Your Criticism Has Helped Me Grow

December 2, 2016

“You’re not doing it right!” “That color looks awful on you.” “Where are you going dressed like that?“, “You’re seriously going to take that job?” “You don’t know how to stand up for yourself”… This is perhaps some of the criticism that you will continually hear from people who have a tendency to constantly criticize others. It might even be you who is doing the criticizing!

Whether it’s that you have been personally criticized, or whether you have criticized others, you should know that this portrays a lack of security and a considerable lack of self-esteem – something you may deny, but it’s the truth. And you know what? Sometimes the criticisms you receive aren’t even true, but they are instead praise or envy disguised as something negative.

Remember that unjust criticism is often disguised praise”
-Dale Carnegie

The myth about “constructive” criticism

woman-with-puppet

At times, we ask others to please throw a bit constructive criticism our way. Sometimes those same people even call their own criticisms “constructive,” as if that makes any less damage.

Criticism is never constructive, because it destroys us and hurts our ego. We can look at it as a good thing, but deep down, it’s hurting us. And do you know what’s really behind all of that “constructive” criticism?

  • Corrosive criticisms, which aim to make the person saying them feel better about themselves. Perhaps that person feels a terrible rage and needs to unload it on someone. You have now become their target, and for no reason at all, you have become the target of a barrage of criticisms that you can’t stop. Useless, negative criticisms, that are used solely to harm.
  • Destructive criticisms, which drown our self-esteem, trample it and make us feel like we are worthless people who have nothing to offer, and who make us feel useless. These criticisms cause us to become anxious and focus on the negative, making us feel like we never do anything right.
  • Painful criticisms, because just as we are sensitive to praise, we are equally as sensitive to criticism. It is therefore important to be sure of ourselves, trust in our abilities and take care of our self-esteem. That way, criticism can’t get to us anymore.

These all exist behind the alleged “constructive” criticisms which do not build, but destroy. We already know what we have done wrong, and we are completely capable of self-criticism!

There is no reason why we should be looking for criticism that we can give ourselves, and from which we will eventually grow and learn. Don’t go seeking it because it will just make you feel bad.

“Face your path with courage, do not be afraid of criticism from others. And above all, do not be paralyzed by your own reviews “
-Paulo Coelho

Surrounded by criticism

girl-on-swing

Take all of the criticism people throw your way. Some of it you might ask for, causing you to realize that wasn’t a good idea, while others will show up uninvited.

We are surrounded by criticism, because we are being watched with a magnifying glass. At the minimum, everything we do will be criticized. Perhaps because there are people who are so bored in their own lives that they feel the need to criticize others. Maybe they’re just looking for meaning because they can not find any in their own lives.

What we should learn, however, is to know our strengths, learn from our mistakes, trust ourselves and not give too much importance to what other people say.

Mostly because a big part of it is the result of their boredom, while others won’t be around to harm us, but will stick around for the mere sake of being bored and wanting to talk.

Criticisms are steps to climb

Take every criticism, just as you learn from your mistakes, and begin building a staircase with each one. In your mind, visualize that staircase; it may be quite long, or maybe not. When you have the image of that ladder in your head, start to climb the stairs and you’ll see that instead of feeling worse in the face of criticism, you’ll feel much better!

“Criticizing my shortcomings will not reduce yours in the least.”
-Anonymous

woman-with-fish

Climb up the steps of that staircase built with criticisms, and you’ll see how you start getting over them, how to start moving forward and how to grow, thanks to them.

We always see the bad side of everything we consider negative, but much like with our mistakes, everything can be learned from and criticism can help us grow. What are you waiting for to start building your own staircase?

Images courtesy of Joe Diamond, DawnElaineDarkwood, Loik