Monday, September 23, 2013

Critical Success

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing." -- Elbert Hubbard

Criticism, just or unjust, can hurt us and leave us a bit frustrated at times. There will always be some who will doubt our motives and find fault in our efforts no matter how noble our intentions. Take heart, for every person who has dared to take action has found his or her share of critics. 

We must simply examine our hearts, be honest with ourselves in regard to our intentions, and move forward. If we are on the side of truth, then truth really does set us free. If not, we make the adjustment. When we are in error, we must be quick to ask for forgiveness. When we are not, we must be quick to extend forgiveness and show grace at all times. It may not be easy, but it really is necessary.

There was a time when I thought criticism from others signaled that I was on the wrong path or that I must be doing something specifically wrong. As I look back, I wonder how many times I let the critics derail me and either abandoned an idea or a quest -- or in the best case -- settled for far less. It was as though "they" knew something that I didn't know, or were smarter than me. I mean, if the path I was walking was really the right one, wouldn't everyone agree with me and wish me well on the journey? I think in your heart you already know the answer to that question is -- NO.

There are far too many reasons why people criticize our efforts to even begin to discuss here in this post. Some criticism comes from ill-intent, or petty jealousy, or just a level of comfort that assures someone they are okay, and that there is no need to go further, or learn something new. Change the status quo and you can bet someone will not like it. It is at these times that we must look at the results -- their results. Either they have them or they don't. If they really don't have the results you want, why give them power over you and your dreams? 

However, there are some who have our best intentions at heart and are simply working from the best information at hand to make recommendations or provide guidance. This criticism is harder to discern and often harder for us to break through. However, just a quick look at the events of the last 5 to 10 years will tell us that things have changed and new information and new actions are necessary if we are truly going to succeed in the manner we have determined is right for us. At this point, if you believe you are doing the right thing, it is a matter of making a decision and sticking to it. In time, the truth always comes to the surface.

Criticism comes with success. When we know it up front, we can make plans to deal with it. And, the best defense against a critic is to prove them wrong. The question is; do we have the resolve to do it? Let me know how I can help.

Your comments are always welcome.