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One Surefire Way to Avoid Criticism

I got a text from a friend last week. He sent me a picture of his company’s logo and a comment someone had made on the logo online.

My friend is leading a great organization that’s helping thousands of leaders. His ministry is having a significant impact.

The comment was typical ‘hater’ stuff. The commenter questioned my friend’s motives and integrity and even hinted at whether my friend’s faith was genuine.

Even with all the success and affirmation my friend is receiving (deservedly), that random comment hurt.

That’s how it is, right?

A hundred thank you’s and life change stories can vaporize when a single negative comment comes your way.

And even though that kind of feedback is cheap (it takes real guts to post a critical comment on line, doesn’t it?) it’s still hurtful.

Chances are, if you’re a leader, you’ve been on the receiving end of criticism.

You pour dozens of hours (and your heart) into a message just to have someone dismiss it as ‘irrelevant.’

You navigate significant changes in your ministry for the sake of the future and someone says you should be fired.

You challenge the status quo and argue for a better future and you get written off as a dreamer.

How do you avoid criticism like that?

Believe it or not, there actually is a surefire way:

The best way to avoid criticism is to do nothing significant.

So go ahead.

Stop trying to change the world.

Stop trying to make a difference.

Stop believing when everyone else has grown cynical.

Stop investing in the lives of others.

Stop caring when others merely shrug.

Stop devoting your life to a cause bigger than yourself.

Stop fighting for what’s right when others pass by.

Stop caring.

And then people will stop criticizing you.

Devote your life to doing nothing significant. The critics will leave you alone.

But of course, if you do that, you will come to the end of your life and realize you wasted it.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.