Most people hate criticism, constructive or not, because no matter whether it’s said with good intentions or not, no one likes feeling disapproved of, or disliked. In reality, criticism is just another form of rejection, which can make life that much harder to deal with.
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In Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, fear of criticism is one of the six ghosts of fear that stand in your way of achieving success. It’s that powerful! Think about it. If you’re too afraid of what people think, do you think you’ll still do something you’ve never done before that you’re dying to do? Sadly, for most people, the answer is no.
Dealing with criticism is definitely an art, regardless of age. If you never learn how to deal with it in the first place, you can be eight or 80 and still feel the effects of it. Take heart though because with just a few tweaks, you can better manage how you react to it and avoid the long- term misery that often accompanies it.
1. Accept it. It happens! And there’s literally nothing you can do about it. You can do everything right, but it’s still not, to someone else. Just do what you think is right. That’s all you can do.
2. Don’t take it personally. One person’s opinion isn’t everyone’s. There are plenty of people who will give you validation even if there are a few who won’t.
3. Decipher truth from fiction. You have to know when criticism is actual criticism, or fueled by something else. Is someone jealous of you? Do they want your job and are they just trying to make you look bad? Unfortunately, these things happen, therefore what someone says about you may not actually be true at all.
4. Brush it off. Even if it is true, and you know it, work on what you know you need to, then brush it off! There is no real point in carrying it with you forever.
5. Meditate. Sometimes it’s hard figuring out all the answers on your own. In that case, meditate. When your ego is suspended, the answers become obvious.
6. Talk it out. There’s no better therapy in the world than talk therapy. Everything gets better when you air your grievances to someone else and see what they think. Other people can offer valuable feedback you can’t see for yourself.
7. Talk to the criticizer. Maybe what you think they said, isn’t what they said. But even if it is, at least there’s no guessing, plus it can help you truly grow (if it applies).
8. Take a poll. When you can successfully detach yourself from the pain of being criticized, take a poll and ask five people if they agree with it too! If they do, it just may be true.
9. Ignore it. If it simply doesn’t resonate with you, or if you think it’s just malicious, ignore it altogether.
10. If all else fails, be grateful – even for being criticized! Gratitude, and love, can fix anything and everything.
Albeit uncomfortable, criticism, when handled well, can actually help you achieve your highest potential in life. Criticism is also feedback, and without it, you might not know if you’re on the right track or not. It gets tricky if you’re too emotional over it, and take it too much to heart, but that never has to be the case if you use these tips often when faced with it, grow from it, and move on from it.