6 Keys to Learning to Love Your Critics!

by Eugene on February 24, 2011

Your life is a movie and you have the starring role!  Take a breath, internalize, and embrace the previous statement.  And of course you know every movie has its critics.  I’ve always thought critics had an “interesting” profession, more often than not their job is to tell the world what’s wrong rather than what’s right.  One of my favorite quotes comes from Hip-Hop artist T.I. in which he says, “My life’s your entertainment, you watch it while I live it!”  The imagery on that is strong.  I’m sure you’re like most people, if given the opportunity you would rather live the life than watch it.  Since the Super Bowl was just played we have a perfect example.  Option 1: Sit in the stands and watch or Option 2: Be on the team and receive your championship ring.  Even if you were on the practice squad, I know which option you’d choose.  It takes courage to be on the team or in the movie or in the limelight.  It takes a certain willingness to endure all that comes with being the star of your movie. 
I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have all sorts of experiences and, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a glass half full kind of guy.  I not only view the glass as half full, I’m grateful to have a glass at all which allows me to capture more of life’s experiences.  As a result I’m more able to pour into others.  I’ve had the blessing of successfully, and at times not so successfully, leading teams of adults in business as recruiter and trainer and young people in sports as coach.  These experiences have brought me to the realization that if you are doing anything at all you will have critics.  The presence of critics means you are moving.  The old cliche rings true, “dogs don’t bark at parked cars.”  Don’t sweat it though, people criticize God everyday and She is creator of everything in the known universe.  If He has critics what do you think folks are going to do to you?      
This does not mean close your ears to suggestions and people in your life who are trying to make you better.  Down below I talk about Pushers as being people to whom you should listen and get around.  More on them shortly.  There is a difference between being criticized and encouraged.  Highly criticized and higly acclaimed are two sides of the same coin. A few notable examples:
  • Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper and criticized for not having any imagination or original ideas
  • Les Brown was criticized for not being college educated
  • A Google search of the phrase “Oprah criticized for” generates almost 800,000 results 
We know in spite of all the criticism these folks have gone on to experience massive success and I’m sure we could insert your name as well and all the things for which you’ve been criticized.

Like it or not, critics play a role in who you become.  You either allow them to bother you which may cause you to shy away from your goal or you use them as fuel for the fire of your passion.  The decision is yours.  I choose to pour their words as fuel on the fire of my passion!  You?…Great Decision!!  

Following are 6 Keys to Learning to Love Your Critics:

1.  Know Your Why:  As I’ve been taught, if you know why you can conquer any how!  Possessing a strong reason for doing will get you through any circumstance or situation.  I use sports as an opportunity to mentor young people and although I love to win as much if not more than the next person, I realize most of these players won’t play at the next level and there are other important characteristics for them to develop.  Pride, leadership, becoming a team player, sportsmanship, positive attitude, mental and physical toughness are all characteristics I strive to develop in our players. All of which they can use to develop into productive and contributing young men and women of our society.  When you know your why, the critics can’t touch you!

2.  Maintain Proper Perspective:  Keep the main thing the main thing and don’t take it out of context.  Whatever your job, do it to the best of your ability with the desire to always better your best.  If someone criticizes you, its not the end of the world.  Once again it means you’re on the move.  

3.  It’s Not About You, Don’t Take It Personally: Yes, you are the star of your movie.  The critics are aiming their words at you.  In their eyes you may not be good at your “role.”  Ironically, it’s not really about you.  When a person criticizes you, it’s about them, often there is an unrealized dream in their lives.  Don’t take it personally.  It’s not about you as a human being.  As children we were always taught, sticks and stones may break your bones… and you know the rest. Could you imagine if you tried to be what everyone wanted you to be?  One it’s not possible and two you’d go insane. Find what feels right to you and move with speed and boldness.

4.  Associate with Pushers, Disassociate with Pullers:  Pushers encourage, pullers discourage.  Pushers, in words and actions, add to your efforts to get better, pullers attempt to drain you mentally and emotionally.  When used properly however, pullers can make you stronger.  You may have seen world-class athletes run with open parachutes as they strive to get faster.  Athletes recognize the resistance, aka pulling, of the parachute will increase their speed and quickness.  Associate with Pushers as much as possible and dig deep when pullers are around and before you know it you will be soaring with the eagles.

5.  Refill Daily:  Reading from empowering books and listening to uplifting audios on a daily basis will go a long way in helping you to develop rhino skin.  Without thick skin, or mental toughness, every little pebble, aka words of a critic, could hurt.  Personal development enables you to, as number 2 suggests, keep everything in proper perspective and develop the positive mental attitude  necessary to adjust your thinking.  Shakespeare said it best, “Nothing is either good or bad, only thinking makes it so.”  Change your thinking, change your life!

6.  S.M.I.L.E. All DayShow MInner Love to Everyone All Day is an acronym I created to explain exactly what you’re doing when you smile.  Which feels better smiling or frowning?  Which is more natural, smiling or frowning?  It actually requires the use of more muscles to frown than to smile.  The critics seem to be coming down on you unusually hard?  Smile.  A smile can pull you out of a mental funk and get you back on the road to success.  Even if at first you have to manufacture a fake smile you will soon have an authentic smile from ear to ear.  Try it, I promise you it works.  Smiling enables you to show the love you have for self as well as the love you have for others.  I love the critics for they make me better and stronger so I will continue to S.M.I.L.E. All Day!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patsy Bennitt June 6, 2017 at 3:41 pm

I just found you and I love what you’re teaching. Have you discontinued your blog? I see that the last post was December 2016. I started back at the beginning so I could read every one of them.


2 Eugene June 6, 2017 at 5:58 pm

I’m so glad you and I have had a chance to connect! You are doing some amazing things and I look forward to reading and sharing the books you’re creating! Stay amazing!


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