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Why People Who Are Unable To Take Criticism Will Not Succeed

Why People Who Are Unable To Take Criticism Will Not Succeed

Has anyone ever said you’re defensive against criticisms? It is as if an universal truth that criticism is a good thing but when in face of it, we cannot help and our defensive mechanism startles.

In fact, it is natural that one is inclined to repulse criticism. Famously known, our brains are wired with a fight-or-flight response. When we encounter with danger, in this case, criticisms, some of us want to flee away while some want to fight back. But after all, it is important to know that there are many benefits lying beneath criticism. If we can restrain our natural tendency, we will gladly accept criticisms and get closer to success.

Criticism guides you to the next level.

Think in this way, criticism is helping you to improve, not to insult you or drag you behind.

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It is not outrageous to compare us to lost stars: we are all finding the path in the dark. It is usual to feel lost sometimes. It indeed takes courage to admit that we still have many things to learn. No one is perfect, as the old saying goes.

On this journey of seeking, criticism serves as milestones reflecting our progress, where we are now. And we need these signals to grow. Imagine we are designing a product, or writing an article, or engaging in a relation, without any feedback reminding us, how would we know if we’re on the right track or not?

Criticism gives us the information we need in order to prevail on every aspect of life.

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Criticism helps you to connect with others deeper.

We all have our own stories. We receive different education, or come from different backgrounds. That is what makes us unique, but also makes us impossible to fully understand each other.

There is inherently a wall between human-beings. Nonetheless, we can smash this wall if we want.

Communication is a good way to understand each other better, and positive criticism is an effective form of communication. Positive criticism informs us what others’ impression on us is, and from this we know how to be a better person.

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It is better to treat criticisms as an open invitation to a deeper relationship. Realize that it also takes others’ courage to criticize us. If they do not weigh this relationship heavily, they will not venture to give us the criticism.

Thus, treasure every criticism given by others, reflect on that, and take it as an opportunity to connect deeper with others.

We live in an unhealthy culture that does not encourage criticisms.

Somehow in today’s world, open criticism is a taboo. When one tries to give criticism, he or she also has to accompany it with 20 praises.

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And eventually, the one who criticizes others is hated and thought to be picky, a black sheep. But that is not a healthy environment, we do need criticisms to grow.

Don’t be a praise seeker if you want to succeed.

Imaginably, living in this culture, we all turn to be a praise seeker. We are hungry for praise, and if we are criticized, we become unhappy.

For this phenomenon, there’s a term in psychology called confirmation bias. Confirmation bias basically means the tendency to search for and favor information that confirms our own beliefs, while giving excessively less consideration to alternative possibilities.

Criticism is the key to success.

Given the benefits brought along by criticism, it is at our loss to ignore, deny, or even fight against them. Yes, criticism can be harsh to our ears, yet its value is unquestionable. When facing criticisms, think of the benefits it has instead of being driven by our tendency to defend against it.

Featured photo credit: Daniel McFadden / Sony Pictures Classics / Everett via newyorker.com

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Chris Cheung

Editorial Intern, Lifehack

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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