Don’t Let Criticism Slow You Down

photo by clevercupcakes

photo by clevercupcakes

I’m in one of my favorite coffee shops this morning. All around me I can hear the quiet buzz of conversation and an occasional burst of laughter. I’m thinking about you and imagining what it would be like if you were sitting right across from me in this moment. Wouldn’t that be fun?

I’d ask you how you’re really doing, what’s on your heart, and what you’re most excited about in your life. If you asked me the same I might smile shyly, look at the table and say, “Here’s a shocker–I’ve been running.”

I’ve always said I wouldn’t run unless someone ran in front of me with a cupcake on a pole (like a rabbit with a carrot on a stick). But lately I’ve been feeling the urge to put on my shoes, go outside, and run.

Well, actually “running” might be stretching it a bit. A more accurate description is probably: “awkwardly moving my uncoordinated legs and swinging my arms like a wild woman.” And that’s important to note because this morning I faceed something that has always made me hesitant to run. Other people. Staring. At me. Every time a car goes by I imagine the thoughts running through their minds. Things like, “Poor woman. Should we call 911? Or would America’s Funniest Home Videos be more appropriate?”

Here’s what I decided today: I don’t care if people stare. And I don’t care what they think. {Well, technically I do care but I’m choosing to ignore it.} Because that’s what you’ve gotta do with the critics. Or you’ll never get anywhere. Not on the pavement. Not on the road to your dreams either.

I don’t flip anyone off, holler mean phrases, or try to address the critics in any way. Because that’s just wasting energy and we’re called to love. Everyone. Even the woman smirking in the mini van. I just do what we all have to do in the face of criticism (perceived or real)…just take the next step.

Because here’s the thing: No one in a car, their front yard, or peeking out from behind their windows has earned the right to speak into my journey. That privilege belongs only to those who are with me on the road. If someone is beside me and they say, “You’re turning your feet out and running like a duck” {yes, a professional runner once told me that. ha!} then I listen because I have given that person permission to tell me what I need to hear to get better–even if it’s not super fun feedback.

But everyone else? The critics who aren’t pounding the pavement? I just put headphones in my ears and run right by.

I encourage you to do the same, friend. Don’t let the critics get in the way of where God wants you to go. Listen only to those running with you. Take one step at a time–awkwardly, slowly, however you’ve got to do it. You’re going to get there. I know it.

Yep, let’s keep running together. And if you’re ever interested in carrying a pole with a cupcake dangling from it, call me…



P.S. Thank y’all so much for your encouragement about Under God’s Umbrella. I am so grateful for each of you. Wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on a LifeWay sale: “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream” is only $5 right now! Click on over and catch this deal!

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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