A smartphone can be dangerous because people could hurt you when it is least expected. It was Saturday morning, and I had just settled down in the bleachers to watch my daughter play volleyball. As the girls were warming up, I glanced at my email. It was there. It was a bad review. A bad review. The remark, however, pierced my heart, burst my self-esteem, and almost prevented me from enjoying the game with my daughter.
Although it wasn’t my first negative comment, this was the first time that I felt attacked. You’ve likely experienced criticism at one time or another, whether you run a business, lead a ministry, share your story, or write a blog. When you accept the call to share your gifts, spread God’s word, or live your purposeful life, criticism is part of the deal. However, just as with any painful experience is growth, criticism can be a learning opportunity.
If you’re ever confronted with hurtful remarks about your work, don’t lose heart. The following tips can help you see the positive side of criticism. You may find that criticism can be viewed as a gift if you see it as such.
Five True Gifts of Criticism:
1. The best way to learn from criticism is through criticism.
Acceptance of criticism, whether constructive or not, is the first step to learning from it. It’s not easy but necessary. Be humble and objective in answering the question, “Is there any truth behind the criticism?” You may find valuable knowledge that will help you and your company grow.
2. Even a scathing critic can be a sign that you are being heard.
Most great leaders, including Jesus Christ, were not loved by everyone in their lifetimes. Many of these great leaders stirred up turmoil and emotions as they guided their followers through meaningful transformations. If you do your job well as a leader in a ministry or business, it is likely that you will attract others. This only means your voice can be heard above the chaos and clutter of daily life. Congratulations. This is a big step forward.
3. Conflict is a chance to learn how to respect others’ opinions, even when they are not yours.
We like to be surrounded by people with the same values and interests, which is why we join groups in business or church. People with opposing views are not something we seek out. They will find us. When it comes to resolving conflict in a professional and respectful manner, there are skills to be developed. You honor God by showing compassion and love to people who are filled with hatred and destruction.
4. You learn to accept criticism.
I consider myself a tough cookie. I’m capable of handling almost anything. I don’t spend too much time worrying about myself or feeling sorry for my actions. I usually can accept criticism as it is and not internalize it. Sometimes, however, I feel really hurt. God gives me the ability to reach out to and receive support from people who care about me. It’s then that I can humble myself and ask for help from a friend or colleague. The light of encouragement and confidence they give me is a blessing. If you’re ever confronted with criticism, I encourage you to do the exact same. A good pep talk or a long hug on the shoulder with a friend will make you feel much better. Isn’t that what we were created to do? To love and support each other.
5. Hurtful comments are a reminder that boundaries must be established.
Mothers try to protect their children from all possible dangers. Our first instinct is to remove our children from an unsafe situation. This involves putting safety plugs into the outlets, placing safety pillows in their cribs, and buckling them in a highchair. We are experts at setting safe boundaries for our children. We have to do the same for ourselves. To minimize our exposure to potentially harmful comments, we must filter them. To ensure that hateful, negative comments are not posted, we need to have systems in place. I don’t think we should ignore criticism. It’s important to know when and where you want to hear them so they don’t invade your happiness at the wrong time (as happened at my daughter’s volleyball match). ).