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Dealing with our first proper criticism – properly

in the spotlight

…it isn’t always a positive thing, or is it?


Taking criticism

When you start writing about your thoughts and experience’s online you open yourself up to attention. People can be interested, they might consider how your learning or experiences relate to them and whether it can be of help which is all very positive. But it can also leave you open to criticism, as we’ve found out the hard way just lately.

When hurt turns into anger

At the World Domination Summit this summer the first speaker, Brene Brown presented in a candid, touching and amusing way about vulnerability. She says that being vulnerable is the place where all emotions begins. The expression of anger often has a root which lies in hurt, so maybe Brene is right. This is certainly where our current annoyance is coming from. But what caused our hater to feel so cross? Did we hurt them, however unwittingly? It’s strange how negative emotion, even from a distance, can feel like someone has shoved you hard from behind, just out of malice.

When the spotlight brings uncomfortable attention

When your intentions are misconstrued and your integrity questioned it’s hurtful. Chris’s point of view is to shake it off, he is pretty confident that those bitter words say far more about the person who wrote them than us. I want to believe that. But another part of me worries- is that what everyone convinces themselves of when they hear something they don’t want to? Or worse, if this one person thinks this about us, are there more out there? It’s a mortifying thought. Do we want to put ourselves in the spotlight if the spotlight can expose flaws as well as aspirations? What if it shines in a way that exposes things that aren’t really there?

Do you avoid feeling vulnerable?

Brene says we avoid feeling vulnerable so we can escape feeling fear. Fear of loss or fear of pain. If there is a benefit to this current vulnerability we are feeling then I wonder what it will be. Sometimes our default position is to toughen up, close off. Stop being open, stop letting anyone in.

world domination summit

Brene makes us think


Doing something is better than nothing

For now we need to try not to let someone else’s judgment, anger and determination to think the worst get the better of us. We know what we are doing comes from a positive place. We can use this writing to let off steam so we can follow Brene’s advice and understand that we will face criticism because we are doing SOMETHING. We may not have the loftiest goals in the world but if we can promote home exchange in a way that means an ordinary family can take a vacation they never would have been able to otherwise afford; if someone can find their own way to embrace the freedom of ‘location independent’ working in another country when they were previously unhappily trapped in one place; if home exchangers and travellers can meet strangers in a new country and find friendships; if cynics can be convinced that most people are kind, generous and incredibly big hearted (and won’t steal your stuff!) then it’s better than nothing at least.
Maybe this is another good time to remind ourselves that not everything is about us!

whole world in our hands

The whole world is at our fingertips….that’s all we’re trying to say!


How do you deal with criticism?

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14 Responses to “Dealing with our first proper criticism – properly”

  1. Jason is like Chris. He says that criticism is one of the markers of success – people wouldn’t take the time to criticize if they weren’t somehow jealous of your success. I, like you, just worry that there is something to what they are saying. It certainly doen’t mean, though, that you should stop what you are doing. Being thoughtful and intentional in your business means that criticism will just help shape you.
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..Getting Comfortable in Kyoto

    • That’s another thing we have in common- surely it is just another reason we should all go for a beer! How does Thailand in Feb sound?!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. Whether the criticism is fair or not, it usually is a good sign that you are on the right path. Writing or doing anything that causes people to have a strong reaction is a sign of success.

    The worst feeling in the world is getting no response…

    I think Chris is right though, criticism of the nonconstructive kind usually is about the other persons issues.
    Tony recently posted..Europe Is Cheaper Than South America For Travelers… And We Have The Numbers To Back It Up

    • Thanks for your support Tony. I guess most bloggers get no response in the beginning, which can be demoralising but you need to push through this and start networking.

      • Hannah and Chris
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  3. Shake it off sister, you’re awesome and the people that matter know it ;)
    Michelle Dale recently posted..My Big Fat Greek Christening

    • Thanks Michelle, means a lot!

      • Hannah and Chris
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  4. I think the thing to remember is how many people you have helped and inspired. That’s your real gift. Those that criticize aren’t trying to help other people.

    “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you. ” Zig Ziglar.
    Connie Brentford recently posted..Make Money Online – 97 Real Companies That Pay You To Work In Your Pajamas

    • I like that Connie, thank you. I shall take it as a sign of success!

      • Hannah and Chris
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  5. Bravo guys for living your dream.

    I recently read this quote: “The more in love you are with what you do, the less you care about what others think.”

    We are right behind you guys and champion people like yourselves on our site.
    Beryl recently posted..At Any Given Moment

    • hi Beryl

      Great quote! Thanks for your support, it’s really lovely to receive. I’ll check out what you are up to on your site, sounds intriguing… Hannah

      • Hannah and Chris
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  6. Sorry you had that experience :( I agree with others that criticism is inevitable when people start to notice you and you work. I’m not sure why people feel entitled to criticize the output of someone’s creative energy when something is being offered free. That’s what “unlike” and unsubscribe buttons are for – there is no need to complain when you can just take your eyeballs somewhere that’s more to your taste.
    30Traveler recently posted..Playa Del Carmen Rentals – How To

    • Thanks for that. I hadn’t thought about it in terms of ‘creative output’ but you are right and that’s an interesting reminder for how to look at what each of us do. I agree, if you don’t like it/ aren’t interested then don’t read it! Or as the 70 yr old lady we were staying with last week would say ‘jog on’!

      • Hannah and Chris
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  7. Here’s a hug and thanks for this post. DH just lost his job but had a 2nd job that he can turn to. I’m following both of you closely because I believe we are now one step closer to becoming financially/location independent now that he doesn’t have a day job for a distraction. You Are living your dream, why anyone would criticize that shows how small minded they are. Cheers! And happy travels!

    • Trish
    • Reply
    • Thanks for the hug Trish, very sweet. Sounds like exciting times for you guys, I’m glad you were able to turn what could have been a blow into a big positive, good for you. keep us posted on your progress

      • Hannah and Chris
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