5 ways I make criticism my bitch!

How to deal with criticism.

How to deal with criticism.

Part of my personal idea of success comes from the amount of attention I’m able to get.  I have a message that I want to share, and I’m exercising my voice to reach as many people as I can.  Most of the attention I get is positive and encouraging, but lately I’ve been getting more criticism than usual.

I was accused of being a fraud who is a disappointment to the person calling me that.  It hurt to think my actions were a disappointment to someone and that they felt like I was misleading people.  Because I crowdfunded my trip to India, I got emails from people calling me a loser.  It’s not a good feeling to feel like the things I’m doing are making me look like an asshole.

Criticism is good though and overcoming it is crucial to success.

Here is how I’ve been dealing with criticism lately.

1.  Determine the source.

If the source of the criticism is coming from someone who isn’t close to me, it could be stemming from a feeling of jealousy.  If it’s coming from a client, it could be because I’m not performing as well as I could be.  If it’s coming from a close friend or family member, it could be something that I’m not seeing that I need to know.  By understanding the source of the criticism I’m better able to process and handle it.

2.  Learn from constructive criticism.

Criticism can be a gift from people that you can use as a tool to better yourself.  I like having people in my life that I trust who are also capable of helping me grow.  But constructive criticism can be difficult to take at times.  This is often because I don’t recognize that what seems like an attack  is actually good for me.  Before dismissing criticism, I ask myself, “Can I learn from this?”

3.  Ask if it’s true.

If someone calls me a loser, I ask myself, am I loser?  If I dig down deep inside of myself past the excuses and bullshit, I can find that answer pretty easily.  I usually find that I’m on the right path and come back with the idea that I’m not a loser.  Sometimes I question myself though and it’s a practice to not let someone else’s ideas of me define me.  It hurts to hear negative things but I like to think that they’re usually not true.  If they are, it could be an eye opening realization that I didn’t see before.

4.  Recognize how my ego is involved.

I believe our egos are our attachments to this physical world.  They help us process information in a way that is important for our biological functions, but they get in the way of a lot.  Our egos like to remind us that they exist by attaching to things to seem real.  This can be attachment to criticism.  If my ego feels like it’s being attacked, it will take up a defensive strategy.  I can disengage that by becoming aware of the egos involvement by simply asking it, “Ego, is that you?”  Observation of the ego will destroy it through detachment making no target for any attack.

5.  Accept that haters exist.

There is a group of people in this world who don’t want others to succeed more than them.  These people are called haters and they’re everywhere.  If you’re doing something worth doing, have something worth having, and know people worth knowing, there will be people out there that want it from you.  If they can’t get it, they’ll try to beat you down to their level with spite.  Just brush it off knowing that you’re doing something right.

Embrace it!

Nobody likes to be criticized, but if I can frame it in the right way, I can use it as a tool for growth.  Criticism can be a great way to look at things in ways I wouldn’t normally.  It can be also be used as a motivator if recognized as a sign of success.  Using these tips I’m able to keep in check the negativity that can surround criticism.

Which of these tips will you use to fight criticism when it comes your way?

  • Rob Cochran

    4 and 5 resonated with me most. Great observations! Thanks!

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      4 is my favorite. It all comes down to number 4.

  • Doc

    I will be more introspective upon receiving criticism and work at not going off the deep end because of it!
    #4 in full effect!
    Good job Chuck!! Everyone should read this!!

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      The ego can be strong. But what really is being “attacked” with criticism? What is that “you” that is being hurt?

  • TLock

    there’s a bob dylan song something along the lines of: “he don’t want to get no higher, just wants to drag you down in the hole that he’s in”

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      Misery loves company, eh?

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