praise

Ah feedback – how you put the wind in my sails and then abruptly leave me stranded in the middle of the ocean. The ability to sail through both positive and negative comments from others without relying too heavily on either is truly a skill mastered by the most successful people in the world.

I’ve been writing for publication for 15 years, and active on social media since its inception. I learned very quickly not rely on criticism to determine the value of my work.

I do take feedback into consideration, evaluating what’s “wrong” with the criticism, and what may be “right.” But over time, I’ve established my own personal core values, and these values are what guide my daily decisions.

I’m not claiming that positive feedback doesn’t make me smile, or that harsh feedback never makes me wince. However, when I catch myself getting too involved in feedback, I remind myself of these 10 things:

  1. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has the right to one.
  2. Feedback pushes me into a brainstorming, problem-solving frame of mind when I’m being lazy.
  3. Some people have more experience than I have.
  4. I have an opportunity to learn something.
  5. Constructive criticism can save me from a bad decision when I am open to it.
  6. If I am not receiving criticism, I must not be doing anything significant.
  7. Criticism is not always information meant to improve me, it is sometimes information I need to learn about the person who is delivering it.
  8. Resilience is a major key to success. Criticism offers a good exercise in how resilient I can be.
  9. The path to anything great is full of bumps. If I choose to trip and fall and lie there over someone’s critical feedback, it’s not that person’s fault, it’s mine.
  10. I am the author of my life story. I will not put the pen in someone else’s hand.

What do you think about critical feedback? How do you handle it?