“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember-the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” ~ Zig Ziglar
If you want to be successful, then you need to learn to deal with criticism. It’s all part of the process of getting from where you are to where you want to be.
But it’s still hard to take.
Criticism can feel like a sharp knife to the heart. It can fertilize self doubt. It can feed frustration.
It is also a powerful gift that people give you that, when handled properly, will drive you toward success.
Do not to get defensive about criticism, or let it stop you from pursuing your goals and dreams.
You can either dig in your heels and fight back, you can resist and avoid change/improvement, or you can learn how to accept it graciously and recognize the value in it.
Here’s how I handle criticism:
1) Roll With It
First of all, don’t take criticism personally. You can’t please everybody. No matter what you do, or who you are, you’re going to get negative feedback.
Look up any YouTube video from your favorite recording artist and check out how many “thumbs down” that video receives.
There isn’t a single person on this Earth, no matter how successful or adored by millions, who doesn’t face criticism and negative feedback.
The fact is, if you do something great with your life, you’re going to attract naysayers. So just roll with it.
Davy and I get both good and bad criticism all the time. While it feels good to hear positive things about what we are doing, we also hear from people who feel that we could do things better. Or they just don’t like what we do, or they don’t “get it”.
Everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to tell you what that opinion is. There is no point in getting mad.
See if there is a lesson to be learned from the criticism that you receive. If our website visitors, or customers, don’t like a feature, we’ll change it. It would be stupid not to listen to their feedback and act on it.
If the criticism is just abusive, then ignore it and move on. We do!
2) Consider The Source
Look at where the criticism is coming from. Is it coming from a faceless stranger online who gets their kicks out of posting nasty comments? Is it someone who might be jealous of your success?
Or did the criticism come from someone who actually has experience and success in what you are trying to accomplish? Are you receiving negative feedback from your customers who are using a product you created?
We regularly seek out criticism from others who have successful websites because we want to constantly learn and grow. You can learn a LOT from the experience of others.
Pay attention and learn from criticism that comes from those with experience, or those that are directly effected by the problem.
Feedback from people who are qualified to provide it (mentors, those who are further along in your pursuits, or the ones that you serve) is especially valuable. Feedback from unqualified people who have no experience with what you do, however, may carry less weight.
3) Distinguish Between Feedback And Insult
There is good, constructive criticism intended to help people, and then there is unsolicited insults intended to belittle others. Unfortunately, the latter is quite common, especially online.
However, just because what is said isn’t something that you want to hear doesn’t mean that it’s an insult. Not everyone is good at giving feedback and some of it just comes across as mean-spirited, even though that might not be the intent.
But feel free to ignore any criticism that contains belittling or offensive language, or does not provide constructive solutions to the problem.
4) Keep An Open Mind
Lets face it; you might not be as perfect as you think you are. I know I’m not! Maybe the project you’ve spent the last two weeks working on just isn’t drawing crowds of people (or dollars).
It’s hard to accept the fact that other people might have a better idea about things than you do. It’s hard to swallow pride and change things that you’ve created.
But unless you are making something purely for yourself, it’s best to listen to those who you intend to serve (your readers, fans, customer, etc.).
5) Stop Your First Reaction
Before you react to the situation, stop for a second. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but you don’t get a second chance at your first reaction.
Pause for a second, regroup and think about your response. Consider where the criticism is coming from and why you are receiving it.
Keep an open mind when someone gives you feedback. You can learn a lot from criticism if you don’t take it personally.
Criticism can make you a better person and it can help you improve your product or service that you provide. Our website and the products that we sell have become so much better thanks to the criticism we’ve received.
You can’t avoid being critiqued. If you want to be successful in life, you will not only have to accept criticism from your mentors, peers, customers, and friends, you have to learn to turn that criticism into growth.
Not everyone will like you or what you do, but how you react to criticism will determine how you succeed.
About Davy & Tracy
Hey there! We're Davy & Tracy Russell, the husband-and-wife team behind this website. We help trailblazers break through barriers so they can turn their passion into their life's work through entrepreneurship. How can we help you?