If you’re a perfectionist, or if you run your own business - or come to that - are a parent,- you’re probably your own biggest critic. I know I am.
Maybe it’s the same for you. And in many ways it’s a natural reaction; it’s human nature to protect ourselves. Admitting that we have room for improvement means admitting to a weakness… which can leave us feeling exposed and uncomfortable. But it’s in our vulnerability that we can actually grow. Instead of being defensive, try slowing down and using that information to your advantage. Besides, I would say that admitting to being a flawed human being - to having baggage - is showing a strength and not a weakness - as you are accepting of all that you are and not living in denial.
Constructive criticism doesn’t have to be destructive if we acknowledge it instead of making excuses. If we trake it on board and work around it and allow it to 'sink into our consciousness' and while we may not adapt and change, at least being in awareness of another way - another viewpoint, helps us to acknowledge that there is always another way - another viewpoint and we are not always right.
I am told that I am opionated and this really intimidates some people who love to criticise me and accuse me of being mouthy, full of attitude etc. and this concerns me as it frightens some people off ( who have never met me - they have just heard about me ) and the fact that I am not afraid to speak up ( as everyone has the right to do ) and voice my opinions - which I hope come from an educated and thoughtful place and not from blind ignorance, is why so many appreciate and love me, but there will always be those in opposition.
I openly encourage people to share CONSTRUCTIVE input with me and while sometimes it is dumb input that is them just flapping their lips, there are times when I hear something that lights a spark and I think ... 'mmm good idea...' and I move in that direction to facilitate or make changes accordingly. But there are times when I can get defensive and not offer the best of myself in return and can be quite sharp - especially if I think someone is just moaning for moaning sake as that is DESTRUCTIVE and not CONSTRUCTIVE. Then there are times when I am - maybe - feeling a little vulnerable and defensive and when that moment comes and I haven’t been as good as I thought at hiding some of my flaws, I get defensive and I’ll even have “reasons” (excuses) as to why I am the way that I am, or why something in my business is the way that it is - and I feel I must explain.
Even though I know at these times that some people are unhappy people and so love to pull you down to help prop themselves up and feel better - and some never see the joy in anything and will always destroy and be unsupportive, even towards those they love, and this again is a sign of an unhappy and maybe unfulfilled person.
Accepting criticism is very hard and especially when it is about something you give a lot of time and love to - ie: your children or in my case, my business. The expression' Never criticise someone unless you have walked a mile in his sandals' is very accurate... unless you know someon's life journey, how can you know them and more importantly, how can you ( and what gives you the right ) to judge them.
If you have a larger than life personality - or if you have strong opinions on life, death and the universe, or if you are outspoken ( not domineering - just someone who shares ) - and you get criticised for the way you are and you feel that maybe you should shut up more, shine less, allow others to shine and be more of a wall flower rather than hold centre stage - then read the famous poem by Marianne Williams below, and stand your ground and shine.