Raise your hand. Who loves criticism? I’m looking over the audience I perceive to be reading this blog. No hands are raised.
Think about this. Do you enjoy constructive criticism? I see a few hands. Maybe, like me, you need a reminder of the difference between criticism and constructive criticism.
I asked Google to refresh my memory. “What is constructive criticism?” Google answered:
Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The purpose of constructive criticism is to improve the outcome.
People who are revered for their wisdom are most likely those who give you the upside of the critique and then highlight the areas that need work with solid examples. They are people who come along side you, root for you, and realize your potential. They have made the same mistakes and offer solid advice for learning and overcoming those mistakes. Their only gain is to see you succeed. They are humble in their approach and do not critique to have power or control over you. Again, the goal is your success.
Be selective from whom you seek advice. If I want to plant a garden, and need to know how to balance my soil to suit the vegetables or flowers, I do not take the soil sample to the guy who changes the oil in my car. I find the person who has the successful garden and is willing to share their ups and downs in growing beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables.
Trust your own judgment. The story you are writing, the child you are raising, the product you are selling, the class you are teaching — whatever you are doing is your responsibility. Listen to your gut instinct and weigh it against the constructive criticism or the negative criticism you receive. There is a balance in what you know is innately right for you and what is being suggested by a person you trust or one you do not trust.
Free yourself from the negative critic. Don’t let their negativity foil your progress. Don’t become bitter toward them or the advice. Let it roll and let it go! Continue to seek out the person who is constructive and wants to see you succeed.