Posts Tagged ‘criticism’

Don’t you hate it when someone criticizes something you’ve done, or how you look, or a decision you made. My normal response is hackles up, assume a defensive position, and interrupt their opinion to defend my own. And it really doesn’t matter if the criticism is valid or not – I get defensive. But, the older I get, the more I’m trying (key word here) to see the truth within the criticism.

Let’s be clear first – Joe Blow doesn’t have permission to rail on my decisions. For any criticism to be analyzed for grains (or more) of truth, I need it delivered by someone I trust, someone I believe has my best interests at heart. The opinion of someone yelling at me from a car as I’m walking down the street, telling me my coat color is ugly, isn’t given much weight. So what do I care what you think of my coat color. But…if my husband says he’s not a big fan, or he doesn’t think that color does anything for my skin, then…I may take it into account. Easy example to offer since I know my husband would never comment on my coat color.

Trust comes first. Then, when a criticism is offered, instead of turning into Mike Singletary, I need to respond with respect, offer a “thank you for your opinion,” and take a moment to see if some truth exists within. There usually is. Because I can always improve, I can always grow, and if I dismiss all criticism as invalid, I’ll never get further than where I am right now.

Today’s Leadership Freak blog had a statement that caused me think:

The opposite of defensiveness is vulnerability.

How vulnerable am I willing to be to grow – as a mom, wife, teacher, co-worker, leader, Jesus-follower? The author included list of eight sentences which accelerate personal and professional growth:

  1. I’m not great at everything.
  2. I aspire to improve.
  3. I’m not as smart as I think I am.
  4. I’m not as right as I think I am.
  5. I could be wrong.
  6. Gee! Other people are better than me at some things.
  7. They could be right.
  8. Maybe there’s another way.

I do know there is no perfect person, least of all me. Looking forward to another growth period and maybe it’ll come through criticism.



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It’s a nasty thing. Pride keeps me from trying new things, meeting new people, and praying fresh prayers. I don’t want to look foolish or feel uncomfortable. I want people to think highly of me or more accurately, not find fault with me. So I try to be perfect. And fail miserably.

Within the last few years I’ve come to accept my shortcomings a little more. I know now that I’m missing out on fun adventures and amazing friendships. I’ve attempted to live a little bigger and give silliness a try once in a while. As I’ve grown older (and grayer), I’ve tried to see the world through new eyes. Instead of wasting time criticizing others’ looks and behavior, while trying to appear “exactly right,” I’m letting go of pride and embracing who God made me to be. Sometimes silly. Sometimes adventurous. Always less than perfect.


I still fail. Often.

I still struggle with pride every. single. day.

But I will not give up. Life is too short to give in to an issue that has no place in my life. Or yours. Let go of pride and pick up your dancing shoes.

“Pride leads to destruction.
    A proud attitude brings ruin.” Proverbs 16:18 (ICB)

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