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How to Address Your Critics

1.    Realize they are not the enemy.

Critics are useful because they provide us with external perspective and often give a reason to declare our passion and purpose.

 
2.  Listen to what they have to say.

To listen with an open mind and heart does not mean you have to agree.  There may be a treasure or new pathway to discover among the critical words.

 

3.  If the criticism is emotionally charged, separate the message from the messenger. 

Often we can’t hear a message because our ego is too entangled with the messenger.  Take a moment to play with the message.  Pretend it came from someone else.  Pretend you found it on your doorstop.  Do anything you can to see the message in a different light.

 

4.  Discover how your inner critic is connected to the criticism being received.

When we are emotionally affected by a message, it is because our critic has voiced our own dark side.  “I can’t make any money doing this.”  “I’m not good enough for her.”  “I don’t have what it takes.”  Listen for the true voice behind the message and gather the courage to face your shadow.

 

 5.  Where is the opportunity for growth?

Sometimes one critical remark can start a chain reaction of thoughts.  Be conscious of the process and look for opportunities to grow (which may not be in the original message).

 

6.  Be aware of when self-questioning turns to self-doubt.
When we question ourselves, we make room for answers.  When we doubt, we make it hard to prove ourselves.

 

7.   Find the gift in the critical message.

 

8.   How is the critical message helpful?  How is it not?

 

9.   Explore the payoff for the critic.  What’s in it for them if you accept the criticism? 

 

10.   Choose to respond rather than react.

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