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How to Rise Above Criticism About Your Passion


Is there anything better than people telling you that your passion sucks?!

Oh, wait.

That’s not what I meant to say.

Why the &%$^ do people think they have the right to tell you there’s something wrong with the thing that is most precious to you?!

That’s better.

That’s what I meant to say.

Melissa and I recently had the crappy awesome experience of finding out we didn’t get a gig because someone doesn’t like what we do.

Good times!

blog fake-smiles

And while I say that the times are good in a sarcastic tone, in the end, the experience really did lead to times that were – and are – extremely good.

Here’s why:

The news of our “rejection” threw us back on ourselves. We used it to examine ourselves and what we do. Should we keep moving forward, following our passion?

Given that I’m here, chatting with you and busting out my cartoons, you can probably guess that the answer we came up with was “Yes!”

And now I want to share with you the big takeaway from our experience, one I encourage you to apply to your life:

Other people’s criticism of your passion is about them, not you.

blog it's-about-them-done

That’s right. That’s what I said.

It’s not personal.

If someone is getting their knickers in a twist over something you’re doing, that’s their business.

And let me tell you, knickers in a twist are not attractive. You don’t want anything to do with that.

blog knickers-done

And don’t let your own knickers get all wadded up because someone else’s are, even if – and this is a big even if – they’re saying you are the cause of their twisted knicker status.

You’re not the cause!

They are!

Ya hear me?

And just to be clear, when I say “criticism,” I’m not talking about constructive criticism that can help you grow. That stuff is great and important. But it is, by definition, “constructive.”

De-structive criticism is what I’m talking about here. People who have problems and issues and bunchy knickers over what you’re doing.


That’s what we’re letting go of!

And here’s another thing.

It’s not personal also applies to your own relationship with your passion.

Following the flow of your passion – or passions – is about following the flow of the Divine. This energy is big and huge and mighty.

That thing that lights you up? That thing that makes life worth living?

That’s the energy of Life itself, showing up as you.

You don’t get to question it. You don’t get to make it wrong and bad, even and especially if other people are telling you it’s wrong and bad.

Indeed, it’s your duty to yourself and to the world to let Life express itself through you.


It’s not just about you.

It’s also about the other people who are served by what you do. Even if you can’t see who they are.

It’s our Divine right and obligation to not let our contracted personal opinions and bunchy knickers get in the way of Life doing its Big Wild Thing through us.

Yes, it can be challenging at times.

Like when the cranky peanut gallery shows up.

And we take what they say to heart and let our own minds become a cranky, knicker-wadded peanut gallery.

No fun!

So here’s to not taking it personally!

Here’s to letting go of what the peanuts – inside our heads or out – have to say about us and our passion.

Truth is much bigger than peanuts. Or knickers.

Or peanuts with twisted knickers.


How do you handle the peanut gallery? Share your comments below!

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4 Responses to How to Rise Above Criticism About Your Passion

  1. Lee Gilbert February 5, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    Hey Z. Remember me from Oberlin? Mary McGill told me that you are Writing books now. She then gave me 2 of your books for Christmas. I am almost done with Verge. You are a talented writer!

    I just wanted to pop in and say hello. HELLO!

    • Z Egloff February 6, 2016 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Lee,

      Of course I remember you. Great to hear from you! Say “Hi” to Mary too. :)

      Thanks for letting me know that you’re enjoying the books. It’s always great to hear.

      Hope all is well with you!


  2. Julia H February 11, 2016 at 7:25 am #

    Oh My! Whenever the ‘twisted peanut gallery’ starts to complain I will see that cartoon in my mind & just start laughing (maybe good, or it may totally confuse them!) what an awesome funny picture to have in my head. thanks for that one!
    It’s sometimes hard to ignore the critics, but you are right. It’s about them. Remembering a funny illustration & a big smile will be best. thanks ,

    • Z Egloff February 11, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      You’re welcome! I had a lot of fun with that picture – peanuts with twisted knickers was a cool thing to draw. I’m very glad that I can be of some help with your own peanut gallery! Thanks for the comment. :)

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