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Views and opinions: Criticism can be used as fuel to move forward, and not slip


Sometimes you just have to brush it off and move on. When you’re the target of someone’s flaming arrows, you know it’s not the best feeling in the world, especially when they come at a time when stress is heightened, sleep is at a premium and demands on your time are huge.

Even people with the thickest of skin, when hit in the bull’s-eye in a moment of weakness, can find their knees buckling. But it doesn’t have to keep you down.

This past week was busier than normal with a couple rather large projects that needed to be finished. In the midst of managing the workload, I was hit with some harsh words from an unexpected critic. In an instant, I was questioning my entire career choice and wondering if I should just walk away and go find a 9-to-5 job that required no interaction with people and zero creativity.

In that moment, if I could have found a job as a hermit and gotten paid for it, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.

I gave myself a 30-second pity party, which is a lot less time than I used to allow, followed by a reality check that told me the arrow only had the power that I gave it. Was I going to let one comment ruin my day? Was I going to let someone’s opinion seize my productivity? Absolutely not.

Two hours later, another bit of news felt like I had been punched in the gut. It took me a moment to get my wind back, but when I did, it served only as momentum to swing for the fences.

A day later, I made an unpopular decision. When I was met with resistance and anger, I had a choice to make: I could react in anger or explain with grace. While my flesh wanted to react in anger and go on a rampage while enjoying every taste of my righteous indignation, I knew it wouldn’t taste good coming back up and it wasn’t the right thing to do.

I chose the second option and used a dose of self-control that I usually don’t have the strength to use.

Why am I telling you about my bad week? Only to point out that when you are dealt a blow, don’t let it keep you down. Use it as fuel to keep going. Pity parties are fun and satisfying, but so is an apple fritter – that doesn’t mean they are good for you.

If you find yourself with a target on your back, reevaluate the situation long enough to put it into perspective and then use it to spring forth and keep going. Never, ever, give up.


The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.