On the road to self-mastery, you are bound to encounter a few haters. Sometimes criticism can just be the result of thoughtless, inconsiderate opinions. On the other hand, many people will claim to be encouraging but, in reality, they only want to see you fail. As you improve yourself and your life, the people around you may become envious of your newfound success. They may even seek to tear you down. On that note, here are 4 ways to deal with criticism-
Not all criticism is bad! In fact, finding a good source of well thought out feedback is one of the most important things you can do if you want to better yourself. However, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between the good criticism of someone who wants to see you improve, and the bad criticism of someone who just wants to tear you down.
The most obvious difference between constructive and destructive criticism is whether or not a solution is offered. If you don’t have a way to improve what you’re criticising, keep it to yourself. Constructive criticism also is delivered in a considerate manner, taking into account the fact that most people go on the defensive when criticised. If the feedback seems like a personal attack rather than a valid objection, it’s probably destructive.
If you find yourself being the victim of some cruel critic or unfair criticism, ask yourself:
What are some reasons that the critic may have for this behavior?
In many cases, the people that criticise us are simply jealous. (The downside of this is that it’s almost impossible for a jealous person to realize their own envy.) If you’re encountering rude words from someone who is jealous of you, the most important (and my personal favorite) thing you can do is take their jealousy as a compliment! They may not be acting like it, but their behavior is a backwards way of them saying they wish they were more like you!
Sometimes, people who are outwardly critical are actually much harder critics of themselves. This is actually an occasion where some understanding and pity can come in handy. Imagine if you were so hard on yourself that you never managed to do anything at all! Instead, these people just try to tear down people who attempt things, because they see their own failures reflected in the other’s success.
If you’ve ever seen the news, you’ll know that almost everyone you see on TV is the victim of criticism, sometimes constantly. Imagine being the president, or just a politician in general. Regardless of what party you’re a member of, the other half of the country will mock you relentlessly and even hope for your failure. This extends to nearly anyone successful: celebrities, musicians, artists, actors, and business people are all the victims of criticism at some point. You can even take the fact that you’re being criticized as a sign that you’re going the right way.
No matter what, eventually everyone who becomes skilled, creative, or successful will face some pushback from the unskilled, unimaginitive, failures of the world. With that in mind, why should you care what a bunch of failures think? Foster a sense of pride in yourself, your abilities, and your values. Know that, deep down, you’re better- and if you aren’t better, then know that you won’t rest until you are. Let their envy be fuel for the fire of your passion.
If you’re going to do anything useful, you are absolutely going to fail many times first. Talent is a myth- no one ever picked up a guitar and and immediately wrote Stairway to Heaven, or grabbed a paintbrush for the first time and painted like Bryan Larsen. Skill takes practice, and in practice, we fail. Embrace the failure, because every time you miss a goal, you learn one more way not to score. Every time you make a mistake, you know one more thing not to do.
No one becomes great on the first try.
You will fail, and when you fail, people will criticize you- so you have to learn to deal with criticism.
Ultimately, though, only the people who are afraid of failing are the ones guaranteed to lose.
Theodore Roosevelt had this to say: