Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How To Handle Criticism

There's no denying it: criticism can (and often does) hurt.
But no matter what you do in life, you expose yourself to
the possibility of being judged unfavorably.

Even if you try to remain in the background, avoiding all
confrontation, you still must make decisions -- minor ones,
maybe, like when to eat and what you wear. And, rest
assured, not everyone will agree with your choices.

So, since you are going to receive criticism no matter what,
let's take a closer look at how you can best handle (and
even benefit from) it!The next time you are criticized, consider the following

- Accept that people have diverse backgrounds, preferences and
interests. You won't please everyone, so don't even try.

- Don't take it personally. Sure, this is easier said than
done. However, the critic generally isn't trying to prove
that you have no value as a person. Rather, they're
revealing their dislike of your idea or your performance.
Let them have their opinions. In the end, you decide whether
or not to let another person's remarks bother you.

- Strive to learn from their words. Find some truth in
their statements -- even if only a shred. There is usually
some accuracy in critical comments.
It's your job to seek out this kernel
of truth and benefit from it!

- Don't be defensive. Resist the temptation to argue with
the critic. While it's only natural to try to prove that you
are "right" and that the other person is "wrong," this
generally gets you nowhere.

But, most importantly, stay true to your own values and
convictions. If others don't approve, so what!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Master Your Fear

"Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he
who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself
at every step." -- As A Man Thinketh

I've heard it said that we're born with only a few fears -
like the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All
other fears we learn along the way. Like the fear of
failure, the fear of rejection - even a fear of success.
I believe our greatest enemy in life is fear, because fear
keeps us from doing many of those things we would like to do
that would make our life more complete and more enjoyable.

Doubt is the first cousin of fear and precedes it.
If we dwell on a doubt and give in to it, it then grows into
fear.And if most of our fears and all of our doubts are learned along
the way, then we can "unlearn" them by becoming masters of
our thoughts. I've heard Zig Ziglar quote Mark Twain when he
said, "True courage is not the absence of fear, it's the
mastery of fear."

The people who live the life of their dreams have just as
many fears as those who live miserable, unfulfilled lives -
they just learned to master their fears instead of allowing
their fears to master them.

Brian Tracy has a great way to fight doubt. He says, "Don't
wonder whether something is possible - Over and over if you
have to, but ask how can you do it, not whether you can."

And I think that's worth thinking about!!