‘Positive criticism’, Being ‘good sports’, Critics choice awards …. All terms we have used to spin criticism in a positive light. Let’s be real though, when you are on the receiving end of the criticism —- it’s not that easy being vulnerable. Sometimes it hurts, and while it could be helpful, let’s face it, some criticisms are pointless.

My brothers teased me endlessly (as a kid) about how defensive I was when criticized, they called me ‘Voltron’ lol. It’s still not easy to be criticized but I have learned some lessons on handling criticism.

Here are some of my quick tips

Remember this very important note: A criticism doesn’t define you. It doesn’t predict how successful you would be. It’s just an opinion. It’s feedback that you can choose to give power to … or not. So don’t take it personal, ever. Just use it. Like a tool.

Develop the right mindset to deal:

  • Always remind yourself that everyone has an opinion and while you are not in control of what they think or say, you are in control of what to accept/receive and how to respond.
  • You are responsible for protecting yourself. The same way you wouldn’t let any random person come in and take a dump in your room, don’t let that happen to your mind.
  • Be open minded and willing to learn, and treat criticism as a drive/force for excellence.

Consider the source of the criticism:

  • Is this coming from someone you trust? Someone that cares about you?
  • Is this coming from someone that is qualified to give that kind of feedback? Someone you care about their opinion?
  • Is the delivery framed to hurt or help?

Receive (or reject) accordingly: With the analysis, mindset and source as anchor, follow the decision path below to handle criticism

  • Is it true? (No – reject and keep it moving. Yes – Move to next question)
  • Is there something to learn? (No – reject and keep it moving. Yes – Next question)
  • Is there value in what you learned (No – reject and keep moving. Yes – Accept and apply as needed)

We are vulnerable beings and its natural to care about what others think, but I find that with the right mindset, an open mind, good sense of humor and practicing the above, I am learning to ignore and reject things that kill my spirit while recognizing how and when best to turn criticism into victories.