An imposed sense of disbelief is what may kill a creative soul. A borrowed validation as to how our life must work like is what it all takes to rip our happiness apart. No matter wherever you go, if you are someone who has resolved to live your passion or do anything to cushion your dreams, you’d sure be put to incessant suppression. In simpler words – you’d be criticized. But my resolution to life, in addition to being passionate about what I do, is also to turn every negativity into something constructive. I have been digging positivity so deep that I have found out as to how, a little self-care, appreciation, honesty & credibility can help us get rid of pessimism. It has taught me to make the most of worst human behaviors and to deal with cynicism. Criticism is one of those many things. I am happy to share how the following pointers have helped me rejoice the fruitfulness that criticism had to offer. I call this my 4-R theory to beat unproductive criticism – Realisation, Reception, Reaction, and Retention!
Hoping someday, someone might benefit from it, I write this piece here on!
THE REALISATION OF CRITICISM
This essentially involves differentiating opinions from judgments. Everyone is entitled to have a point of view and so are you. Identifying criticism calls for the knack of straining through various outlooks, thoughts & verdicts that may be subjected towards you. You ought to respect opinions that people may have about you but your own estimation of yourself is what matters the most. You would find a lot of decrees being passed on what you do for many reasons; by those who would absolutely have no skill set to comment on how you may better your game, and which may have an adverse effect your efficiency. But once you realize how nondescript they are, you’d eventually brush them off. Initially, it requires you to be little thick-skinned, but after a point, you get accustomed to it.
Criticism may not always make you happy, but it does convey how you are being noticed, and that you are little worth a brag at least! 😀
THE RECEPTION TO CRITICISM
The most important facet or rather determinant to criticism is how you receive it. The vulnerability is the first to be talked about here. There is nothing better if you already do not possess this attribute in your personality as this exposes you to an insane amount of agonies and pains. But if you do have it, do not thrive too hard to pull yourself away from it. Nurture it to be your asset. You’d anyways have to deal with it once you’re there in the battleground. So you might as well develop this habit of being absorbent to the choice exercised by others to opine about you. But do not forget that you too have the same choice to sieve those opinions and directing that to your productivity. The risk of being vulnerable is worth a try if you manage to get a quarter a chance to perk up. No risk, no gain!
At a deeper level, receptivity is a matter of redundancy and something one learns over a period of time. So, be patient!
THE REACTION TO CRITICISM
I was once told as to how I need to keep a cap on the number of jargons I use while writing. An unknown reader once told how she likes reading my travelogues but have to constantly look through the dictionary to get to the meanings at times. I craved a lot for criticism of such kind and I so wish I get more of it. I realized how, not every reader may not comfortable with tough vocabulary and that is when I went mild on using difficult words. This also helped me gain more footfall amongst my audience. And then there was this one time when I was told how norm-breaking and rebellious my opinions were and how I have a solid chance of being secluded from the majority of people who collectively called themselves, ‘the society’. I was made to believe how I should be complying to the social rules to leverage acceptance. I knew where to go and so I isolated myself from everyone who asked me to separate expression from my being, directly or indirectly. Productive Criticism is a boon. The sooner you react to it, the better you get! Not only it requires one to be all ears but a great amount of patience to put one’s ego & eccentricity at bay.
Winding your energies to that well-nurtured passion of yours is going to cost you a little pain and cringe. Take it with a pinch of salt and make something delish out of it.
THE RETENTION OF CRITICISM
Identifying the right critic is imperative to extract the best from whatever regression criticism gives us. Keeping the right critics closer to you is something that proves to be immensely beneficial in the long run. You ideally must call them your real friends. And once you have them, they are for keeps. This is the treasure trove of people who you can count on to identify places of improvisation. Additionally, they also help you comprehend what perceptions, thoughts, and judgments need to perish. It is synonymous to filtering what needs to remain between your ears & your head. To you, those who are well versed with the kind of work you do or wish to do and those who have a keen interest, relativity and a sense of like-mindedness in the job as same as you, say a reader to a blog/author/writer – are the best critics. Anyone not belonging to these classes should not be allowed to enter your territory of reception.
Like how a cricket commentator has to be a cricketer first to be able to do a great commentary.
Whether or not you get criticised for your decisions, stands, and opinions, you must never put aside your credibility at a distance for it might sound estranged to the world. If you like the taste of burnt cake then be it. Do not let someone develop your taste buds for you. At the same time, keep that tiny single lobe in your ear agile enough to catch any hint of positivity that criticism is definitely capable of. Criticism is either a step-up or a step-down; depending on how you have placed your feet on a staircase.
(Read my post on how you must rephrase rejection in life here)