5 Powerful Ways to Use Criticism To Your Benefit

 Source | Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

Source | Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

No one enjoys criticism. It can ruin your whole day. In fact, it has a tendency to purge up all the negative feelings you had from previous critiques. Making you feel as though your hardworking attempts are epic fails. It makes receiving compliments difficult because you doubt yourself based on criticism, both inner and outer.

But, nothing could be further from the truth. 

You see, it is all about perception and reception. How do you perceive yourself in a healthy light? Do you believe in yourself? Even if one person sent you feedback from their perception, did it still change how you felt about your work or yourself?

The better equipped you are about WHO you are, the easier it becomes to use the tools to help you handle critique and feedback. Below, I share five ways on how to use the criticism to your benefit:

1. Shifting Your Mindset To A Positive One

Talk with your family, friends and colleagues are what your greatest strengths are rather than your weaknesses. Concentrate more on improving your strengths instead of dwelling what you think you can’t get done well enough. It is not a thing of downplaying your weaknesses either you want to bring awareness to it too. But, you want to harness most of your energy to the good stuff- your strengths that matter the most.

2. Be Hyper Self-Aware

Take a moment to identify yourself. There are so many online tools out there to figure out what kinds of characteristics you bring to the table. For example, there is the Myers-Briggs personality test or the 16 personalities. My personality is the INFJ which means I am an introvert who is represented by the following attributes: intuitive, feeling and judgment.

This means I am a sensitive who is a natural peace-maker (unless it’s something worth fighting for like defending the underdog). When it comes to criticism, it is very challenging for people like me because it shuts down our spirits. We tend to retreat because our mind is our inner world and it is a refuge but it can be a nightmare at the same time. Our minds are going 100 mph and it is one big acid trip on a surreal level. It is beautiful and tragic all at once so it important for me to set emotional boundary after receiving criticism.

Once you realize what is your true nature is easier than you think to identify and categorize all that extra stress you are harboring within from a critique. You can figure out why you are so sensitive resulting in taking things so personally. I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, "Well that’s easy to say" but the truth is critique should be a matter of reception for self-improvement even if it’s not 100% true. Take it objectively and not subjectively and avoid getting your feelings in the mix of things.

3. Open Yourself Up To Constructive Criticism

It’s one thing to get feedback with the lack of substance than it is for feedback that encourages improvement. It also takes a big dose of humility to receive the negative feedback and I cannot stress this enough. When our egos get involved, we tend to run into hyper defensive mode by attacking the critic with offensive words or shrewd comebacks. But, this sort of action does nothing. Instead, learn from the mistakes and don’t give acknowledgment to the negative feels for too long. Doing so, can prevent you to be great and embracing what you love to do.

4. Trust Yourself and your own opinions

Remember that most of the time what other people think of you is a reflection of who they think they are. You don’t need to find validation from others to be great. There will always be someone who criticize your art piece, homework assignment, blog entries, your looks etc. Your mind should always be directed towards positive and avoid reflecting on the random negative put-downs. 

5. Write Down The Pluses

When you have that feeling of doubt in the midst of your project, doesn't it feel good when someone steps in and gives you that encouraging word? I'm sure it does! So, keep a record of all the praises and compliments that you have received thus far. 

Jot down what you have accomplished and refer back to it on those days when you feel defeated. We are always our worst critic so give yourself credit when its due. Look through your record of achievements to give you something meaningful and motivating to think back to.

Learning to let go has been the most liberating aspect of the journey. The same can be applied to harsh, lacking real substance type of criticism. Take what you can from a feedback and harness your greatest strengths.