I have come to realise more and more with each day that passes, that the secret to standing strong in the glare of Public Criticism, is being non-reactive to all feedback - positive and negative.
Naturally, the positive evokes good feelings from within us, and makes us feel pretty good about our skill, and generally about ourselves.
The negative on the other hand, has the directly reverse effect. Like a guided missile, it targets the very core of our self-esteem, with a precise assignment to destroy.
I have been hit regularly by the arrow in the past, and it usually left me for days on end doubting my skill, my value, and ultimately, myself.
It was in one moment of clarity that I realised that my value as a Writer and as a Human Being, was not dependent on anyone's judgement or opinion.
Oh...the liberty I experienced in that timeless moment!!
After that, I learned to appreciate the positive feedback with a simple nod and half-smile, while also receiving the negative and downright mean with the same gesture.
The ability to do that is enabled by a simple approach: I have determined my own measure of success for every piece of work that comes from me.
"Does this material meet my standard?" I'd ask myself. Interestingly, there are some material I put out, which even after releasing, I knew deep in my heart it did not measure up to my standard of quality...but everyone would actually RAVE about it!!
At those times, I laugh in the quietness of my heart and silently thank God for the day He released me from the bondage of Public Affirmation.
However, once in a while, I sadly discover that there still exists a chink in my armour. An expectation which gives access to either the rose or the missile.
Then at the point I realise I've been hit, its a little too late. The weakness sets in, the blood oozes out and the seed takes root.
In that moment, I lift up my eyes. I say to the One who girded me in the armour in the first place..."I'm sorry, I misplaced my expectation"
And in His mercy, He uproots the deeply entrenched (and still travelling) root; He stops the flow of blood and seals up the wound. Then He blocks the chink in my armour and sows a new seed in my heart: His seed.
So here I am; brand new all over again!! A fresh armour, a renewed mind and a contented heart.
If you or anyone you know is ever going to thrive in the face of Public (and even Private)Criticism, be sure to take up the FULL armour of God.
The only other option is Drugs, Excessive AlcohoL or any other form of harmful substituted reality. Trust me...I know.
Beware of the chink in your armour.
7 years ago