The fact of the matter is, no matter what you do in life, you will be criticized on it. Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a designer, a chef, an executive, it doesn’t matter. No matter what career you choose, there will always be criticism. It’s how you respond, not react to criticism.
Now if you are not the best at receiving criticism or if you are the type of person who is easily offended by criticism, this could really hurt your career and ultimately your ability to develop as a person. Often times, when we are upset by something, we, as humans, have a tendency to react, sometimes overreact.
Respond! Don’t React to Criticism
Ultimately though, with criticism, it is much better if we can reach a point in our lives that we have the ability to breathe, think on it and then respond, not react to criticism. There are three very simple steps that you can practice in your life and then put into action when it comes to criticism.
Number one, love what you do.
Seems simple enough, right? The truth is, if you really love what you do, then your work will reflect that. And if you truly love what you do, then you will find yourself becoming more open to outside criticism. If your work is nothing more than a hobby or something you do just to make money, it will be much harder for you to receive criticism.
Number two, believe in what you do.
You should only do something that you truly believe in. If you have strong convictions about what you do, then someone’s criticism of your work will fuel those convictions, not dismantle them. Plus, you will be able to not only receive the criticism graciously, you will actually be able to have conversations about it!
Number three, find the positive in everything.
Unfortunately, criticism inherently carries a negative connotation. As a design teacher, I never heard my students say, “Oh how wonderful! I am being critiqued today.” So with any criticism, it is imperative to find the positive aspects of it and learn from it, no matter where or who it comes from.
There will be critics
Let’s face it, you are going to be criticized by people in all facets of your life. But if you can integrate these three very simple steps into your life, you will find that that terrible feeling will begin to go away, and you will be able to respond, not react to criticism and to the comments being made. Over time, you will actually welcome criticism. It may sound crazy now, but give it time. It really can happen for you!