It’s day 44 of our 52-day wellness and self-development course, #Mission52 and I thought to share with you one of those aspects of your journey that you might have overlooked – how to deal with criticism.
Let’s just say, oftentimes, the effect of criticism – especially when unexpected from those you hope to be your cheerleaders throughout the course of your pursuit for your big dream – can leave you ready to dig a hole to crawl into. And all the heart-work and hard work you’ve done over the past 44 days of #Mission52 would go flying out the window because of a “moment of weakness”.
Staying calm is as much of a gift to myself as it is to the one criticizing me
Remember, this course is meant for your spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, social as well as financial growth. So here it goes…
It was one of those e-mails that left me rubbing the sides of my head wondering, “Why me? Why today?” I was blindsided by the criticism and felt this would be the perfect time to find a hole and crawl into it, or better yet, dig one.
No matter who you are, how many people are encouraging you, and how happy you felt before you got “that call” or “that e-mail,” one drop of critical yuck spreads fast and furious.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger
Oh how I wish I had a little “criticism antidote” to make it all better. I don’t. But I do have a little sermonette I preach to myself when criticized.
When someone criticizes me, I’ve got to quickly discern if they are trying to help me or hurt me.
No criticism is fun, but it can be helpful if it is from a wise person speaking words that are truly intended to help us. “The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge …” To me, a wise person is someone who:
• Cares enough about me to get their facts straight and isn’t speaking out of assumption.
• Is Spirit-led and reflects a gentle, caring tone in their communication.
• And wraps their criticism with grace and humility.
The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge
This kind of criticism is given with the intent of sharing helpful wisdom that is constructive rather destructive.
If the criticism is destructive and hurtful, I must remember that “…the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” The definition of folly is a “lack of understanding or sense.”
We need to remember this kind of harsh and unnecessary criticism says a lot more about the critique’s insecurities than our inadequacies.
We can’t fix whatever hurt caused them to lash out. But we can decide to stay calm and not compound the hurt. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
No matter what kind of criticism we get—helpful or hurtful—it still stings, and we might not feel like being calm at first. When I responded to the e-mail that left my heart racing and my head pounding, I didn’t feel like being calm. I had to choose to be calm despite my feelings. I’m learning that staying calm is as much of a gift to myself as it is to the one criticizing me.
It is my daily pursuit to be able to hold my tongue and trust that when I am hurt by those around me, I may be able to take the criticism that is helpful and leave the criticism that is hurtful, without the weight of condemnation.
How do you deal with criticism, especially when it stings? Do share! 🙂
#IAmPossible #YouArePossible #LetsBePossibleTogether 🙂