On November 13, Seth Godin posted this:
For each person who cares enough to make something, who is bold enough to ship it, who is generous enough to say, “here, I made this,”…
There are ten people who say, “I could have done it better.”
A hundred people who say, “Who are you to do this?”
A thousand people who say, “I was just about to do that,”
and ten thousand people who don’t care at all.
And all of that is okay, because the person we need, the one we cherish, the one we would miss, is the first person, the initiator, the one who cares.
Thanks for shipping your work.
A friend and colleague forwarded it to me. I cried.
Some of you know I’ve been in the process of writing a book. It’s been much harder than I thought, but not in the ways you would think.
I’m constantly battling self-doubt.
As I dare to make something, create something, put something out there into the world, I hear hundreds of voices in my head saying, “Who are you to write a book? Why would anyone care enough to buy what you have to say? Don’t you know there are hundreds of people out there who can do this better than you? What’s going to happen when you totally fail at this? This is such a waste of time.”
Over and over and over. Every day. It’s exhausting.
I’m so worried about the results–whether the book is a “success” and what people think– that it hinders me from doing the work.
While I was praying one day about this very thing, it dawned on me, I’m not responsible for the results. God is.
I’m responsible for the work and God is responsible for the results. Period.
If God has put something on your heart to do, create, lead, whatever– you have one responsibility and that is to obey. Do it. Put in the hard work.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:23
He is responsible for the results. He can make it a success or allow it to be a failure. And so what? So what if my book totally fails? Is obeying God and doing the work a waste of time? Never. If I am going through this process just as an exercise of faith, obedience, and character building– so be it!
When I reread Seth Godin’s blog, it dawned on me– the true “Initiator” is God. He initiates, we respond. He places a desire in your heart to do, move, lead– we just have to respond and carry it out.
So for those of you today, who have been wading in the same trenches– as Seth Godin said, “we need you!” We need you to care and to respond to God’s initiation in your life. Do whatever it is God has placed on your heart to do. He uniquely wired you to be you. I have no doubt that means He also has a unique job for you to do.
Now, to those of you who think “criticism” is your spiritual gift…
You who respond with “I could have done it better” or “Who are you to do this?” STOP IT.
Just stop. You aren’t helping anyone, and you’re only hurting yourself. Instead of worrying so much about what other people are doing, it’s time to look inward. What is God calling you to do? What has He uniquely wired you to lead, create, or manage in a way that only you can? It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing around you, and God actually doesn’t care what you think about someone else’s work. But He sure does care about your work.
We need you too! But we need you to care about what God has uniquely equipped you to do and stop wasting time by criticizing others.
Obey God. Do the hard work. Let Him take care of the results.