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It’s not the critic who counts

So many times we get caught up in the perceptions of others.

What they think, what they might say, who they think we are. We get caught up in their perceptions because we aren’t really sure ourselves. We aren’t really sure who we are.

We’ve spent most of our lives trying to make others happy. Our parents, our friends, our siblings, our roommates, our spouse…we bend to the critics and they wrap us in chains.

When we live to please those around us, constantly striving for approval, we cannot hear the quiet whisper in our heart.  A voice so desperate to be heard.

The voice of our inner being, the place untouched by the sharp piercings of this world.

We were made with a purpose, with a voice so uniquely gifted that lies in the very center of our soul. A voice that after years of being ignored has grown accustomed to silence. But it’s silence doesn’t mean it’s not still there. Patient. Waiting for the choosing; for us to say yes to the purpose planted in us from the beginning.

Before Brene Brown made it famous, this quote from Theodore Roosevelt was still my favorite:

It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause: who at the best knows in the end the triumph of great achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

 

The critics.

You’ll find them sulking in corners and standing on sidelines. They whisper. They taunt and snicker as you enter the arena. As you dare to follow that quiet, small voice of truth telling you you’re better than this; that more is inside you daring to be set free of the chains that bind. The voice that knows victory and triumph walk hand in hand with devotion.

The problem comes when we allow the critics to make us forfeit our dream.

The critics will always be there. They have always been.

Far more often than I would like, I get tripped up by the critics. Their  jabs and whispers haunt my conscious thought. I see them standing on the sidelines. Watching, waiting, ready for me to fall. It’s always been this way, human nature. A fault so deep in the human soul that we could find pleasure at another’s expense.

Yet too weak and afraid to try themselves because watching and whispering seems safer. Waaaay safer. But it’s shallow, empty; void of experience, trial, testing and the gift of refinement. It’s cheap and it’s easy and I want no part of it.

You’ve got a dream don’t you? I know you do. Just think what might happen because you said yes.

Stop thinking about what they think. There is always a critic but you were made for more. You were made to mirror God; to reflect His heart, His truth; the identity He placed in you at the moment of your conception. He made you on purpose.

The recipe for achieving your dream is simple, really. “Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing” {Will Rogers}.

The rest doesn’t matter.

The critics? They can’t touch any of those things. What lives inside you can only be reached if you let it.


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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Krista October 19, 2013, 5:47 am

    Words of truth, written from a woman who has found hers…… xoxo I love your voice!

  • Amanda Hill October 20, 2013, 11:53 pm

    Preach it, girl!

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