Once a woman asked me how I handled criticism and praise.
Praise or critique once mattered so much to me that it could paralyze me with pride and self-importance on the one hand, and shame and fear of rejection on the other. Over time on this journey of public speaking, writing, and teaching, I’ve learned the difference between offering these as acts of love–as gifts and blessings–and not as a way to certify identity, importance, or value.
Removed from the need to receive constant affirmation, you then write, speak, and teach because you’re overflowing, not because you need filling.
Praise and criticism become instructive and less personal. You can say to a harsh critic, “What I offer isn’t for everyone.” Your work may not have enriched or delighted that one reader, but it doesn’t mean another won’t find it life-changing.
Six years ago, I received terrible hate mail about my blog, my faith, and my personality. It nearly silenced me.
I pressed on and learned to say, “This isn’t for everyone.” And I moved on to bless others who need it.
You send your work out as an offering, a gift, a blessing. Someone needs it. Not everyone will love you, and that’s OK.