How To Handle Criticism

At one point or another, we're going to face some criticism. When this happens, we have two choices: to react and take things personally, or to look at it objectively and grow from it. How do you most often respond? Experiencing conflict and criticism is a normal part of life, as we are all different people with various opinions/backgrounds/life experiences; however, the way in which we handle it will determine if it has a positive or negative effect on us. Here's a few ways to handle criticism in a healthy, beneficial way.

1. Understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. 
(Criticism is destructive, but suggestions are constructive.) See criticism as a positive stepping stone on the pathway to your growth.

2. Don't take yourself too seriously. 
Learn to laugh at yourself, and enjoy a big dose of grace. You are not the first, nor the last, to experience correction and critical words. Smile, dance, shake it're going to make it.

3. Look past the criticism and see the critic. 
What are they dealing with in their own life that they are filtering the criticism through? Is there anything in their criticism that can actually be beneficial to you? If so, grow! If not, drop it.

4. Realize that good people get criticized. 
As someone once said, "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be someone who doesn't like peaches." Seriously, even the nicest, most wonderful people are going to discover someone who doesn't like what they're doing. Even Jesus faced frequent criticism.

5. Keep up your strength.
Stay strong in your faith and in the physical sense. Feelings of depression and discouragement tend to take root in fatigued bodies and spirits. Build up strength by engaging in spirit-building habits (suggestions here), and stay strong physically by doing some sort of exercise on a frequent basis!

6. Focus on what counts. 
It's easy to get stuck on what someone said or did that bothered you, but instead, shift your focus to the many people that are focused on helping you! In reality, there's many more interested in your success than the few that want to take you down. Invest your time with the ones who build you up!

7. Concentrate on your mission, then address the mistakes. 
What is your end goal? What's the reason why you do what you do? That goal or mission will never be accomplished if all you continue to dwell on are the mistakes. Learn from the experience or the criticism and move forward! There's greater things to come!

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