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How to Take Criticism Constructively

How to Take Criticism Constructively

In my writing journey, I’ve had the pleasure of both working with critics and writing quite a few criticisms myself. Every lifehack I write is especially critiqued, and I can thank the entire editing staff here for making my writing sparkle (even on the days when I want to slack soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad). No matter what you do in life, you’ll be criticized for it, and the louder you do it, the more criticism you’ll get. Change your perspective on haters by learning how to take criticism constructively…

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    1. Truth Hurts.

    You’re not perfect at everything, and you don’t need a trophy for going to the bathroom without missing. This doesn’t mean you don’t put in your best effort, and when people offer you better methods, accept that your way isn’t always the best. Sometimes things have to be said, and if this is the first time you’ve heard it, it’s probably because this is the first time someone cared enough to tell you. Feel the love…

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    2. Crittin’ Ain’t Easy.

    Gamers know there are tradeoffs between crits and attack/movement speed. The idea is everyone wants to hit as hard and fast as possible, but you have to balance the two to your style in order to truly win the war. Taking criticism hits hard, and you want to produce work as fast as possible to achieve your goals, but accepting that criticism, working through it with the critic, and resolving your issues quickly will raise the amount of hits you produce and your lifetime overall DPS.

    3. All I’m Asking for Is Understanding.

    Understand where people are coming from when both taking and giving criticism. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, a little compassion for the other side will ensure they know you’re on the same side and agreement is much easier than fighting. It also helps to research what the other person is saying (and perhaps gather stats to show their side instead of yours) in order to understand where they’re coming from. The quicker you start working with critics, the easier your life will be.

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    4. Figuratively Give It a Shot.

    Don’t shoot the messenger; instead give their message a shot. Maybe they’re right, and maybe they’re wrong, but the only way you’ll ever know is by trying it out. If the criticism is truly constructive, the critic will be willing to show you the correct way by giving more than just examples of other people’s work. A real critic rolls up their sleeves and produces what they’re trying to get you to produce. If you like how it changes your work, incorporate their suggestions moving forward.

    5. Don’t Be Afraid to Push Back.

    Just because someone is an expert doesn’t always mean they’re right; this is especially true in creative pursuits. A video editor, for example, will tell you how important it is to have multiple camera angles, but Kevin Smith made Clerks without them. Rules are meant to be broken, but keep in mind, sometimes you really are just bad at something. Just because you said something doesn’t mean it’s entitled to be heard. You need to get on your grind, son.

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    6. Bluntness Is Best.

    Everybody hates those who sugar coat things. I love hearing blunt and direct problems people have with me. It helps me understand how to better communicate with those I love (or play up the things that annoy the hell out of those I don’t). People would much rather hear you say, “I don’t like the way you click your nails when you talk,” than, “You should watch how you present yourself.”

    7. The Facts of Life.

    If someone really doesn’t like what you have to offer (or you, yourself), then there’s nothing you can do to change their mind – focus on the people who do like it instead. Don’t get too caught up in everyone liking you, because it’ll affect your self-worth in unexpected ways. Remember that real constructive criticism is based on a process you’re following. It’s not you or them that’s the problem; it’s the process.

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    Last Updated on May 17, 2019

    This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

    This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

    The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.

    But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

    If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.

    What Is the Comfort Zone?

    The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”

    What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?

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    The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.

    Here’s what I’ve learned.

    1. You will be scared

    Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.

    So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.

    That’s what separates winners from losers.

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    2. You will fail

    Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.

    That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …

    3. You will learn

    Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.

    4. You will see yourself in a different way

    Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.

    Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.

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    5. Your peers will see you in a different way

    Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.

    But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.

    The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.

    6. Your comfort zone will expand

    The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.

    This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

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    7. You will increase your concentration and focus

    When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.

    But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.

    8. You will develop new skills

    Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.

    Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.

    9. You will achieve more than before

    With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.

    Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.

    Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com

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