Think about a time in your life when someone criticized something you did and it really affected you. Perhaps it came at a time when you were already feeling down, and it really hurt you. You probably said to yourself, “Why would someone say that? That’s just mean.” Perhaps you will even allow it to fester and make you angry.
But what you may not realize is that how you react to criticism can change your life, either for the better or for the worse, and it can even change the lives of those around you. If you allow criticism to upset you, then you will, eventually, become a very angry human being. This really doesn’t do any good for you and it doesn’t do any good for anyone around you either. If you allow it, negativity will do nothing but breed more negativity. And who wants to live like that?
Instead, try to take that very moment, when you receive the criticism, and tell yourself that from every negative critique comes positive change in your life. If you can keep an open mind, that negative critique has the power to have a positive impact on you in more ways than you could ever imagine. It can make you smarter, it can make you stronger, it can make you a more patient person, it can help you develop better personal skills, it can help you see your work from different angles, and really, in general, you will be a much happier person. If you can do nothing else, at least take that negative and turn it into what fuels you to do better.
The most exciting part of criticism is that it can actually bring ideas and people together. It can even change the course of history. Think about people like Nelson Mandela. What if he decided to give up? What if he let all the negative criticism around him, from the citizens in his country, from the media and from politicians, pull him down and make him angry and violent? Do you think the same outcome would have occurred in South Africa? No way!
Sometimes criticism can be the key element that ends up opening people’s eyes to see an injustice. It can open people’s eyes to a different way of doing something, and not just in the political world. How do you think art movements like Impressionism, Surrealism and Modernism came about? How were strides made in terms of new technology? Do you think those people were surrounded by only positive feedback? Of course not! But look what they were able to create and how many lives they impacted!