I’m not a real risk-taker. That’s not to say I don’t try new things or that I don’t push myself out of my comfort zone. I do. But I generally don’t seek out risks. Since becoming a learning coach, though, that’s exactly what I have tried to encourage teachers (and students) to do. I realize that sounds hugely hypocritical, but in the process it turns out I have actually started to take a few more risks myself. It hasn’t always been comfortable and it definitely hasn’t always been successful, but usually I am happy for the risks that I have taken. Occasionally, though, it ends with, “That was a bit of a disaster. Why did I do that?” Not too long ago I had one of those days, but by some crazy coincidence, I received this post “How to Deal With Criticism When You Take Consistent Risks” by A.J. Juliani the very next day in my Inbox. I can’t say the title really grabbed me (and again, I certainly wouldn’t say my life is full of “consistent risks”), but I read it and I’m glad I did. Juliani not only acknowledges that with anything new comes criticism, he encourages looking closer for the feedback that might actually help make you better, and he supports the use of that criticism as a motivator for newer and better things. One more thing: he feels that sharing your “criticism stories” might help others. It turns out he was right. I’m not done being uncomfortable just yet.