A few weeks ago, I ran across a quote from Theodore Roosevelt in the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (I highly recommend you read this book!) that has been stuck in my head:
It is 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 enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…
Whenever you do something great with your life – whether that be start a business or ministry, choose to live a life of love, decide to raise your kids in a way that goes against the mainstream, lead a church, pursue a dream – whatever that greatness is for you, know this:
Critics will arise.
They will point out what you did wrong, where you stumbled, how you should have done it better. They will insult you, laugh at your choices, and coin the phrase every critic has on repeat: I would have done it differently.
There is no getting around critics.
But you need to understand something.
Critics don’t matter. Tweet this
They shout from the sidelines of life, sitting on the couch talking about how they would have done things differently.
Except for the fact that they aren’t doing anything.
They aren’t taking the risk, doing the work, pursuing the dream that matters. They aren’t making the world a better place, leaving a legacy, or making a mark.
And they don’t want you to, either.
Next time the critics begin yelling in your ear about what you could of, would of, should of done differently, there’s something you need to do:
Over time, their remarks will fade away and be forgotten.
Especially when you’ve achieved the greatness you were pursuing.
Dare greatly, my friends.
And choose to ignore the critics.
Where have the critics tried to get you to stop pursuing your dream? Leave a comment below.
Background photo credit: DVIDSHUB (cc)