Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Walk in Your Calling When Your Confidence is Crashing (Part 6)


Today is the last post in this series. Missed some? Make sure to scroll back through for the whole lot, and read at the bottom of this post for a giveaway!

One of the most painful crashes we can have is after we’ve received critique. I’ve received harsh criticism that crushed me, but I’ve also been flattened by constructive criticism that I should have dealt with better. Let’s  be honest. Criticism is hard.

So what are some steps we can take to appropriate critique in a healthy way? I have three actions that have served me well.

1. Be intentional. Decide how you’re going to handle critique before you ever receive it. Recently, I got turned down for an opportunity for which I had dearly hoped. It was tough and didn’t feel good, but before I received the final decision, I made some decisions. I determined not to take the news personally, not to allow the decision to affect the personal relationships, and to have compassion for the decision makers who are in a difficult spot. I decided to respond with grace and class. Since I believed these intentional stances were God’s will, I prayed and asked Him to help me. I still have some days when I struggle with the outcome, but with God strengthening me, I’ve been able to live in those determinations. (Note: It’s also essential to decide who we trust. If we trust God fully, no decisions by another party can thwart His calling! He’s just got something else in mind.)

2. Be discerning. Not all critique is equal. It truly is important to consider the source. Is this someone who is an expert with an established record of their own or just “Joe-Blow” on Facebook? It’s important to try to step away from our emotions and learn from criticism, but sometimes we also need to know when to discard it. Not all critique is equal and not all motives are pure. When someone hands us a plate of criticism, occasionally we need to hand it back and say, “No thanks. That’s your issue not mine.” (Didn’t my sassy southern girl just come out?!)

3. Be thankful. The only way we’ll grow is by learning from editing and critique, and it’s embedded in every field–especially speaking and writing. Since our messages are so personal, the critique can feel personal, but if we can develop gratitude for feedback, we’ll grow exponentially. I’ve had my devotions for P31 edited for over 10 years now, and although I haven’t arrived, I’ve grown tremendously. Can you imagine how thankful I was for all those years of editing when I faced an editor this year in a publishing house? VERY thankful!

Well, that’s it folks! The end of the series.

I’d love to hear from you about how you walk in your calling when your confidence is crashing.

For every comment, you enter yourself to win a copy of Breaking Up with Perfect (visit the link to read an excerpt) and the cutest “I’m breaking up with perfect”  bracelet by Bijou Southern you’ve ever seen! If you’re in a rush, just say “I’m breaking up with perfect!”

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  1. I have been loving and learning from this entire Walking Out Your Calling! I’ve been a speaker for awhile but have decided it’s time to pump it up!

    Thank you for the time you put into my passion to make it more real.

  2. What a blessing this part of the series is! It is good to be prepared and intentional about how we will handle critique and to be discerning. This is very good advice and very much appreciated.

    Thank You!

  3. This has been a good series for me. I have needed this and I am really breaking up with perfect!.

  4. Amy, I have been so blessed by this series. Thank you. : )

    Today’s post was so timely for me. Tomorrow I am having my writing critiqued for the first time in a new group. While the guidelines say praise, polish, praise, I know receiving criticism is challenging for me. But I am determined to follow Step 1 and be intentional about allowing their criticism to help me grow as a writer and not take their words personally. : )

  5. Thank you! While I am neither a speaker or writer (publicly). I do write for myself, journalling & you never know when God might call to another step there. And I also speak personally to individuals &/or small groups depending on the situation. And while it is motly people I know, “doing life” together, it never hurts to follow your 3 rules above! Blessings!

  6. I read the last post in this series first, but then HAD to go back and read the rest! Loved every bit of it and found it very helpful and needed the fresh perspective on criticism for sure. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, as always, and looking forward to what God has in store for you next so you can share with us! hahaha :-)

  7. Great information about accepting critique and I made special note of it for when I give critique as well. The line you give others about it being their issue. It made me stop and think, when I critique, is it for the writer’s benefit, or is it just my issue. Thanks.


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