How to avoid being criticized

Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

This post is a follow up of sorts to this post, so you should go read that post.


You want to stay safe professionally, relationally, politically, religiously, creatively?

Simple. Just do the same thing mostly the same way all the time. That’s safe. It’s manageable and tame. Like a declawed, defanged cat. It still won’t love you.

Safe also keeps the critics at bay. Do what you’re expected to do and not much more. You can actually do less and still be looked on with favor. And the best part–you can still criticize others without being criticized yourself!! What is this sorcery magic? How is that possible?

Allow me to allow Seth Godin to explain.

If your work has never been critcized, it’s unlikely you have any work. Creating work is the point, though, which means that in order to do something that matters, you’re going to be criticized.

If your goal is to be universally liked and respected an understood, then, it must mean your goals is to not do something that matters. Which requires hiding. Hiding, of course, isn’t the point.

Hence, the paradox. You don’t want to be criticized and you do want to matter.

The solution: Create work that gets criticized. AND, have the discernment to tell the difference between useful criticism (rare and precious) and the stuff worth ignoring (everything else).

Published on Seth’s blog

Thanks, Seth.

In other words, staying safe is simple. You just do average. Do what’s expected–or less! But not too much less because then even average will make you look really awful.

Go out and get criticized for doing something matters. Shouldn’t be too hard.

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