Have you given up on a dream because of a critical remark one person made? Why is it we more easily remember the negative than the positive comments?
I have far too often let negative remarks define who I am and hinder me from following dreams, even if it’s something I feel God has given me a passion for.
The first and only writing conference I ever attended was over two years ago. We were invited to submit the first page of a book we were working on. There were no names mentioned, but each one was read aloud before five editors commented on each one. I took the leap. Most of the editors’ comments were about improving the first line or paragraph to pull readers in more quickly. I could handle that, but one editor actually judged my motives. That devastated me.
After the assembly, Mary (a writer I met the first day) found me in the bathroom. I was ready to burst into tears, but I put on an “I’m fine” mask. Yet she sensed I was struggling. She reminded me how hard the editors were on all of them. Then she told me her story:
“I once showed a friend something I wrote, and she said something very critical. It hurt me so much that I put aside my writing for a long time. So please don’t give up just because some editor criticized your writing.”
She talked further about how we can never let what one person says stop us. If we believe God calls us to write, we need to press on, no matter what.
Unfortunately, I didn’t press on. Like a sponge, my heart added the negative comment to my list of I’m-not-good-enoughs, and I gave up writing a book.
But now as I check back in my journaling of that conference, I realize how I let positive remarks bounce off me like ping-pong balls. I forgot about the editor/publisher who especially encouraged me to keep writing, “Tell your story and don’t let Satan stop you.”
Do you have a story to tell? Don’t let Satan stop you. Believe that your story counts in God’s eyes. You matter to Him.
Do you have a passion for something but feel you can never do anything about it? God has placed that passion in you, and He will help you to carry it through to glorify Him and benefit others around you.
Have you given up on a dream because of something someone said? Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it, because you can. You can do all things through Christ Jesus.
Do you feel you have nothing to offer? God has given you value and worth. And YOU have value to bring to others.
So follow that passion or that dream that is burning in your heart, no matter what anyone says. If you believe God has laid it in your heart, then do it.
As I encourage you to “Go for it,” I’m trying to convince myself as well. 🙂 My focus word for 2014 is TRUST. My greatest desire is to trust God and Jesus’ healing power more. But I also know He wants me to trust the inner voice and instincts He has given me, not to let past and present negative voices smother them.
I hope we can together encourage each other to follow our passions and NEVER GIVE UP, no matter how much criticism surrounds us.
“Never give up on your dream… because you never know what the Lord can bless you with.” ~ Kelly Rowland
“If someone criticizes me I am not any less because of that. It is not a criticism of me but a critical thinking from him. He is expressing his thoughts and his feelings, not my being.” ~ Hugh Prather in Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person