We have to get to know our critics so we can respond with grace and clarity.
First, we all have to remember that everyone will have critics in their lifetime, no one gets a pass. Not even the safest life is free of people that will criticize and misunderstand them, so we might as well learn to manage how we deal with them.
Key clarity points so we don’t squander our dreams in the face of critics:
1. When you begin the journey of daring something brave and bold, there will always be critics, so anticipate them to ease your shock. You have to remember that they do not have to understand your dreams because it was not placed in their heart, but they do need to respect you. You have to be clear with your boundaries to give your dreams the best chance for survival.
2. Our harshest critics are often those that are in our inner circle (family and friends) so be mindful about who you are sharing this big new dream of yours with. Share your dreams with people who have earned the right to hear them.
Be Mindful of people that are…..
- Cynical – They live their lives doubting and it shows in their own life.
- Judgemental – I just steer clear from judgemental women period – love them from a distance.
- Sarcastic – They could use humor to doubt and discourage you.
- Non Dreamers – Friends who are not dreaming will not understand your journey. If they are not working on their own dreams then they do not have the capacity to empathize. You might even be a threat because they feel inadequate.
- Fixed Mindset – People who are not growing and personally developing themselves will have a different mindset. You risk having your big dream be interpreted by fixed minds; minds that are willing to dare outside of their comfort zones.
- Threatened – you can feel it when your friend seems insincere about your light so trust your gut. You have to remember that when a woman has insecurities, it has nothing to do with you.
3. Our Dreams always need to be protected in its infancy stage just as you protect an infant. When a baby is born, you protect them from external elements in order to nurture their growth, it is the same with your dreams. Be fierce about keeping them away from those who have not earned the right to dream with you.
4. You can’t control the critics, you can only control how you respond to them. The reality is that no GREAT PERSON in history, be it Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Hellen Keller, not even Mother Teresa, was free of critics. YOU WILL HAVE CRITICS. If you accept that this is the path to greatness than you can rest knowing that critics are all part of the greatness journey.
5. Critics teach us about ourselves. They reveal our strength and what areas need further formation. I have used my critics as a rising point – not right away -but I eventually see them as a gift. Those challenging moments can become our greatest teacher. Once you learn to manage your critics, you will find the courage to dream, to do things you might not have given yourself permission before.
6. You need to see your critics with a compassionate heart because there is a good chance that they are steeped in fear and inaction because they have buried their own dreams. They have convinced themselves that dreaming is vain and unrealistic due to lack of skills or a lack courage to pursue it. Therefore, they could not possibly have the eyes to see other people’s dreams if they are not even living their own dreams.
Knowing what to say is a form of accountability and it is an important life skill. We are never rude but rather, firm and tender. If we don’t hold people accountable, we create monsters and run the risk of being resentful. Become aware of your own critics and then equip yourself with the mindset and skill set necessary to face them.
Your Guide and friend,
Lead the Charge and be the Light that the world needs!