Handling criticism


Little Fish couldn’t sleep last night because it was so windy.

“What if I blow away?” she whimpered, as I tried not to laugh.

“Wind is good,” I replied, nodding my head encouragingly, “It makes the trees grow stronger.”

Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of wind, but when there’s rain in there too? That’s just yuk.


My friends are always amazed when I tell them there’s sometimes edginess in this industry.

“Papercrafting?” they laugh, “There’s a dark side to paper and stickers?”

But it’s there and for me, having my ego-bubble burst a little from time to time actually serves as a useful reminder for me to question my choices.

Do I really want to put myself out there? What am I actually aiming for with this thing? (Answers: ‘Quite possibly’ and ‘Not yet pinned it down’.)

Realising that not everyone will love everything you do is a valuable lesson to learn.

Sometimes they’ll just take against you when they’ve never even met you. Curious, isn’t it? But it’s what we do in those ‘ouch’ moments that really matters.


My natural impulse when sniffing even the faintest scent of criticism has always been to run and hide. To decide that, “I clearly can’t do this and who was I to ever think I might be able to?”

Like the cat, freshly back from a round of injections at the vets, my response to the sting of negativity has always been to tuck myself in the darkest corner and enjoy a good old lick of my wounds.

Until recently, that is.

These days, I have a different approach. And that’s because I’ve finally – must be growing up! – let two important truths make their home in my very core.


1. “Today you are You, this is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.” – Dr Seuss

No one does you the way that you do. Some people will love it and some people won’t. But what other people may or may not think no longer stops me being throroughly me.

It’s like that fab journalling card says, “You do you and I’ll be over here doing me.”


2. Life is short

I have a dear friend who now has weeks to live. Did he expect a terminal diagnosis to come out of the blue and cut his life in half? He did not.

We only get one go at this thing girls, so let’s give it our very best shot.

Tall-Poppy Tall-Schmoppy, I’m not going to hang back and not live my best life because I’m worried about what someone who’s never met me might or might not think about it.


So yes. The wind blows. Even in the papercrafting industry, the wind blows and sometimes you get a bit of rain thrown in there for good measure too.

But friends, we’ve got God-given flames flickering away inside of us, and let me whisper you one more truth: ‘aint no puff of wind about to snuff those babies out.