love to them, in a way with no words and just our thoughts.
Just know that in those moments where we are having an impact on another person's lives, soul and heart, from that point, they'll be able to continue to spread that love, joy, and kindness further as well.
I think that kind of sums it up for this episode today (episode number three). I like to keep it short and sweet. I hope you enjoy that answer to that question of how I’ve overcome these negative comments in life.
Thank you once again for being here today. Aloha!
Mahalo for tuning in! I hope you enjoyed that episode. Keep on dreaming Into It Dreamers. The possibilities are infinite. If you love the show, share it with a friend and subscribe. I'll catch you in the next episode. Feel free to dive into our show notes at www.fusehawaii.com and you can follow me on Instagram as well @roxellecho.
I'd love to hear from you. Comment on my recent post. What did you learn? Tell me your takeaways.