Resiliency and Grit are learned behaviors that enable us to not only survive, but thrive in the face of adversity. This is your fifth of 14 daily messages, each containing an exercise designed to strengthen your development of these two key skills. Keep a journal, record your reflections and chronicle your growth.
There is no shortage of criticism today. Being on the receiving end of criticism can be difficult. When we hear what sounds like criticism, many of us tend to take it personally. We also tend to become defensive, taking aim and batting the criticism away to the boundary. However, there is a positive side to criticism. It can open us to the possibility of growth and self-improvement. By simply changing our frame of reference, criticism can be used as valuable feedback. The goal of this exercise is to learn to view criticism as a means of improvement rather than a means to self-criticism and negative affect.
Step 1: Reflect – Identify three to five situations from the past where you were oversensitive to criticism. Describe the situation, who else was involved, how you were criticized, and what the consequences of being oversensitive to this criticism were.
Step 2: Reframe and Adopt – Consider the idea that this criticism is valuable, offering you the opportunity to improve yourself. How can you reframe each experience of criticism to become an opportunity for growth and learning? Going forward, how can this criticism help you?
Step 3 – Create Affirmations – Prepare three general affirmations you can say to yourself next time you experience oversensitivity to criticism. For example: This feedback could be helpful; it is not a personal attack. What can I learn from it that will help me grow?
Step 4 – Express Gratitude – Thank the person providing the criticism. Those whose intent it is to provide constructive feedback will appreciate your acknowledgement and continue to help you grow.
In the long run criticism helps us improve on that which we do or create, and it give us an advantage moving forward. While it can be difficult to accept, we emerge enlightened and stronger; that’s a good thing! Embrace the criticism, and