Avoiding criticism is impossible no matter what your role is in society. Actually, you could avoid criticism by living in a box, not being true to who you are, not taking chances, all so you can conform to who others think you should be. Clearly this is not what I’m suggesting. This is not living! Do you care enough about what your critics say or believe that it paralyzes you? How do you get beyond this?
You may not be able to avoid your critics, but there are ways you can learn to live with them and their criticisms. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Understand that you CANNOT or WILL YOU EVER please everyone. Accepting this little fact is a huge step in my opinion. Do you realize that there are 7 billion people in the world? Now THIS is impossible, how could you possibly please them all? You can’t! The second part to this statement is something my husband reminds me of frequently. If you were critiqued on something by 10 individuals – 9 being excellent reviews and 1 review was poor and maybe even hurtful, they hated what you did, hated what you wrote, etc. Why focus on that 1 negative criticism? Focus on the 9 that critiqued in a positive and supportive manner. Stop torturing yourself with the one negative comment.
- Who are you asking for support? Be wary of who you are talking to. Not everyone is going to believe in you or support what you’re doing. It’s unfortunate but most times they will flip the script and make it about them. They can be negative and condescending. Next you will be second guessing your plans and putting them on hold because of something they said. I’m not saying you want everything sugar coated. What you want is honesty, not negativity.
- Are you asking the right questions? I remember someone once saying, if you’re not prepared to hear the answer, then don’t ask the question. If you are sensitive to everything, you may want to seriously think about the way in which you are asking your questions.
- De-sensitize yourself. Put yourself in the worst case scenario ever, then ask yourself, “could I get through this or survive that situation?” Let’s use Kim Kardashian as an example. Kim has about as many haters and critics as she does followers and people that admire her. Is she hurt by some or most of what is said about her weekly on the tabloids, in the news, etc.? I’m quite certain she is, she’s human. Let’s be honest, whether we like or agree with what she does, the media is brutal to her. With that said she continues to be one of the most successful people of our time. This tells me that despite her critics she continues to press forward and rightfully so. She does this in part by de-sensitizing herself to what her critics think of her.
- Welcome criticism. After reading all the above this may sound strange but what I mean by it is, without it how will you grow, how will you learn, how do you make changes, how do you improve…you won’t. You take what you can from it and make it into something positive. Besides, without it, it means no one is talking about you, you’re being ignored and we don’t want that!
Don’t let fear and anxiety from your critics prevent you from being the creative, kind, sharing person you were meant to be. Breanna Youn says it best….