June, 2016 1 Comment Career, Cover Stories

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“What’s bad about you?”- This is definitely one of the best inbox questions I’ve ever received!

KM from Joburg wrote: “So I’ve already told you that I find you inspiring but today I would like to know- What’s bad about you? There must be some bads 🙈! Tell me at least 5 bad things you’ve been called and how you managed it!”

I thought to share my response to KM here too in case it’s useful to anyone else:

“Hi KM, Totally love the question! I could write you a whole book about what’s bad about me 😂 and I have been called all sorts but since you said 5- here are some:

1. ‘Possessive and insecure’
2. ‘Demanding and militant’
3. ‘Explosive and unrestrained’
4. ‘Holds grudges and doesn’t forget’
5. ‘Controlling and selfish’

And guess what? It’s TRUE!

Yes, I am all of those things (and more). So yes my dear there are many ‘bads’ about me (like everyone else) and yes I get criticised to my face, online, in ‘secret’ whatsapp groups and behind my back… and that’s fine. No one who ever achieved anything got away from criticism. Both support and criticism are part of life.

How do I manage it? I find it useful to remember 2 things firstly:
1. What is perceived ‘bad’ is often subjective- for example when people see you working hard, those who support you may call you ‘a dedicated and passionate worker’ whilst your critics may call you ‘a workaholic that wants to please the boss’… All subjective.
2. You can’t control people’s perceptions or opinions. All you can control is how you respond.

Secondly, I try and reflect on how the perceived ‘bad things’ work for me and others or helps me and others grow (first learnt this from Dr Demartini in 2009). Because, truly, noone is all ‘good’ and once you learn to see the benefit of criticism then you are no longer afraid of it and can be grateful for it as it’s no longer ‘offensive’. It’s like being told “you have 5 fingers on each hand” all you say to that is “Yes, that’s true”. For example:

– Yes I am possessive: that has meant I like to spend a lot of time with my husband. He’s my best friend and he’s funny and I like him a lot (luckily he likes me too so it works for us)
– Yes I’m insecure: it keeps me aiming to achieve to be and do better than I did yesterday, it pushes me to keep fit, look great and all that jazz
– Yes I’m demanding and militant: I personally aim for excellence in what I do and expect the same with the people I work with (sue me!). Some live up to it and some don’t
– Yes I’m explosive and unrestrained: that’s how I can stand up for what I believe in even when everyone else is reluctant to
– Yes I hold grudges and dont forget: it helps me reduce repeating unnecessary mistakes
– Yes I’m selfish and controlling: this has worked with managing my finances- I like to know where my money is and what’s it’s doing at all times and I’m selfish about investing it in things that are important to me: Family, learning and education, travel, cash producing assets and inspiring causes- YOLO!

So people can say whatever bad or good thing (and they will continue to) but rather than spending way too much time worrying about that I would rather invest time in living the best life that I can”

Now back at you who’s reading: “What’s ‘bad’ about you and how has that worked for you and helped you grow?”

Let me know by comment or inbox (if you’re shy) or DM on Twitter @lelemba or Instagram @lelemba or Facebook.com/lelemba

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One Comment
  1. Mus.

    Just read this and it’s got me thinking…nice piece 🙂

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