Have you ever dealt with criticism, negativity, or spiritual warfare in your business? How about having your brand, content, or programs COPIED? Did you see a bad podcast review that knocked you down for DAYS? This episode is going to walk you through how to cope and combat negativity, criticism and spiritual warfare in three simple steps.
News flash: the world is always going to be out to get us and spiritual warfare is REAL. The good news is that we have the armor of God shielding us. We have the gifts of discernment and thinking before we act. This episode walks you through how to enact the gifts God has given us when faced with adversity.
I hope you enjoy it.
I pray this blesses you.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey friends. I hope you’re having a great day. I’m actually coming at you live from the road. I am headed to pick up my little human from his grandma’s house in Roswell. So I’ve got an hour, nothing but open road right now. I’m recording from my phone, so bear with me on the audio and no, don’t worry. My phone is perched up on the dash. Just recording my voice. I am not putting myself in danger, but thanks for your worries. You weren’t worried, were you?
Anyway, if you guys can hang with the audio, this is going to be totally worth it because I am talking about today how to deal with negative podcast reviews, when people fire you or ask for refunds, or they don’t like something that you’re putting into the world, how to handle criticism, spiritual warfare and everything in between. AKA, how to handle trolls.
If you’re like, I don’t know Stef, I haven’t had to deal with any of that yet, just, just wait. The bigger you get and the more impact you start to make, the more people try to either throw some haterade throw some, some of that jealousy Gatorade up all over your picnic, Lola. You’ve just got to be resilient.
I, through my own actions want to teach you some of the things not to do, and some of the better ways that you can navigate and handle this situation. Because no matter what, no matter who you are, no matter what Enneagram number, no matter how you deal with criticism, this is not easy. It’s not easy to battle when somebody throws shade your way. So let’s dig into how to navigate all of the negativity.
Sister, let me remind you if you have been sitting in a space of stuckness (is that a word?) If you’ve been feeling some stuckness in your business and you’re just unsure, unsure of clarity, unsure of messaging, unsure of maybe what you do, what you offer, how you serve. You wonder how to build the audience faster. You’re unsure of which course would be the right course to create for your avatar. You don’t even know who your avatar is, anything or anything in between.
Listen, I am a clarity coach. I can help you navigate that, I offer one hour breakthrough sessions, which are a great way to just get unstuck. I believe that your breakthrough is on the other side of you, that you are the greatest constraint to your own success, to breaking free, to doing the mission work that God has called you to do. That it’s all right there within your heart, but you just can’t see it, because your limiting beliefs and excuses are in the way.
Yeah, I’m calling it out. Why? Because I’ve worked with probably a hundred or more people at this point who have all had exceptional breakthroughs simply by breaking free of all of the limitations that they have swimming around in their minds and in their hearts. I truly believe that the road to “success,” which to me means more time, more peace, more intentionality around your family and your business and the way that you want to live this life, all begins with clarity.
So if that’s you and this is tugging at your heart and you’re like, I am so sick of being sick of the stuck feeling. I want you to hop in your inbox, email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get a clarity call, a one hour breakthrough call on the books I myself will meet with you. We will dig into whatever it is that you need to do to get that needle moving forward in your business.
I am the coach for you if you want to learn how to do this the right way, to do it in the long game fashion. Not to have overnight success, but to do it God’s way and let His will lead you in your business. I truly believe everything we have comes from God, including our business. It all just starts from accepting that, having clarity and then having a roadmap to tackle. All that being said, I’ve got a couple of sessions left. One of them may have your name on it. Does it? If so, head to email@example.com, shoot us an email and we’ll do this.
Let’s get real. How do we deal with negativity in our businesses? Let me give you some examples. Okay? Negative podcast reviews, whether it be star reviews or written reviews. Negative testimonies or feedback on your Facebook page, maybe hearing from a program that you’re running, some of the students aren’t loving the curriculum, or they think you’re not doing a great job.
What else? Getting fired? Oh, wait for that one to happen. What else? Let’s see, having people in the industry call you names, call you out, call you a fraud. What else? Having people say that your programs aren’t great. Maybe they’re overpriced or under-priced, or having people ask you for a refund because they didn’t get a result. Guys. There are unlimited ways that you are going to face setbacks in your business.
You’re going to face criticism. While some of that criticism is constructive, some of it is just straight haterade. It’s trolls coming over there to knock you off your high horse, when you feel so proud of yourself and you feel like you’re doing so great. It’s inevitable that someone’s going to stride on up to you and try to knock you down. Why? Honestly, I believe it’s because other people have a hard time seeing you be successful, seeing you step into the light.
The other thing is maybe they’re just jealous. Maybe they have an unrealistic expectation of something that they purchased from you. I mean, guys, we don’t really know all the reasons, because we don’t have a crystal ball. We can’t understand the way that people think and the way that people feel. We do have the gift of discernment. Yes, we do.
We have the gift of discernment. What does that mean? Discernment means that we are able to decipher truth, right? Things that are of this world versus things that are of God’s world, things that are Christ like. Because we have that gift being children of God, we are able to also exercise the gift of self-control. Now those are two things that are really hard to exercise, self-control and discernment when somebody is coming at ya. So let me give you guys a little visual here of how not to react in your business.
Back probably six months ago, I dealt with my first real true negative thing since I had become a coach. I definitely dealt with this back in network marketing days, I didn’t handle that well either, but I had grown so much. I thought for sure, when I dealt with negativity or people that didn’t like what I was doing in the world, that I would have the armor of God and I would just be invincible and nothing would get me down. Well, I’m still human and so are you.
So I got a couple of one star podcast reviews, like in the same week. For real? Like Satan really? Today? And I had been doing my best work and here’s what happened, guys. I talked about how I like to use the Enneagram for personality testing of my clients. Right. So that I could understand them better. Well, if you know anything about the Enneagram, you know, that it has pagan roots, right? So as a Christian, there is some criticism around people that, you know, use anything that has pagan roots.
Now, just hang with me for a minute. If you’re thinking, yeah, Stefanie Enneagram is evil, I just want to kindly remind you that evil are the themes that we allow to become idolatry. I was not idolizing the Enneagram. I was simply saying that if somebody is an Enneagram, one, they’re a super organized perfectionist. And I am then able to help that person kind of get out of their own way and take some more messy action in their business. So I was actually able to better serve them. I wasn’t idolizing it, I wasn’t obsessing over it, I was just simply stating it was a tool that I had used.
I also want to bring to light that Christmas has pagan roots and how many of us, you know, we participate in Christmas? We don’t do it for evil reasons or because we are, you know, witches. We do it because it’s just a ritual for our lives that brings joy and peace and fun to our families. So that’s where I believe discernment comes in, in our lives. It comes in everywhere. It comes in in every single thing that we do.
You know, while yoga or meditation or the Enneagram could all lead to idolatry, so could money. Fitness, like you could get obsessed with fitness. You could get obsessed with weight loss. You could get obsessed with yourself, anything? So we have this beautiful gift to know what’s real and what’s not real. So I had talked about this on my Instagram stories and some people didn’t like it.
So I heard that my name was being bashed as a Christian coach because I wasn’t truly a Christian if I was talking about the Enneagram. Well y’all, here’s where you’ve got to really be mindful of the gift of self control. What I should have done is take it to God, right. Because when we deal with anything like that, we do have the armor of God, but we’ve got to put it on.
What I didn’t do is take it to God and say, “Lord arm me, arm me,” right? Like be my armor against what’s going on and what’s being said about me and remind me that it’s not true. It’s not true because you and I have talked about the Enneagram, and I feel good about it. I’ve used discernment, and it’s helping me in my business. I know that I’m right with you. And God would have helped me disarm my reactiveness. Disarm my sensitivity to what was being said and remind me that, that was whoever’s insecurities. That was not real. That was not from God. Right?
The only thing I should let bother me is if I am sinning against God, or if I am doing something that is not right between me and him. So I didn’t arm myself with the armor of God. Instead I was reactive and I got straight up on Instagram stories and I started going off, spouting off about all these things. Well, it turns out long story short that I had a friend who had a really, really negative experience with yoga and meditation. The new age.
She ended up having a very dark experience in her life because of it. She’d opened kind of a portal to, and I know this is getting a little loose, so hang with me, She had opened this portal to the darkness and she had actually spoken to an evil force in her life, and she thought she was talking to God. She was just really worried about other people as a new found Christian, as a newborn Christian, she’s worried about others being led into that dark space being tricked into the new age.
She had mentioned to me how the Enneagram was dangerous and dah, dah, dah, dah. What had happened is out of a good place in someone’s heart, different things had been spurred off. Which created some animosity, which then led to some “he said, she said” situation, which I do believe led to some of those negative reviews.
Now, here’s the thing though, if I would not have reacted that way, a couple of things would have been better. The first thing that would have been better is my peace. Right? My inner peace. I was rocked, I was angry, I was reactive, I created a negative ripple into the world. Why? Because I showed up on social media and chose to have a negative outlook and continue to perpetuate the negativity that I had just received.
The second thing that I did was I didn’t take it to God. When we don’t take things to God first, honestly, we’re doing the devil’s work. Don’t you think that the devil wanted me to react that way out of anger, out of frustration? When, after I took it to God, I took it to God too late. After I took it to God and God told me to stop, and to relax, and to rest, and to find peace with it, and actually told me to reach out to this friend. I had this real true conversation with her.
The truth was revealed and the truth was nothing like I thought. It was actually kind of a beautiful situation that we were able to learn and grow from with each other. So my point there of that long story is to tell you, we can’t take it upon ourselves to be reactive. We have to armor ourselves with God. Whenever we are faced with negativity, whenever something in our business happens that feels like an attack on us. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s not an attack on us at all. Maybe it’s someone else projecting their attack on us, right? It’s their attack, and it’s just coming at us.
You know, maybe it’s someone else’s insecurity or fear. Maybe they’re just having a bad day and we need to use our two gifts, the gift of discernment and the gift of self control. So the second thing that I want to kind of bring to light for you guys is also the act of forgiveness. So as a coach, there have been times where I’ve had to deal with constructive criticism, but I’ve also had to deal with people that literally just are not a good fit for me. They are not a good fit as a client. This is a tough one to talk about because I of course have client confidentiality.
I’m gonna just keep it super vague here, but let you guys know. There have been situations where I’m not the right coach for someone as you guys know. I truly believe in longterm growth, in growing organically, authentically, with one clear focus, and believe strongly in showing up for free on your platforms, whether that be blogging or podcasting or YouTube. I do not believe that running paid ads is the right strategy for 99% of brand new entrepreneurs. By brand new, I mean a year or less in your business. If you are not profiting, I mean profiting at least $5,000 per month, I just don’t believe that running ads yet is a great strategy, because you’re going to waste a whole lot of money doing targeting and all of that. I know that people disagree with me.
That’s okay. That is okay with me. But here’s the thing. When I’ve had clients who were like, hey, you need to help me run ads. And I say, no, that’s not what I believe is the right strategy for you. Morally, morally, I believe it’s not the right strategy and it’s going to hurt them in their business. They’re too new, they’re not profiting, they don’t even have a clear focus of who they’re talking to yet. Running paid ads is the last thing they need to do in their business. Well, we’ve had this happen in the past.
I’ve also had people, just honestly be the wrong fit, just truly the wrong fit. But I have an ironclad contract and, I don’t do refunds as you guys know. Why don’t I do refunds? I don’t do refunds because if someone works with me and they do exactly what I teach them for the length of time that I teach them to do it, I have seen massive success in people’s businesses. Massive success.
My elite entrepreneurs are exploding in their businesses. None of them are doing get rich quick strategies, none of them are doing it through email funnels exclusively. They’re all doing it the way that I’ve done it through podcasting, through deep connection, through Facebook group engagement, through, client retention, through pouring into people, giving people a result. They all have massive clarity on who they are talking to, teaching, inspiring, and transforming.
All of that to say, I’ve had people fire me. They’re like, I can’t work with you for one reason or another. Like, cause you won’t do what I want. We’re not the right fit, whatever. That, you guys, is a really hard pill to swallow. And if you’re a coach, here’s the truth. I don’t care how good you are, how great you are. There is someone out there that’s going to work with you and either not get a result.
That’s where you have to really be able to check your ego at the door. That’s a hard thing to do to look at yourself and say, did I not give this person the toolkit that they needed to be successful? But that’s what’s going to make you guys such a great coach. That’s what’s going to make you such a great business person. Not, everyone’s going to love me.
I’m going to help as many people as possible getting complete transformation in whatever it is that you teach. There’s going to be a couple outliers. There’s going to be a couple of people that either aren’t willing to do the work, they’re not willing to show up, they’re not ready. They maybe just not ready in their heart or their mind. Maybe life happened to them. I don’t know. We don’t know that we have to first look at ourselves and say, is there truth here?
Instead of getting reactive and flying off the handle, I had learned my lesson, right? It starts with what is the reality of the situation? So you first armor yourself with God. Lord, here’s a prayer. If you guys need the armor of God. Let me just share with you a quick prayer. Lord, God, you know, something happened in my business today and it’s making me feel insecure. It’s making me feel reactive, I feel angry, I feel upset, I don’t understand it. I’ve done everything I can for this client or this customer and they don’t appreciate it. I don’t want to give in, I don’t want to give them the refund. Or I don’t want to return the product but help me God. Help me have a heart of discernment, a heart of grace. Give me peace in my mind. Give me peace in my heart.
Give me your words. Not my words, not words of fire, but words of love, peace and grace. Before I act, I ask you God to be here with me, to be the armor that I need before I head into battle every day, todaym and especially in this situation. Amen! So once I had that armor on, I was able to look at myself and say, you know what? In this situation, there’s nothing that I personally did. We just honestly, aren’t right. You know, she wants to do business a different way. There’s a right and wrong way for everyone. I’m not right for everyone. You know what, that’s okay. That’s okay. I’m not going to force this because if I did, we’d both be resentful. I don’t think that working with this person is in my best interest either. So I blessed it and released it guys.
There’s another situation where I got some feedback in my past, and I found that I had timing wrong, right? Like my timing was off for what I was teaching. The constructive criticism that I received was truth. But the only way that we can get better is to not be reactive, and to first ask ourselves if any of what we’re hearing is in fact truth, how we can change it and make it better.
I’m not saying the customer’s always right, because sometimes they’re not right. But I am saying that sometimes the customer is right, and we have to be willing and able to change and take criticism to become our best versions of ourself. Right? Sometimes that criticism, I think could even be a message from God. It could even be a message of, “Hey, you know, there’s a way that you can do this mission work a little bit better.” So there’s all of that.
Now that I’ve said all of that and I’ve done my piece and said my peace to help you guys first remember three things. Number one, put on the armor of God. Say that prayer. Number two, exercise discernment. Is this truth, is this not truth? Third exercise self-control. Absolutely let yourself cool off before you ever react to a situation.
Don’t go on Instagram and go crazy in your, IG stories when you’re feeling some kind of way, okay. First go to bed, take a hot bath, chill out. Because honestly it’s probably not that big of a deal. Now another situation that arose for me recently, and this is going to go the other way, because some of those examples I gave you guys are things that, you know, weren’t that bad. Some of them were things that I could just really take with a grain of salt, even learn from, get better from etc.
So I was recently copied, like straight up, ripped off twice, twice in the past month or so. Once was my podcast. Thankfully of I’ve got trademark stuff on all of my business, but somebody just straight up like almost full on, ripped off the layout of my podcast, channel art and even the name. It was like so close. I just couldn’t believe it. The second thing was somebody ripped off one of my programs. I have a program called Podcast to Profit, which is my advanced mastermind group for my podcast students. Helping them go from being a podcaster to then monetizing their podcasts, understanding sales and marketing on the show, understanding SEO like blowing up their podcast and then making money from it.
Well, everybody knows that’s the name of my program. I started getting screenshots from my students who were getting ads that were targeted to them and said podcast to profit. Screenshots from my students. So not only was this person literally using my title, but she was also targeting my students. Yes, you can do that in Facebook ads. You can say, I want everybody that likes Stefanie Gass, her Facebook page to be a target.
I mean, it was crazy guys. So these two things happen, but I’ll tell you the funniest thing. I didn’t feel angry really. So I see that somebody copied my podcast and someone different is copying my program and I’m like, okay, okay. You know? Alright. And I was so interested because normally I would have reacted with anger. Now don’t get me wrong. I was for sure, a little triggered. I’m like how rude, this is super annoying. Don’t people have any class at all, but to literally directly copy me and not even try to hide it? This is nuts.
So I was for sure triggered, but because I actively, actively choose on a daily basis to put on the armor of God. I am in scripture, you guys three or more sometimes, I mean, honestly, it’s probably once an hour at this at this point with everything that’s going on in the world. I am in scripture like a crazy little Jesus worshipper over here.
Y’all, I’m like, Lord God help me multiple times an hour. Anyway, because of that, I think that God and the Holy Spirit are so heavy within me that any thought, any choice that I make immediately I filter through a biblical lens. And so I, I turned to God immediately. I was like, Lord, help me with this. Like, how do I react? Should I go after them, should I send them cease and desist letters? Should I send them a nice email or a mean email or a voice text? And I did think about sending a voice text. And then I was like, you know what? I need to check into this first. Like, is this even something I want to tackle right now? And here’s what I heard back. God is just so good. I just heard so clearly back, “Turn the other cheek.”
Oh Jesus. So good. He’s so great. We’re so human. We are so human and God is so good. Turn the other cheek. Okay. And you know what? I just let it go. And here’s what happened. The person who had copied the podcast, my community took care of that one real fast. They were all over her, so she changed that immediately. The other gal, you know, I just had to decide to release it because everybody has podcast courses. Everybody and their mama wants what someone else has.
I just had to remind myself, people that God sends to me to listen to my content that resonated with my show, that believe in the things that I believe in, they’re going to know that I am for them. They’re going to trust that my program is the right program for them. I don’t need to worry. I don’t need to have a mindset of lack because God promises that everything I need, he will provide it for me. And if it’s not through my podcast course, okay.
If someone steals everything I do. Okay? Because everything I do here is of this world and I can always create, I can always make something new. I can always show up in a different and better way. There are unlimited ways for me to serve and bring people to God through what I do and what I say. There are unlimited ways for me to help you guys in your business. And to believe that somebody copying me is going to shut me down and make me crumble, gonna make me feel less than because by the way, she was huge, huge. She is huge and she’s still doing it. That’s okay.
That’s okay, because I know who I am, and I know that God will make good on his promise and that the provision that I need to do big things here on this planet comes directly from God. No one will be able to stand in his way. People can get in my way, and I’m glad for it because I’m not doing this my way. I’m doing this God’s way. This is not my business, it’s His. And your business is not yours. It’s His.
So the next time somebody comes at you throwing shade, bringing the negativity, talking you down, saying your stuff isn’t good enough, leaving a negative review, leaving no reviews. Maybe it’s someone in your family. Maybe it’s a spouse tearing you down, making you feel less than. Put on the armor of God, practice discernment, and then mind what comes out of your mouth sister and the fourth bonus that I just gave you in this final example, give it to God, give it to God.
God will take care of everything for us in our lives, in our businesses. He will always set our heart straight if we ask Him to. So there it is. I’m not sharing any of that with you to make you guys think that I’m weak, and I am not standing up for what I’ve built. I would, if God told me to, but God’s so graciously just whispered to me. No, not now. Not her. It’s okay. When I heard that, I felt fully at peace and I let it go. It was just letting go of animosity and frustration and anger is the most beautiful feeling and also forgiveness.
You know, this is totally off topic, but if there is anyone that you have yet to forgive and to actually verbally tell them, you’re sorry. I think now would be a good time to do that. Friends, this world. It’s a little crazy right now while I have no idea what God’s plan is for the next year, five years, 10 years, 100 years. All I know is when Jesus comes to get me, that I am fully, fully good to go. You know what I’m saying?
On a daily basis, there is no one that I have yet to forgive or be forgiven against. And so there have been some friends that I had to say sorry to recently. It was rough, cause it had been years. And guess what? That friend had actually wronged me, but I said I am sorry because I should have reached out years ago to clear the air. It was such a beautiful experience. So I just encourage you. I don’t know why that came on to my heart, but somebody needed to hear, that somebody needed to hear that there’s anyone that you need to forgive, I would do it now.
I would do it now, I would make that phone call. I would send that text, write that email, open that door, sister. Feel the peace of God just radiate through your life and your heart and your soul. When you finally let go of negativity, hatred, frustration, resentment, all of it. I hope this helped you. And if you haven’t yet dealt with any of these things in your business, hold on, you will, but don’t worry. It’s not going to break you. You are so much stronger than the words of the world because we’ve got the armor of God.
Let’s pray, Lord. I pray over every single person listening to this episode right now that you just shower upon them, your grace, your forgiving heart, and you allow them to use your grace and mercy to shower it upon others. That you open their heart and release any resentment, any frustrations, any feelings of lack and allow them to step into peace and purpose here.
I pray God that whatever the listeners needed to hear today, that you highlight that in their mind, write it down in their hearts and then push them to go and make it a reality so that they can feel so accomplished in their lives and businesses and their journey and works with you. We know you are here now, we know that you are doing such good, even when we don’t see it, even when we don’t understand it. We know not to question you because your way is perfect. Your way is right, and we are here for it God. Thank you. Thank you for bringing us together today. We love you. We trust in you, we have faith in you in Jesus name. Amen. I’ll see you guys soon. As always love and light, Stef.