The glory of network marketing is also at times its biggest challenge: this is, above all else, a people business.

Building a network is not an easy task; at times its challenges are compounded by the foibles of human nature. Coping with objections and rejection from those you prospect is one thing; when someone else in your own organization or company criticizes your performance, it can feel like a crushing blow.

You werenÕt there to defend yourself; now, on top of feeling unfairly wounded, youÕre steaming angry. Even worse than criticism and harsh words, perhaps someone has started a rumor about you based on an outright lie, yet you know that you canÕt be in all places at all times to defend yourself. YouÕve been hung out to dry, with no way for you to get the last word, privately stewing in your misery with no one to hear your side of the story.

You need closure but you donÕt know how to get it. What can you do?

Take Charge

A false accusation or harsh criticism left untreated can lead to anger, bitterness, and hurt feelings. Continuing to rehearse the problem with no resolution seems to dig a hole you canÕt get out of. Unbridled resentment can fester and neg-atively affect your business.

The heart of recovery comes from knowing that the only person you can control is you. ŌTake tenĶ and find a quiet place to cool off and reflect. The following mental strategies may help give the situation a healthy review, freeing you to move forward with your life and your business.

Define the Accusation

Whether it was someone in your network, your upline or sideline, or even someone at the company, those words have stung you and with the least bit of provocation, they surface and rudely intrude into your thoughts and conversations. You have rehearsed these painful words in your head so many times that they are imbedded in your brain.

Sit down and actually write out the unedited accusation, exactly as you heard it spoken against you. By writing down exactly what was said, you define and limit the problem, making it more manageable; now you can start to address it from a clearer perspective.

Define the Source

List the names of the person or persons who have accused you; now you have corralled both the offender and the offense. Having objectively defined what was said and who said it, now you can explore the possible reasons why it was said. When someone has offended you, itÕs easy to see him as your enemy, but the offender may not have the motives you imagine. Separating offender from offense will give you a more objective vantage point.

Ask for Perspective

Ask those whom you trust and respect what they think of the situation; you might hear something that will change your perspective. Do your colleagues share any similar views or opinions about your work or your behavior as those youÕve written? Have you ever been in a similar situation before, or heard similar descriptions of your actions by others? Is there something about you to be learned here, a partial truth? Is there a partial truth you can learn from?

Is there any truth to what was said about you? Perhaps, instead of viewing these harsh words as hurtful criticism, you can find a way to transform them into a constructive idea for self-improvement. Or is this accusation/criticism a complete fabrication, the opposite of the real you? Only you can really know for sure.

Listen to Yourself

What do you say about yourself? You have spent years building your character; you know the kind of person you have become. Take a good look at yourself and decide if there is any truth to this harsh criticism. If there isnÕt, then know that you simply cannot allow someone elseÕs words to affect your healthy self-image.

Projecting your resentment and hurt feelings back out by counterattacking your accuser only makes things worseŅif anything, it will tend only to confirm any negative opinions others may be tempted to hold against you. Speak highly of yourself and behave in a manner that will cause others to see that you are professional and productive.

Moment of Truth

Having examined the accusation and taken into account every perspective you can, you come to the point where you find closure by creating closure: you are in charge here.

It now comes time to decide what needs to be done, whether it be making an attitude adjustment on your own part, or talking it over with your accuser in a professional manner, in the calm of your carefully wrought perspective. Or is it now best to simply let the issue drop?

Is there anything you can or should do to remedy perceptions that others have of you? If not, itÕs time to release the hurt and anguish, which you can do only by changing those things you have the power to change and letting go of those that are beyond your control. Let go by filling your mind with constructive thoughts and your mouth with positive words. Self-control and a renewed healthy self-image replace the loss of control you felt from the sting of careless words.

The next time you are broadsided by harsh words, take the time and care to process them with these simple yet powerful exercises. Doing so will give you a tremendous sense of relief: you are taking control over how you are affected by things over which you have no control. You are in charge of your own emotionsŅand you have just won a major victory. You have given yourself a coping skill that can be applied every time you find yourself in a position of being falsely accused.

Building a network marketing business is challenge enough without having your mind cluttered with unnecessary burdens, let alone serving as a battleground! Keep your mind free of hurtful things so you can enjoy the good things that come into your life!

JANELLE HAIL is founder and CEO of theNational Breast Cancer Foundation (www.nationalbreastcancer.org).