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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
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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.

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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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