Do you love your critics? It’s an odd question isn’t it? Most of the time, when we think about critics, we aren’t exactly thinking about them favorably. We talk about moving forward despite our critics and learning to overcome the “Nay Sayers”.
We like to think of critics as people we have to ignore and deal with in order to get ahead in life. But that is not always true, sometimes you have to stop ignoring the peanut gallery and start listening to them. You need to embrace what they are saying and see if you can use any of it to improve.
You can’t ignore them completely otherwise you may go too far off the deep end and find yourself in a situation you really don’t want to be in. The universe gave us critics for a reason. They help us learn, grow, and think differently. They are the only way we can get better at something and they give us an accountability bar to reach for.
One of the overlooked advantages of critics is that they give us a much needed reality check when we go too far. It is easy to get caught up focusing on one area of life and drag ourselves down that road no matter where it takes us.
When we do, it is our critics that help bring us back to reality. They give us a second opinion and help us look at a problem from a different point of view. Our critics let us know when we are missing something important.
That extra piece of the puzzle we need to make it all “click” could be completely out of our sight when looked at from our point of view, but it could be unbelievably obvious when looked at from someone else’s.
Even if you believe you know more about your field than your critics, they can still help you look at things from a different perspective and that could be just what you need to help you solve difficult problems and come up with unique solutions.
Our critics are there to help us grow. When things go wrong they can be there to point out why they went wrong. Even though it isn’t as easy to listen to someone tell you what you did wrong in a given situation as it is to listen to someone tell you what you did right in that same situation it is just as necessary. Probably even more so.
Even when things go right it is still important to listen to what your critics have to say. They are the ones who are going to show you how you can improve and reach the next level.
If you are an innovator who has created a successful product and are selling it on the market it is your critics who will let you know what is wrong with your work. They are the ones who are going to help you come up with new ideas on how to improve.
By listening to them you can create better products which can reach new markets and expand your company.
If you are an artist, writer, musician, or painter, critics may also help you. They can show you what you have done wrong and this can help you come up with ideas to improve your work and to better express your message to more people.
They can help you to come up with new ideas that you may have never thought of before. They can help you to learn to embrace change and to identify when change needs to take place.
Learn To Weed Out Bad Critiques
You don’t have to listen to all critiques. Just because somebody gave you their point of view on how you can make something better, does not mean you should follow it blindly.
In my college English class we were required to write a rough draft of our paper and bring it to class. This way we could switch with other people and give each other ideas on how we can improve for our final draft.
The person who switched papers with me told me that she liked my paper, but the wording on one area of it didn’t fit. They gave me a couple suggestions to change it up, but as I looked at it, I couldn’t see any of their changes expressing what I wanted to express.
I decided to leave it for now. Later the teacher went over all of our rough drafts with us and told me that he liked my paper. He even said that he liked how I worded it and since he was the one who was ultimately going to decide what grade I got I decided to leave it as it was.
Other people will always have their own opinions, but that doesn’t mean their opinions are any better than yours are. In fact if you spend your time becoming an expert in your field and learning at least 1 thing a day, chances are you’ll end up knowing more than 99% of other people out there.
You’re the expert here, you’re the one who knows what you are trying to express. Critiques may be helpful for giving you new ideas, but some of those ideas are simply going to be useless to you. Maybe you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, maybe their critiques don’t fit your high standards, or maybe there is a practicality issue that makes their idea worthless.
You’re the one that get’s to decide. They may have no idea what they are talking about and that is ok. Don’t discourage people from criticizing your hard work because they may still help you come up with some great possibilities to improve.
Instead treat critics like an idea machine. They are there to help you by spitting out ideas on how you can improve and how you can look at things a little differently. The vast majority of the ideas you get may be worthless, but some are gems that can really change your life and help you to grow.
What can you learn from your critics? It may turn out to be a lot more than you think. They can help you to grow, come up with new ideas, and achieve more. They are a good thing to have in your life, and they mean that people are noticing you. It’s a good sign.
Learn to love your critics! Don’t follow their word blindly, but don’t shun them away either. Take them as a starting point, ask questions, learn to love them, and try to see things from their point of view.
The most you can lose is a few minutes of brainstorming and listening, but the amount you can gain from this is limitless.