Lately, criticism has such a negative meaning that people automatically react poorly to even just the word itself, without even thinking about its benefits. People believe that the phrase "constructive criticism" is something people made up, so they could put a positive swing, “politically correct” term on bashing your work. What happened to such a positive form of communication? It turned into a hated and feared concept.
Maybe our childhood has tainted our idea of criticism. Ponder this: Could it be that people took this term and used it to justify THEIR judgments on your life's choices? How many times did you hear “I’m just giving you ‘constructive criticism’ and you shouldn't take it so personally”.
But really, criticism can be one of the best forms of helping someone succeed. Criticism is meant to come from someone who has much knowledge in a specific field. An “expert”, meaning lots of experience and passing through failure. It is meant to be positive, despite what it has become over the years. And even though it feels like a personal attack, maybe there’s a way for you to see how it is a learning experience not only for you but for the critics themselves.
Think of it this way: for you being critiqued, it is a way to grow in whatever you are trying to advance in. There is so much to learn from someone who is experienced – i.e. been through the mud, took the chance, failed forward. Everyone has experienced in life and in business, and criticism is a great way to share those experiences with others. If you're a writer, you will become a better writer through criticism. If you're an artist, you will become a better artist through criticism. Someone will open your eyes to another perspective and your work will grow into the best work you've ever done!
And criticism benefits the critic just as much as the person being criticized. The critic is learning, at the same time, a new perspective. They are learning the perspective of the writer or the artist, and they can, in turn, use that perspective to help them develop their own work.
Think about it. If you are getting advice from someone who just looked at your work from three different angles, that's three different angles than your own. Think about how much you could learn and think about how much that would help you grow as an artist or a writer. The possibilities are endless!
If you’re not open to learning every day, you will stay exactly where you are, forever. - Liz Lima