No one wants it, yet we all want to get better… The question is how do we get better if we aren’t open to criticism? We live in a day and time where everyone “gets a trophy”, we all want to hear the great things that we do, and we shy away from criticism and the truth. The problem is when we hide from criticism and truth we live in a false and distorted reality about ourselves, our abilities and capabilities.
There is criticism that is mean spirited which comes from people who have ulterior motives, low self-esteem and agendas, these people we need to ignore. However, the majority of criticism we receive at work, in classes, in sports, or trainings comes from people who want us to get better. By accepting criticism, and using it constructively we can improve ourselves, our results, and perform up to our peak ability.
I teach acting classes on the weekend and this past weekend I was tough on my adult class. I wanted to give each student specific insights about themselves and ways they could improve their craft. The majority of the students were open to criticism, however, there were some who crumbled. They didn’t want to hear what they did wrong and how they could improve, rather, they wanted to know what they did right. One student actually wanted to quite the course but decided to give it another week.
I want people to be honest with me, open, and engaged and that is how I teach. I have noticed a big shift in my life the past few years in that I seek out individuals that are open, honest, and candid with me regarding my businesses and my speaking ability. As I get less and less sensitive to criticism I improve more and more. I see it in my results: enrollments are up (acting studio), bookings are up (speaking engagements), and my confidence level is increasing as an artist and speaker.
In closing, I truly feel I am living in a grounded reality where I am giving my best effort on a daily basis and not operating out of a distorted reality that avoids the truth and seeks to hide from criticism.
Are you open to criticism?