Criticisms; you’re not good enough, you smile too much, your writing isn’t great, you lack compassion, you don’t know anything about fashion, your dreams will never go anywhere, etc, etc, etc…
Criticism doesn’t feel good, no matter who gives and who receives. It stinks when people express their negative opinion and we aren’t strong enough to stand up for ourselves.
Well guess what? Critisizing is something we all do – whether we realize it or not, whether we want to admit it or not. We try not to, of course, but when we choose to live around negative people 24/7, sometimes its difficult to avoid falling into the trap of criticizing ourselves.
Someone recently asked me why I smile so much, but in a sarcastic way, as if smiling were a negative thing. I smiled as big as I could at him and said, because I like to, because it often helps others, and because sometimes it helps me ignore people who like to criticize.
He was surprised by my bold comment, dropped his head saying, “Humph.” and then walked away.
Given the fact that I wasn’t born with a spirit of lack, in any way, I can assure you that whatever others think if me is merely their opinion – but it does not make it truth.
Here’s what else I know… if you’re going to do anything great in your life, not everyone will understand you, not everyone will accept you or support you, but it doesn’t matter. Stay focused and keep smiling anyway!
How can you ignore criticisms? By realizing that the one giving it is really the one hurting, and that hurting people hurt other people.
If criticism is devastating to you, then its time to have a discussion about separating the ‘sin from the sinner’ so-to-speak, while taking responsibility for the fact that you do it to. Especially if you find yourself wanting to punish the person who hurt you. Its simply not necessary.
A client was told often, “You’re too sensitive!” even though she grew up in a home that was dominated by cruel males. The females of the home accepted perpetual cruelty out of fear, even though the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, sexual and financial abuses were completely dishonoring. The tears would flow, which would bring more criticism. Each time she was criticized she would tell herself that she had to tough it out and stop being such a baby. What do you suppose this eventually did to her spirit, her core values about love and to her belief system about who she was as a person?
Hurting people hurt other people. She eventually became desensitized to pain and lost her sense of compassion toward others, including her family. This brought out abusive and cruel behavior in her adult life. In her head was all the negative chatter that held her captivated on a daily basis.
I had her list out;
- all the payoffs she got from staying stuck in this pattern
- the things she felt comforted by
- the image she got to hold on to while listening to these beliefs
- all the things she didn’t have to face or do
Once she became aware of what she was doing, she automatically discarded a lot of her robotic-like behavior. She was able to lead herself instead of being led by those negative thoughts in her mind.
Imagine how differently you could live if you could see the good in others and cheer someone on in support instead of criticize. You can either decide to be someone who needs cheering regularly, or to be the cheerleader for someone else. You can either be BOLD enough to share what you’re really thinking and feeling or allow the pain to keep you stuck.
I know which one I choose. What about you?
Its never too late to learn how to get beyond the pain of criticism and discover how to thrive instead of letting it run your life. It just takes dedication to replacing old negative beliefs with new supportive beliefs. Once you discover what it’s like to live with new beliefs, it’ll be what gets you up in the morning. Ask me how I know…