Escaping Criticism

To escape criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

            -Elbert Hubbard

            There you have it.  For all you people (myself included) that struggle with criticism and worry about whether people will like what we say, do, think, etc. just remember; all you have to do is absolutely nothing.

I am my own worst critic.  I am of the opinion that I am just surrounded by overly complementary people, but maybe that is just my critical side not letting go of the fact that my work is not exactly as I could have wished.  Other people have very critical audiences.  They struggle because everything they do is looked down upon or torn to shreds and their sparks of inspiration have five-gallon buckets of water poured onto them.  If that is you, just remember; all you have to do is stop doing anything.

Now that you are all inspired and fired up, (not) I will dash all of what I just said and point out that it is very easy to criticize somebody who does nothing.  We do it all the time.  We call them couch potatoes, bums, wastrels and all manner of other things.  So, if you want to escape criticism, all you really have to do is not exist.  Be nothing.

No, we should never stoop to the point of doing nothing because of criticism.  We can never escape criticism, but we can learn to deal with it.  Think of all the great things that have happened in the past.  Which one of them wasn’t criticized?  Christopher Columbus; no one believed that you could sail to the other side of the world.  He did it anyway.  Copernicus and Galileo; no one believed the earth revolves around the sun.  It does.  John Harrison; no one believed a sea going clock possible.  He built one. To build the transcontinental railroad was deemed an impossible task by many.  There are now whole highway systems that run from coast to coast. There was a time when people believed that cars would never replace more traditional forms of transportation.    There are plenty of cars and not many buggies.  Many didn’t believe heavier than air flight possible.  Now hot air balloons are curiosities.  The educated community ridiculed Robert Goddard for his rocketry experiments and his belief in space travel.  Less than 50 years later, men were walking on the moon.  These and millions of lesser victories, over ridicule and criticism, could be listed, but the message remains the same: learn from your mistakes and accept constructive criticism, but never allow ridicule to stop you from doing what you love to do.

This is a call to do it anyway.  This is a call to push on to the goal and do your best at your work.  This is a call to give your all to whatever it is that you believe in and be satisfied with it, when its done.  Then you will be able to say, “I held nothing back and if the world criticizes it and says it isn’t good enough than so be it.”  There is no real way to escape criticism, but the good news is, it is not necessary to do so.

Wyatt Fairlead

 

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2 comments on “Escaping Criticism

  1. Thank you! Inspiring! =)

  2. Starry Night says:

    Right now I am facing some moments of criticism in my workplace. Many times I too struggle with worry about what others think about me or what I am doing. The call to “push on to the goal and do the best in your work” is one that I sometimes forget when in the midst of criticism or difficulty. Honestly speaking there have been times that my thoughts have been, “Maybe it would just be better to quit and go out from this condition.” However, God has used this article (coupled with the one about mediocrity) to bring me to some moments of pause and consideration. Upon reflection, I have found some specific areas in my life that I have been lowering the standard and not truly giving the best. THANK YOU for the reminders!!!! In the future, I do not want to hold anything back when doing what I believe I am called to do. 🙂 I am not promised an easy road in life, but rather one that can be filled with hope, joy, and strength even when in the midst of the most painful conditions. So to anyone else out there that has also experienced these kinds of moments, may we continue to “fight the good fight of faith” and be faithful to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called” us. In Indonesia one could ask, “Biasa atau luar biasa? Mana yang Anda ingin memilih untuk hidup Anda?” (“Ordinary or extraordinary? Which do you want to choose for your life?”). Don’t settle for mediocrity, but rather continue to strive for excellence. Don’t stay in your comfort zone, but continue to look for opportunities to change and grow. Don’t limit yourself in doing what is known to be right, simply because others don’t understand what is the truth of what you are doing and criticize that which is unknown to them. Our Father is watching. Let us truly do our utmost for His highest! **(Note: Sorry for the long response. I just found myself to be challenged as well as encouraged and wanted to share it with you.) ** 😀

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