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How to Gain Confidence When Other People Criticize Us

How to Gain Confidence When Other People Criticize Us

Life is filled with “instant-save” moments when we have to stop from our wandering ways and question what exactly we are doing. We survive our days doing what we know without having to second-guess ourselves until some wise-guy offers us to examine our lives in their perspective. “Why thank you for your unrequested advice!”

We usually don’t approach a situation of this sort in a friendly fashion. We may shrivel up inside temporarily and cringe with discomfort. I can guarantee you’ve had someone point out something you wish they hadn’t for no apparent reason. I like to get defensive and fire an eye-opener right back at them. “How about we take these next proceeding minutes and talk about [insert insulting comeback here]? I believe that you are the one with the real problems!”

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Someone once chose to confront me with the fact that I like to move at the speed of snail with my daily preparations. I already knew this about myself, but to have someone openly criticize me made me furious. I turned around and showed them my unsatisfied glare-of-death. I responded, “You seem to have some sick fascination with watching me get ready for my day. Is it because your life is boring? Or is it just the fact that you would be cooler if I let you borrow my t-shirt?”

If you think that I might have taken it a little too far, you’re probably right. I instantly insulted them. I considered what they had said about me. Although I already knew that I move peculiarly slowly, this helped me love that about myself. I analyzed why it was that I got ready as fast as an infant learning to drive a stick shift.

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I realized that I do this because I am busy mental exercising myself for the day at hand. I visualize all the tasks I have to accomplish. I organize my to-do list. I embrace every detail of the day as much I can because when it comes time to perform, I am more than ready.

Although, we generally do not like the fact that someone has aimed their words directly into our unconscious imperfections. We hold on to these moments long enough to let them shape our lives. It’s important that we use this opportunity to mold ourselves the way we would like and not let it break us down into a million more pieces of “where does this one go again?” This is when we need to take the time to start setting things straight for ourselves.

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You are not the victim!

I mentioned that it’s almost necessary that we allow ourselves to get defensive when this happens. Someone has noticed something about you that you’ve been oblivious to. Evaluate their perspective and decide whether or not you like this about yourself. If you do, reaffirm to yourself that this makes you unique and you’re proud of it. If it isn’t, you should appreciate the opportunity that you have to better yourself. Whatever you choose, this should not be something to beat yourself up about.

Be conscientious!

Knowing who we are, what we are capable of, and being aware of our weaknesses and strengths is a powerful thing. Maybe we’re not the person in charge at work, but we can always be in charge of ourselves. We can even learn how to develop a positive self-image from our not so admirable characteristics.

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The next time someone wants to call you out on that, “thing you didn’t want to know you did,” pause and say, “Thank you for blessing me with the chance to decide whether or not I value your criticism!”

Featured photo credit: Arguments by Artis Pupins via flickr.com

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How to Gain Confidence When Other People Criticize Us

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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