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Revelations: Criticism is good for the soul

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
May 30, 2014 at 12:30 a.m.
Updated May 31, 2014 at 12:31 a.m.


For the first time in a long while, I'm working from the bottom up.

A few months ago, I took over a new editor role at the Advocate, which forced me into a position of taking on more responsibilities and learning to make quick decisions that affect others.

I've realized it's tough to start over from the bottom, especially when I'd reached a comfortable stride with my regular duties.

I forgot how much I love and hate to feel like a beginner.

Beginners make mistakes. They don't know all the rules. And there's inevitably a lot of criticism.

There's criticism from bosses and co-workers and new folks you've got to sell on the idea that you're not (previous editor's name here), and you're not going to make the same decisions as (previous editor's name here).

Sometimes, the harsh feedback is subtle: an eye roll or exasperated sigh.

Other times, it's in your face.

And until I find my new stride and take off my training wheels, the pressure -- I'm expecting -- will continue to mount.

But here's the thing -- I don't mind it.

As much as I hate to be at the bottom, as much as I hate to feel like a failure and make mistakes and hear the secondhand whispers of those around me, I know these are growing pains that build character and grow my abilities for the future.

I need correction, and I need for someone to let me know when I've run into a hurdle because often, I just keep running for the goal until I step on a land mine.

It's good to be a beginner and work my way up again.

It's a good thing I hate failing enough that I'll keep working at something until I force myself to succeed.

I'm never usually the best when I start a new project, but give me a few months, and I'll find a way back to the top again.


Jennifer Preyss is the faith editor for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535, jlpreyss@vicad.com or on Twitter @jenniferpreyss.

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