Criticism is hard to take. Criticism is the biggest stumbling block we have when putting ourselves out there in the world. But the thing is, in life, you will rarely be able to do anything without dealing with some type of criticism. It doesn’t matter what type of lifestyle or career you have you will deal with criticism. You deal with criticism from being a parent, a partner, a friend, a colleague, the list can go on and on.
So it is important to know how to deal with criticism because no matter what you do criticism will always be there. One of my favorite quotes regarding criticism is by Theodore Roosevelt. The quote goes like this:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
What this quote is saying is that the most important thing that we can do is to keep trying even if we make mistakes, even if we fail. The credit lies in our attempts. We will never truly know ourselves and what we can accomplish without trial and error. It is better to be the man/woman in the arena than the man/woman on the sidelines who are afraid to even try and criticize those that do.
So what we need to remember is to to keep on following our path to our dreams. There may be people who criticize but we have to keep on going down our path anyways.We should not strive to never try anything at all because of fear of criticism. The only people’s opinions who should matter to us would be our mentors, people in the same situation and lifestyle as us, and people who truly care for us.
Next time someone criticizes you ask these 3 questions:
- Who is this person in relation to me?
- Is this person or has this person been in a similar situation to me for which they are criticizing?
- Does their opinion matter to me?
After this you can make a better decision as to what you should think and feel about their criticism.
This month use the 3 questions from above to guide you when dealing with criticism from others. Let me know what you learned about yourself and how you deal with criticism in the comment below!