Looking at Criticism in a New Light…

Recently, I wrote a post on the video Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count by Brené Brown. As you can see in the post, I said – I don’t know what it is, but ever since my days growing up and playing tennis, I have found it challenging to deal with people that make deliberate personal attacks at you – even though I realise the comments and feedback are coming from their perceptions of reality and not reality per se (and I don’t react like I used too – which maybe has been part of the gift of these people in my life?).”

After writing that sentence – “…which maybe has been part of the gift of these people in my life?”, I have come to realise how true that is – these people are/were a gift in my life as they helped me inquire more deeply within myself and have helped me live with a full open heart and with deeper gratitude. What do I mean by this?

Rumi once said – “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” So I figure, if I am trying to defend myself and/or not listen to criticism, there is a barrier within me that I have built (without realising it consciously) where I am not loving or accepting of myself. A part of me that I want to hide (i.e. not be fully seen in my vulnerability).

As I value courage, freedom and living fully with my heart, I chose to investigate further and develop further insight. How did I do this? I used a method of inquiry (and awareness and a couple of other tools) to check in with what was really happening in that moment.

What were some of the things I found out through investigating the criticism?

  • Criticism has a link to approval,
  • If I am reacting to a situation, I need to investigate it and see it as a gift and be grateful for those people in my life,
  • Being honest and vulnerable (and being seen) ends the illusion of being manipulated or being found out, and
  • When you are really humble, criticism cannot hurt you and can in fact help you and allow you to see yourself more fully.

I hope this post has helped shed some new light on criticism and see criticism in a new way. I would love to hear any comments below.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt, the Man in the Arena. Delivered at the Sorbonne (Paris) on April 23, 1910.


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