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When Criticism Strikes

Did someone say something to you that didn’t seem so nice?  Do you feel unfairly judged by this?  Believe me, this happens to everybody even if you are a famous movie star.  Nobody wants to be criticised because it can be hurtful.  But the good news is you don’t have to let it get you down.  There are many things you can do to deal with an unpleasant situation like this.  It’s not all easy but it is effective.  Take a look at the tips below to help you out.

 

Think About What Was Said

What did they say to you?  Why did they say it?   These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you do anything else.  It’s easy to jump the gun and say that this person is just being a $%#@&* but don’t do that just yet.  This person might be trying to help you but it came out wrong.  For example, “This pasta tastes bland.  Can I have some hot sauce?” or “I don’t like those pants.  Do you have a different pair?”  Now this can seem hurtful but it could be constructive criticism.  You could take this as a lesson to help you improve and do better for next time.  However if someone says something like, “You are sarcastic and condescending.  You should not be here.”  If this someone does not provide concrete examples, it is untrue, and they do not give you a solution to it, that is not criticism but an ATTACK.  We will get into attacks like that in a future post but right now let’s focus on what is constructive.

Kickbox it out

Punch Glove

Even constructive criticism might feel like an attack.  That’s why you need to do something hard-core like kickboxing, karate or any martial arts.  When you punch, kick, jump or duck you are getting out all those negative, angry feelings.  Allow yourself that because it will give you a clear head and make it easier to think about this critical advice on an objective level.  Besides, it is a lot of fun.  When you are fighting like mad, you can imagine that you are knocking around the numbskulls that pissed you off in the first place.  You go all Jackie Chan on them until their head pops off and an explosion of confetti emerges from their decapitated bodies.  Tell me, what is more satisfying than that?

Ask For Help

Sweet advisor, Karma

It takes a lot of courage and brains to ask for assistance.  You will be surprised at how many helping hands will come to assist you.  So ask for help.  Go to your most trusted friend, family member, peer or even your pet and ask how you can do better in this situation.  Whenever I need help, I ask my most trusted advisor Karma.  My sweet little kitty that you see in the picture helps me out a lot.  She is my audience when I need to practice a speech, my hugger when I need one and she helps me pick out a cool outfit when I need to dress to impress.  I know I can tell her my secrets because she will never tell anybody.   Any little helper will help out a lot.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Whenever you need to improve upon a performance or get rid of a bad habit, you have to practice.  If your pasta is too bland, add some herbs and spices.  Keep making it until it tastes perfect to you and everyone who eats it complements you.  If someone doesn’t like a particular pair of pants, then show them the half a dozen other pair of pants that you have available.  Got a speech?  Share it with all kinds of helpers.  The list goes on and so do you.  So keep practicing until its perfect and see how much better your confidence is when you do.

Make A Wish on a Worry Stone

Magic Stone

If you are feeling nervous or doubting yourself about your improvement, then you need just one thing.  It’s called a worry stone.  A worry stone is a smooth and polished rock that has an inspiring inscription carved on it.  These wonderful stones can be found in gift shops, new-age stores or even online.  They are very inexpensive, unique and beautiful.  When you find one, pick the one with a word that speaks to you the loudest.  Carry this stone with you in your jacket pocket and touch it whenever you feel scared.  Keep this stone with you until you accomplished your critical goal.  Afterwards you can put it in a spot where you can remind yourself that you can fix what needs fixing.

Meditate

In this situation, meditation will help you reduce your stress, to increase your self-awareness and to accept that whatever will be will be.  This will make everything a little easier for you.  You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to fix a mistake, be mindful of what you do and learn a lesson from it.  Here’s what you do.  Go to a quiet spot, sit and play some slow music or calming sounds.  Close your eyes and picture yourself achieving victory over your mistake.  As you and the people in your vision smile, allow a smile to come on your face.  When you visualize success, you will feel success and then success will come.

Show Them Up

Good pasta

The moment has come to show people that you have learned and now solved the problem.  This can be scary but that is why you have your worry stone in your pocket (see “Make A Wish on a Worry Stone” above).   Whatever your mistake was, show whomever gave you the critical talk whether it is your supervisor, coworkers, friend, family member, etc. that you fixed the mistake.  If they say you did much better then that is great.  They will probably ask you how you did it.  If that happens just tell them what you did.  Of course it can go the opposite way but even if it does, don’t feel too bad about it.  Just look at it as a lesson, practice and try again.  No matter what happens it is a victory either way.

You can always fix whatever your downfall is.  It will take some time, determination and the willingness for self-improvement but know that you can do it.  I find that this affirmation gets me through when people tell me that I’m doing something wrong, “Show ‘em up, show yourself, shock the world.”  I’ve had this saying follow me since high school and it’s always worked for me.  You can shock the world too.  So stand up and give your speech, show off your best new pants, make your pasta and eat it too.