As much as we hate to admit it, a little criticism can do us good…when it is constructive, of course!
The secret to being a champ when it comes to getting told how you can be better: thinking logically and not emotionally.
We know this is easier said than done, but having hurt feelings will get you nowhere.
Case in point: in a professional situation in my past I was in my very first review and was completely blindsided by the long list of “what I could do better” comments sandwiched between the few things I was doing really well. Looking back, it wasn’t such a bad review, but I remember walking out and having to go to the bathroom to compose myself because I could feel the waterworks coming and the shaky voice taking over midway through.
Needless to say, it was my first lesson in taking those comments to help me learn and grow rather than letting them feel like daggers to my heart.
So, how can you accept constructive criticism so it brings you up instead of pulls you down? Try these:
- Have a good attitude and open mind. The world is not out to get you. We swear.
- Before you let yourself get worked up just STOP. Try not to react at all so that your brain can process what was said and you can respond in a calm matter.
- Be an active listener. Listening with the intent of understanding the other person’s perspective rather than putting up your defensive walls will allow you to ask for clarification so you can have a constructive conversation. Repeat what was said to you to make sure you are hearing it right.
- Take a step back from the criticism and write down what was useful in your own words. When you write the comments down from your own perspective you remove the emotion and can take some advice with a clear mind.
- Make personal goals related to the criticism you received. This is how we grow. For example, if your boss complains you are always late make a habit of setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier. These measurable to-dos will show that you listened to what was said and are making efforts to change.
- Make an Awesome Journal that you can turn to that reminds you why you rock even when someone is telling you the opposite. This isn’t meant to dismiss what was said, but to help you dissect your criticism and move forward in the best way possible. You are your biggest cheerleader, always.
Constructive criticism can make you feel weak, but without it you can’t improve. Ultimately, none of us want to feel like we are in the exact same place we were 10 years ago. Feeling mentally beat up can make you an instant ball of stress and we think there are plenty of other things to get worked up over than a (semi) bad review.
Do you have any tips on how to take criticism like a champ? Share them below.
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