This 1 Thing Will Silence Your Critics Forever

Who are your biggest critics? Think about that question right now. Who are the people in your life that are most critical of your dreams? Do you want to know how to deal with them?

How to Silence Your Critics

This 1 thing will silence your critics forever. Find out what it is. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

Before we go any further, let me be clear on the definition of “critic.”

A critic is not someone who brings up legitimate concerns or occasionally points out flaws in your logic. A critic is not someone who tells a 300-pound man who hasn’t exercised since the Clinton administration that he should lose some weight and get on a training plan before running a marathon. There is a big difference between a realistic friend and a critic.

A critic is someone who tells you that any dream beyond their bubble of understanding is ridiculous or impossible. They label you a dreamer or a child. They believe it is impossible to live a dream and still provide for your family. They think that happiness on the job and responsibility are mutually exclusive. When you leave a critic’s presence, your energy is depleted, your joy stripped, and your dreams crushed.

So how do you deal with these critics?

You leave them.

Entirely. Or as much as possible.

You deal with them the same way you deal with negative people, because that is exactly what they are.

You may be just like me. You have an unsettled feeling about abandoning people, no matter how negative or critical they are. But I’ve learned that since we are all world-changers, it often means leaving people behind. The positive influence we can have on hundreds or thousands (or more) of others is often dependent on eliminating the one or two negative voices in our lives. It’s a sacrifice we must be willing to make.

Much of my unease in leaving people behind comes from my faith. My faith says that God leaves the 99 obedient sheep to find the one lost soul. My faith says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. I thought my faith basically said leave no critic behind.

But then I read Jesus’ own advice to His followers when he first sent them out on missionary journeys:

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

Matthew 10:14

In other words, if people aren’t receptive to you, and that includes your dreams, goals, and plans, leave them behind. As a matter of fact, shake any trace of their criticism off of you.

Maybe my critic is right…

Years ago, I worked for a critic.

After finally leaving the company, I received an email from him that basically tore me apart. It called me lazy, unfocused, incompetent, and questioned my integrity. Even now, as I write those words, it causes a certain level of pain. Even now, I questioned rather I should even mention it.

For months afterwards, from time to time, I would pull up that email. I would read it over and over. I thought I was using it as motivation, but in reality the words just sank deeper and deeper into my soul. I began to question myself.

Maybe I am lazy.

Maybe I am unfocused.

Maybe I will never amount to more than I did working for him.

Maybe I will never live out my dreams.

I thought all of those things. His words were implanted in my memory. They would come to me anytime I sat down to write or when I would get ready to make a sales call. They would haunt me if I slept in on a Saturday morning.

You are lazy, they whispered. Look at you sleeping in. If you were worth anything, you would have been up already.

And then I left his town and shook the dust off my feet.

I permanently deleted the email.

And over time those words left me. Sure, they would rear their ugly heads occasionally, but I’d taken the edge off of them. My anger at this man subsided. The harshness of the words became softer and softer, like a sharp knife morphing into dull butter knife.

Jesus is telling you to do the same thing he told His followers 2000 years ago.

He didn’t tell them to change their methods or adjust for their critics. In other words, He told them what I am telling you…keep doing what you are doing. Don’t change for them. Run your race. Live out your dreams.

Action item: Identify one negative critic in your life today. Consider ways to remove that person from your life.

Remove every trace of that relationship.

Delete that email.

Remove the contact from your phone. I have a friend who did exactly that with the same guy who sent me that email. Months after they severed ties, he deleted him from his contacts. He told me that he instantly felt better.

Remove them from your social media.

Block them from commenting on your blog. I’ve never personally had to do this, but if someone’s sole purpose in life is to criticize what you write, get rid of that person.

Do everything you can to remove your critics from your life. You will both be better for it…and the world will benefit from a more positive and productive you.

Question: What can you do to remove your critics from your life today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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  • Paige Gordon II

    Honestly, i think my worst critic is myself… I’m pretty good at forgetting the names of other critics, but what they say sticks around in my mind and all that negative self-talk piles up and sabotages my will to fight for something greater. The only way I’ve found to deal with it is to pray a lot and to constantly fill my mind with positive, encouraging material..

    • Yes! Same thing as dealing with others. You fill your mind with the right stuff and it drowns out your inner critic.

      • Paige Gordon II

        Slowly, but surely… Right now, the good stuff is listening to Born to Win (by Zig Ziglar) for the second time. If you haven’t had a chance to read that one yet, I highly recommend it! It’s amazing.

  • Here

    You might want to follow up on this one, since it is only one side of the equation.

    The world is filled with arrogance, and rare is the person who will listen, really listen, to feedback without being defensive. Yes, shake off some people … but be careful that you aren’t using that as an excuse to shake off all corrections and rebukes. As the book of Proverbs makes clear, being corrected is foundational to growing in wisdom.

    I dealt a while back with a leader. He had schooled himself in rejecting correction. It was a disaster. He was stuck, and the organization he led was in a swamp because of him. That appears to be very common.

    On one side we need to know that it is appropriate at times to shake the dust off of our feet. But many, many others lean toward bull-headed stubbornness and thick-skinned living, and need to be reminded to deal with corrections correctly, relationally … and humbly.

    • I’m with you which is why I defined who I am talking about in the beginning. If 7 different people are telling you the same thing and no one is telling you otherwise, you don’t have critics, you have good advice. If 8 people say one thing and there is one lone voice dragging you down, THAT is a critic.

      From the post…

      A critic is not someone who brings up legitimate concerns or occasionally points out flaws in your logic. A critic is not someone who tells a 300-pound man who hasn’t exercised since the Clinton administration that he should lose some weight and get on a training plan before running a marathon. There is a big difference between a realistic friend and a critic.

      A critic is someone who tells you that any dream beyond their bubble of understanding is ridiculous or impossible. They label you a dreamer or a child. They believe it is impossible to live a dream and still provide for your family. They think that happiness on the job and responsibility are mutually exclusive. When you leave a critic’s presence, your energy is depleted, your joy stripped, and your dreams crushed.

  • Stephen Robinson

    Very good read, thank you for sharing this morning. I have to think that whoever wrote you that scathing email years ago has since regretted that decision.

    Really appreciated the clarification in your notes below about getting the same message from 7 different people as good advice. There will always be critics, but the importance of a discerning heart is huge.

    • Amen Stephen! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Great points Stephen! You would hope that the person regretted it…some people, sadly though, I think are clueless to the power (for good AND bad) their words have on others! I think it’s a fine line between using something like Matt’s email to motivate you and letting it affect and control you!

      By the way, welcome to the blog! Hope to keep seeing you! And I can’t help but notice your profile picture…we must be relative neighbors if you have that picture? I’m in central Washington…where are you at?

  • I have removed a couple of people from my Facebook. I got a nasty reaction and a non-apology “Sorry you took my words so negative” Say what?! It’s a good feeling to get rid of that! I don’t have to worry about scrutiny over my every comment or when I share good news only to read negative comments from them. I used to work for a critic too. I’m sure there were plenty of other issues there, but the comment I got from him is that I was failing because I couldn’t take criticism and I was borderline depressed. I like this quote “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out!”

  • brentmkelly

    Matt, I am a very confident person, but when you start putting yourself out there and share your dreams, more and more critics appear. It’s amazing how our mind can focus on one negative review vs. countless positive review.

    Constructive criticism is hard to handle, but welcome. Hate, spite, jealousy, etc. can and will not be tolerated.

    Very well said.

    • So true Brent. Have you noticed that critics rarely rear their ugly heads with average people?

    • It seems Brent, that the closer you get to doing what you love to do, the more criticism hurts! If you’re just working a J-O-B and someone criticizes you, it bugs you, but you get over it sooner or later…as you start doing stuff that really means something to you, THEN the criticism stings! Great comment Brent!

  • ooooh man! I totally have been in this position! I had a guy I served with on my mission, considered a friend. But it was getting to the point that everytime I posted anything on social media he would take the opposite side and argue with me–put down my opinion. I finally unfollowed/unfriended him on all social media. It just wasn’t healthy and productive to have him doing that to my dreams. I hated to do it, but had determined that was the right decision. It certainly needs to be done with careful consideration though! Great post my friend!

    • Part of me wanted to disagree with you just now…just to see what happens :-)

  • Let’s Grow Leaders

    The theuuird part is that I truly think that some such critics actually think they are helping. They can only see their point of view. I agree trying to convince then is an energy draining pursuit. I just say thank you and ignore them.

  • Steve Pate

    great post brother.

  • Melinda Todd

    I’ve had to block several people from my blog. The hardest part for me is when they are supposed to be Christians and they are being ugly and cruel online to make a point. I don’t play games with mean people. I block them almost immediately and pray for heart change for them. If you can’t make your point without ripping the other person apart, then I don’t want to hear from you. That’s where I stand on that issue :) Good advice!

    • Good for you. It’s one thing to disagree (and even do so vehemently). It’s another to call names and be disrespectful.

      I think you also have to consider someone’s history. Are they always that way? Walk away/block. Are they usually not that way and maybe having a crappy day? Warn.

      • Melinda Todd

        Absolutely!

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