“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
― John Wooden
I had to prepare a presentation the other day and this found this quote. For some reason this is really resonating today. Maybe it’s because I’m once again having to go through organizational restructuring and change management or maybe it’s because I’m querying Grief, Inc. and not getting flooded with responses, but I am feeling a touch sensitive lately. This quote really helped ground me. As an author aspiring to traditional publication, I am more than prepared for rejection and am okay with it. I think what makes it hard is the tremendous great feedback I’ve received for this book. It is definitely a weakness to focus on that because it can foster an expectation that this will go more smoothly or easily than it has. It’s funny, but so many people have told me how much this book has impacted them that I began to get really excited about seeing it published on a broader scale and impacting more people. As always, when I get fixated on an end result and not the process, I can get into fear and self-will. Yes, I would love to help people look at life and afterlife in a new and positive way. Can I control that? Of course not. All I can do is make sure the manuscript is as polished as possible, take suggestion from people who know more than I do about this than I do, do my homework and take the next indicated step. When I do that, I am usually in a good place.
The other thing this quote makes me think about is how we tend to be vulnerable to both praise and criticism. I have been more sensitive to one or the other in the past. There have been times when my ego was so fragile and I was so prideful or defensive that a criticism felt like a personal attack and I had to defend myself to the death. Most of the time now, this is not the case. I usually try to discern whether there is validity and own my part. If there is not validity I try not to cultivate resentment. At the same time, there have been times when praise was so important to me that I’d go half crazy if I felt it was being withheld. I try not to get my validation from others these days and so that has lessened as well. But the learning of these things made a large enough impact on my life that I certainly try to include it in some way in my books.