Being Prepared for Criticism

by Michael Corthell

Many people cannot bring themselves to take chances in life or business, because they fear the criticism that may follow if they fail. The fear of criticism then, becomes stronger than the desire for success. I think all of us have this fear to one degree or another. To some this fear, of what others will say, has been an insurmountable barrier to achieving the success and the life they want.

''Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me.''

That childhood sing-song idiom that echoes from our childhood maybe true, however the words of a critic always give us pause, because no one enjoys being rejected. Let's look at ways to minimize this instinctual fear.

First look at reality. Many people don't see things as they really are, they see things as they really are. Some people see the worst in everything. They of course have a negative mindset. When you are critiqued it maybe wise to ''take it from whence it came''.

''The strength of your voice, determines both the strength
of your support and strength of your opposition.''

Be prepared for criticism. The above quote is a gauge that should forewarn you. Also realize that much of the criticism you will receive in life is pure jealousy and is fear based for the most part. There will always be people that fear you will do better than they will. In business, it is fear of competition and its resulting economic loss. Knowing this one fact is one of the keys in deflecting inevitable fault finding.

''The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure
criticism without resentment.''
—Elbert Hubbard

Use criticism to your advantage. It's all about determining your critic's motivation. Do they want to help you or is it for themselves? If it is about your performance or the quality of your work that is a good start. Then determine if it is constructive, that is, will it help you improve in some way? If the criticism is about your sex, the color of your hair, your weight, your height etc, then it is personal and should be ignored.

Understand the 'why' and prevalence of judgement. The reality is, that we all judge and criticize each other, if not out loud, then in we do it in our heads. It’s a natural human behavior. We all form opinions about people, places and things. But it is one instinct that can be greatly modified through the spirit of kindness. I urge everyone not to be cruel, unless, of course, they want to be treated the same way.

Not letting the fear of criticism keep you from developing your passion and living an inspired life is the positive self-affirming thing to do. Understand that criticisms are a fact of life. Many criticisms we receive only reveal the limitations of the critic themselves.

Having a very high regard for your own well being, self-love is the best way to handle criticism. It is like having a strong immune system that fights disease.

Remember that you know how to deal with criticism: Be positive by thinking positive.

Critics Aren't the Ones Who Count
by Brené Brown

There is nothing more frightening than the moment we expose our ideas to the world. Author and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown shows us how to deal with the critics and our own self-doubt by refusing to "armor up" and shut ourselves off. "Not caring what people think," she says, "is its own kind of hustle."

Instead we must "reserve a seat" for the critics and our own self-doubt. "Tell them, I see you, I hear you, but I'm going to do this anyway."