Accepting criticism requires practice.
You think of yourself as a relatively confident person.
You don’t care that much what people think about you.
Recall the last time someone became visibly upset with you, though.
Did the interaction bother you long afterward?
Do you waste head space anticipating the disapproval of others?
Maybe you need to reflect on whose opinions matter–and whose don’t.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. – Matthew 6:34 (NLT)
Those Who Don’t Matter
I worry a lot about what my radio clients think about me. Do they like me? Will they praise my commercial spots? Will they respond politely to my emails? Most of the time, they do. Occasionally, they don’t. The couple of times that a client has disagreed with my writing strategy or even criticized me personally, I deeply internalized their opinions.
You see, I want so badly to do a good job. My whole life, I’ve been known as the good girl, the conscientious student, the forgiving friend, the dutiful employee. I accepted the label at a young age and have fought hard to maintain the persona ever since. Failure terrifies me, and according to my own definition, disappointing people equates with failure.
Those Who Do Matter
My husband loves me no matter what. I never feel insecure about his opinion. Jesus loves me no matter what. Any time I stop to think, I remember that He approves of me. Ironically, I spend considerably more time fretting about people like my boss or my coworkers when, in all likelihood, I won’t interact with them at all ten years from now.
Sometimes, in order to drain the fear from an experience, you simply need to practice. The more I encounter clients who dislike me or criticize my work, the less I will care. Much like learning to merge on the freeway, terror subsides with each exposure. In the meantime, meditating on my foundation of affection fortifies my spirit to try again.
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’ – Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
People will criticize you.
You will feel terrible, and their words will haunt you.
You will also feel dumb for letting them bother you.
Don’t beat yourself up because you care what they think.
You can’t force yourself to care less by trying harder.
Instead, take solace in the love of the people who matter.
Then keep stepping boldly into situations where you might fail.
The Reluctant Bride