Criticism is part of the journey to becoming a strong leader, a better entrepreneur, and a good human being. It intensifies as you grow and get more visibility.

The standard advice you hear is to ignore the “haters,” but celebrate that you have some. Having a few “haters”  is supposed to be some sort of indication that you’ve made it.

That advice will have you ignoring life lessons that give you an incredible opportunity to grow. Leadership is about more than outward results. You, as a person, are a big factor in how successful a business can become. Here’s what leaders need to understand about criticism.

The issue is with them, not you.

People lash out when they are struggling to acknowledge their own issues. It’s important to understand that it’s much easier for them to project what they feel onto someone else. They are hurting, so they call someone out and try to rally others to help bring down leaders.

Handle criticism in two ways. First, evaluate what they’re saying. Is there any truth that can help you grow? See what can be learned even though they may simply be hurting.

Second, realize that their issue is not yours. If you are adding value and conducting leadership in an honest way, what they’re saying is not true.

Don’t internalize negativity.

Self-limiting beliefs take root when you internalize negativity. You get criticism that isn’t true and you start to listen to it. As you listen, you start to question whether or not it’s true. As you keep thinking about it, you internalize those words.

This is in addition to the self-limiting beliefs that you already battle.

You should understand that words have power. What you put out in your Universe affects what’s inside you.

When you internalize the criticism of hurt people, you put yourself down a path that will make the criticism true. If you are going to build an amazing life, stay away from negativity at all costs, and don’t internalize the negativity you can’t avoid.

You create and control your story.

This is your life. You get to create and control the story. No one else can force you into a story you don’t want to live. Their criticism — even if it has some truth — doesn’t have to be the end of your story.

Confidence is an important part of leadership in many ways. Be confident in who you are and what you do. Take control. Build your story as you build your business. Change your story if you must, but on your terms.

Let your success speak for you.

Talk is cheap. There are more than enough words in the world. The Internet is full of people talking about all the things they’re going to do.

Success is fabricated in many minds only because it looks good in a Facebook post. People won’t hear your words. The critics will use those words against you. Your success is the best response.

Your success speaks volumes. It will be what people see and respect. Do less talking and make more power moves in silence. As you become more successful by taking action, you’ll notice how quiet your critics get. Your success will repel them.

Focus on what you need to do to build your life, business, or career. Focus on what creating success means for you.

You’re going to get critics no matter how positive you are. The world is full of unhappy and hurt people. Don’t let what they do or say affect how you build.

Evaluate and focus. Process what you’re feeling when you get the criticism and move forward. Be true to yourself and what’s important.

Photo Credit: @daesign on Unsplash