Today is the last post in this series. Missed some? Make sure to scroll back through for the whole lot, and read at the bottom of this post for a giveaway!
One of the most painful crashes we can have is after we’ve received critique. I’ve received harsh criticism that crushed me, but I’ve also been flattened by constructive criticism that I should have dealt with better. Let’s be honest. Criticism is hard.
So what are some steps we can take to appropriate critique in a healthy way? I have three actions that have served me well.
1. Be intentional. Decide how you’re going to handle critique before you ever receive it. Recently, I got turned down for an opportunity for which I had dearly hoped. It was tough and didn’t feel good, but before I received the final decision, I made some decisions. I determined not to take the news personally, not to allow the decision to affect the personal relationships, and to have compassion for the decision makers who are in a difficult spot. I decided to respond with grace and class. Since I believed these intentional stances were God’s will, I prayed and asked Him to help me. I still have some days when I struggle with the outcome, but with God strengthening me, I’ve been able to live in those determinations. (Note: It’s also essential to decide who we trust. If we trust God fully, no decisions by another party can thwart His calling! He’s just got something else in mind.)
2. Be discerning. Not all critique is equal. It truly is important to consider the source. Is this someone who is an expert with an established record of their own or just “Joe-Blow” on Facebook? It’s important to try to step away from our emotions and learn from criticism, but sometimes we also need to know when to discard it. Not all critique is equal and not all motives are pure. When someone hands us a plate of criticism, occasionally we need to hand it back and say, “No thanks. That’s your issue not mine.” (Didn’t my sassy southern girl just come out?!)
3. Be thankful. The only way we’ll grow is by learning from editing and critique, and it’s embedded in every field–especially speaking and writing. Since our messages are so personal, the critique can feel personal, but if we can develop gratitude for feedback, we’ll grow exponentially. I’ve had my devotions for P31 edited for over 10 years now, and although I haven’t arrived, I’ve grown tremendously. Can you imagine how thankful I was for all those years of editing when I faced an editor this year in a publishing house? VERY thankful!
Well, that’s it folks! The end of the series.
I’d love to hear from you about how you walk in your calling when your confidence is crashing.
For every comment, you enter yourself to win a copy of Breaking Up with Perfect (visit the link to read an excerpt) and the cutest “I’m breaking up with perfect” bracelet by Bijou Southern you’ve ever seen! If you’re in a rush, just say “I’m breaking up with perfect!”