Updated: May 17
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off” - Taylor Swift
No. I’m not promoting a Taylor Swift tune, however, these lyrics are relevant to what we’re discussing today. It’s something which we all deal with but not necessarily in a healthy and constructive way. It’s called ‘Criticism’
Unless you’re living on an island and have absolutely zero contact with another human you’re surely gonna find yourself either being critiqued or even critiquing someone else. So let’s talk about how to handle criticism in a way that serves you rather than stress you out.
Let’s admit it, being critiqued bums us out. No matter the intention no one likes to be critiqued. It’s human nature. Then this begs the question how do we deal with being critiqued in a way that we can use to our advantage.
Here are three steps on how to handle any type of criticism:
A. Identify the intent of the person who’s critiquing you
Often, we are resistant to accepting criticism from someone close to us and rather open to receiving the same criticism from someone who’s not so close to us.
This is when you need to ask yourself does this person have your best interest. It can be tricky and this is where you need to tune into your feelings. What I mean is ask yourself does this person (my spouse, my friend or colleague) are they critiquing me for my own good? And the answer should come quite intuitively. If it doesn’t you move on to the next step.
B. Ask is the person an expert on the topic
You see everyone seems to have an opinion on everything and yet not everyone’s opinion either matters or is actually going to help. This is when you should ask whether the person critiquing is an expert on the topic.
You need to learn to value opinions based on whether the person has any authority on the subject. For example: if you’re trying to launch a business of your own and hustling, I’ll suggest you hardly listen to the opinion of someone who has zero experience in business. It doesn’t make sense getting bummed out by someone who has no experience of what you’re going through.
Similarly, if you’re being critiqued by a successful business person, it maybe advisable to pay heed to their words and not let ego or any bias stand in the way. Of course use your own discretion but generally it’s advisable to at least hear someone’s criticism out if they have your genuine interest and are an expert on the topic.
C. How do you want to take the criticism?
Now after all has been said and done, the criticism you experience is up to you how you want to handle it.
Criticisms are hard, even nasty sometimes and can be a real blow to one’s confidence. Which is why when you experience any form of criticism- verbal or written, take a minute and see how it makes you feel. If it doesn’t make you feel good and want to grow and doesn’t add any positive value, choose to not internalise it.
Detach yourself from the criticism. It doesn’t have to reflect on who you are, what you’re doing and trying to accomplish. No one’s words should be strong enough to pierce through your own self worth.
Remember the famous word of Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent“
So there you have 3 simple steps you can use the next you’re faced with criticism. It won’t be easy, but you can definitely benefit from it if you learn to apply it several times.
I’m excited to hear how you apply these three steps.
If this episode helped you do like and share it with your friends. I’m here every Thursday to help you with your goals big and small.
Till next week, remember ‘What You Want Matters and It’s Up to You to Make It Happen.”