Seek out Criticism

It’s true, mom, dad, your wife, husband, brother or sister….even Fido aren’t going to tell you the truth about how good you are.

And this is a good thing, we want our family, friends and the family dog to support us and lift us up when we are down. Who doesn’t like a wet nose pressed against their cheek in love.

If you want to get better though, if you want to develop, to grow, to stretch yourself beyond where you are now, you have to know where you aren’t that great.

That means consciously asking for the very thing you try to avoid.

Criticism.

Nobody likes receiving it without an invitation and most people are not adapt at actually delivering criticism in a way that serves the highest growth of the other person. People are generally self-guided when delivering critique, founded in their need to be right, to feel superior and to validate their views of the world.  Criticism is a sacred duty to help the other person get better.

So, if you want to get better…you have to seek it out.

And that means you also have to be ready for replies that are completely self-guided, tipped with poison and laced with the thinnest veil of brotherhood, beneath which rests – the true intent of cutting you down a peg or two.

There are ways you can inoculate yourself against this, starting with:

 

1 – Make sure you actually want the criticism.

Sounds basic enough and yet it’s important enough to warrant first place. If you don’t truly want something, don’t ask for it.

 

2 – Choose your Critique-Partners carefully.

Not everyone has the nuanced skill of language to positively articulate where you can improve. Choose someone that can. Secondly, not everyone has your best interests at heart. Choose someone that does.

 

3 – Declare the Boundaries

Be very clear on what you want critiqued. Define your boundaries so the other person knows specifically what you want feedback on…and what you don’t.

 

4 – It’s a choice

The great news with critique is you get to choose if it’s valid for you. Just because someone believes a painting is great, doesn’t mean everyone has to believe the painting is great. The skill in receiving criticism is 1 – listen openly and 2 – decide if it’s valid for you.

 

4 – Put your ego aside

Let’s face it; you probably won’t like the critique. If you take it on though, and follow points 1-4, it will very likely make you better, and from better, it’s only a short jump to great…and beyond.

Hit me up on the comments and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time.
Chris

 

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