Anne Wotring – Dare to Think

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Criticism

June 9, 2011

When I was 7 months pregnant with my second child, I got scared. No, not scared of having another child, or even of childbirth. I was scared of criticism, and I just happened to be pregnant!

I published my first research study and found myself getting written about in other people’s scholarly journal articles. These were Ph.D. professor types who taught at big name universities, who much older than I, a mere 33 with a mere Master’s degree. One professor criticized my findings, which I knew to be perfectly valid. I got defensive and sent him a letter, telling him he had misunderstood. Overtime this and other public criticism shook me to my core. I questioned my own intellect and ability to the point that I eventually left my career and stayed home with my kids.

I now know that there are no mistakes in life and I know stopping and starting up a new career again has been nothing but good. The first one plus being a stay-at-home mom lead me to my present career, which I dearly love.

However, I wish I’d known back then what Seth Godin explains so well in his new book, Tribes:

“One bad review doesn’t ruin my day because I realize what a badge of honor it is to get a bit of criticism at all. It means that I confounded expectations…. I did something worth remarking on.”

Here’s wishing us all more criticism and badges of honor on our mighty endeavors!