Everyone who does anything worthwhile will receive criticism. It’s just the nature of the beast. You were put on this planet for a reason, and no one else has the exact same reason as you. (There may be similarities, but still, your purpose is very unique.) Because of this fact, you will do things different than anyone else if you are truly living out your purpose. People are uncomfortable when someone does something different, and it often results in them being more of a critic than an encourager. If you don’t have any critics, I ask of you: What the heck are you doing? Are you really living out your purpose? Are you taking the risks you should take? Are you just being a people-pleaser?
There are some different reactions you can have to critics (check out my last post for some practical tips around that), but my point in this post has to do with how big you’re dreaming. We all have some big, strange dreams for which we know would invite criticism. Are you pursuing them anyway, or are you enjoying the safety of people liking you?
I’m still at the bottom of the actuarial totem pole. I have less experience than most actuaries I work with, but I am about to go out on a limb… This Friday, I will be starting to actually lead a weekly leadership symposium at work for a couple months. Am I nervous? A little. Do I think someone will disagree with something I say? Absolutely! However, I’m not willing to just sit back and let people just simply like me. I want to make the world a better place! I know it’s not popular to do so.
What limb will you go out on? What crazy, risky dream do you need to follow to make the world better? How will the world be better this week because of you?
“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” –Aristotle