crit·i·cism [krit–uh-siz-uhm] noun
1. the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
2. the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
At times, we forget the true meaning of words because we have a tendency to define them according to our individual standards. In other words, we water down the true meaning of certain words, especially those that are negative. That is why I had to take a quick visit to one of my favorite places to get a renewed meaning of the word criticism, the dictionary. After I read two of the meanings (listed above), I had to pause and reflect on the fact that I am a critic at times and, I must work a bit harder to lessen my impact. Now, don’t get me wrong as I am grateful that I am no longer the professional critic that I was as I have learned to not judge people, places and situations (to the best of my ability) so harshly.
There are individuals that we will have to deal with on a daily basis who have not received the revelation on criticism that many of us have and at the same level we have. Some people are not aware of or may simply not care about the full impact of how hurtful critiquing and criticism can really be to one’s intellect, spirit and most importantly, heart.
I always say, “People make the world go around” and we must learn how to maneuver and shift around those not-so-great people at all times. Yes, we must be very strategic and always thinking ahead and not behind. We cannot afford to spend time, energy and effort on these individuals, but, we also cannot allow them to impact us and tap into our soul’s with their negative energy.
If we want to live a righteous life, one that is not impacted by the actions of others where it paralyzes us, we must learn to deal with criticism at every level and here are three ways:
ONE: Always Consider the Source – Most often, the people who are judging and criticizing you are those individuals who are able to see all of the greatness inside of you (even before you see it), as I believe that only greatness is attacked at a consistent level. If someone is always judging you, you must look at their character and your ‘true’ relationship with them. Is this someone who has not been very dependable in any way (mentally or physically)? Is this person always down and talking negative, even about themselves? Always consider the source and respond accordingly, by listening (if you feel), learning, understanding and moving on. Criticism is a part of the journey, use it to build the path to your destiny as there is some good in everything. Yes, you may have to dig deep to find it, but, it is there.
TWO: Know Your Worth – It does not matter what people are saying and the type of criticism being thrown your way. If (opportune) you know your value and self-worth, you will be able to immediately dispel what another person is trying to say. I say ‘trying’ as they will not trump you. For example, when or if someone speaks negatively about me, I already know that what he/she has to say is their truth about me, NOT my truth about myself. I know my value, I know what I have to offer, I know my growth potential and I know I am wonderfully and skillfully made. And, that is the only truth I am willing to walk in and learn from.
Side Note: There are times my critics have been right and I have owned the lesson, studied to be better and passed the test.
THREE: Understand Your Feelings Are Real – Yes, criticism will get under your skin, but, it will also make the skin that much tougher and will allow you to tap into how you feel, but also allow you to simply let it go (where your real breakthrough lies), especially if the criticism has no validity. Even the strongest person gets stung by criticism and some are deathly allergic. But, if you desire to be a success internally and externally, you must be willing to push forward past it in a positive way by building up your immunity. Don’t linger in self-pity, frustration and self-doubt as these will break you down over time. Always remain calm and know that what you feel is real and release it knowing you cannot hang on to another’s thoughts about you. You deal with enough of your own internal resistance.
One real world application I use is — Shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Who cares!” to myself (of course). I shall not lie, it feels real good and helps me to laugh at the situation.
Finally, no matter what, “Don’t let compliments get into your head. And, certainly don’t let criticism get into your heart.”
Move Forward In Righteousness XOXO♥