Sept. 23, 2010
One of the hardest things about business is learning how to deal with criticism. Scratch that: One of the hardest things about doing anything is learning how to deal with criticism. First of all: Recognize that anytime you do anything of significance, you will encounter criticism. There’s no question, and you must learn to be thick-skinned to proceed anyway. If you’re not experiencing criticism of any kind, it might be time to question whether you are actually accomplishing anything of value!
Some choose to take the criticism completely to heart and lose all energy to move forward. To be honest, we all do sometimes. Some choose to ignore it completely and assume that they are never wrong. That sort of works; often the successful are successful at least partially because of that behavior. However, I tend to think the first method is too timid and weak an attitude to create a positive lifestyle, but the second prevents you from learning, which ultimately keeps you from improving. In other words: both attitudes are weaknesses!
Your Task: Do the Impossible!
The best way to deal with critics is to not care but also to care. What? Here’s what I mean: 1) Regardless of whether some critic has your best interests at heart, you must learn to recognize that your value and contribution as a human being is entirely separate from what he or she thinks. Well, the smart people of the world learn to believe that anyway, because it helps them to keep their energy levels right. 2) Criticism from people who don’t get your vision doesn’t matter,… unless it does. Most of the time, focusing energy on those who don’t get your vision is wasted effort. Why try to answer to them? EGO: That’s why you do. The only time that criticism from people who don’t understand your vision warrants your attention is when you haven’t presented your vision in a way that someone who needs to understand can understand it. In all other situations: Just move along, and stop wasting your time and emotional energy!
Keeping it Real: I’m pretty Tired.
I must say: I changed my mind about the topic of this blogpost about five times today, because I kept having exciting and innovative ideas appear out of the nether. Sometimes you just have to settle for one. I’m to tired to write about all of them, and you’re too tired to read about them too!
Funny Side Note: I laughed at myself today! I was speaking to a friend of mine, Cliff, on Facebook, and he was laughing that I am skating across the country but still have time to chat on Facebook. I told him that I am indeed a bit tired, since I’m preparing for a skate across America, speaking at Ivy League schools, manning career fairs, writing a book, starting a new venture on the side, and helping with existing projects for APV – all while trying to spark a national movement to change the way we think about work, education, and life in general. Thankfully, I have the support of some pretty awesome people, and I have more passion for this than anything else up until this point in my life!
Your continued support is essential to this movement. I’ve said it many times already, and I’m going to keep saying it: This is not just a journey for me. Its a journey for all of us. It’s your journey, and anything you can do to help me spread the word is a powerful and awesome thing! You can start by liking this post and telling your friends about it! 😉