A Quick Story About Criticism I Received Last Week

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Brian Kight

A reader replied to one of my Daily Discipline emails last week criticizing me and my message. They let me know that as a result of what I had written they would be unsubscribing. People unsubscribe from my newsletter every day. They rarely tell me why. This person did.

Actions have consequences. Had I not written what I wrote last week, this person would still be subscribed and reading this message. My action impacted this person. I am responsible for that. Great opportunity for me to not get defensive.

I didn’t agree with the criticism I was accused of but I was curious how they came to that conclusion. Maybe my perspective was off. Maybe I was sloppy or unclear in my phrasing. Maybe I was just wrong and I didn’t see it.

So I asked in order to understand. The person replied kindly with more explanation. I listened. I looked inside myself. And the criticism just doesn’t fit. I believe in the message. I like the message. I believe if more people hear it and understand it, less judgmental conflict and more good things will happen. 

This person probably came from a well-intentioned place (my assumption) but their perception was clouded by a large number of either inaccurate or personal assumptions. There’s nothing I can do about that.

Why am I sharing this story with you?

I am responsible for the impact of my attitude, action, and words whether I agree with the assumptions people make about them. In this case I don’t believe the criticism about me was meaningful but the impact of my actions on this reader is not debatable. There is nothing for me to defend because I am responsible for everything but a reader’s assumptions.

I lost a reader. I own that.

Everything is training for something. Do the work.

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