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Handling Criticism

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Well, thankfully this is a post I haven’t really felt compelled to write until now. People warned me… “Katelyn, growth doesn’t come without a price”. Our mentors have been telling me this for years. One in particular once told me that if you’re not being criticized, that could be a sign that you’re not taking enough risks. We have hit a place in our business where we can post the most well meaning content and somehow… despite all efforts to cover our bases and state disclaimers…. people will still find a way to be offended.

That’s just the world we live in! The more you grow, the more people you reach, the more likely you are to offend someone. Since I’m the “feeler” of my family and always have been, this poses an interesting scenario for me. When I get a pretty harsh blog comment that judges my character, my natural reaction would be to 1. Tell Michael 2. Have a little pity party for myself and then 3. Over analyze everything I’ve ever written, shared or taught.

Welp, at this point in my business, you can’t respond like that! I’ve recently had several “Get it together Katelyn!!!!!” moments over the last several months and I actually think I’m making progress in this area of my life! And because Michael Hyatt always seems to have timely podcasts that directly relates to my life, I thought I would share his take on the subject!

He shared in a recent podcast that sources of criticism come in three main forms:

FRIENDS

CRITICS

TROLLS

This was revolutionary to me! After hearing him explain each one, I can totally see how this has rang true in my own life! :

  •  Friends: Allow them to speak into your life. They love you and so their criticism is through the lens of love. They want what’s best for you so don’t shut them down and tune them out!
  •  Critics: These people have a strong opinion.  They may come across as harsh, judgmental and just plain rude but some aspects of their critique could be helpful. Sometimes critics speak respectively but have no relationship or knowledge of you personally and so in some cases they may not have the credibility to make accusations.  Michael also shared that if someone is willing to sign their name, it’s worth reading.  If someone leaves a FAKE name and email and can’t even stand by their comment, I’m going to toss it out.
  • Trolls: Just straighter HATERS. They aren’t offering criticism to see a change, they are just plain hateful! … I have nothing further to say about them…. except that they should get a life instead of wasting theirs by just being MEAN! Seriously?! What a waste of time and energy. End rant.

So…. how am I trying to handling criticism moving forward?? Here are some steps I’m constantly trying to walk through when the harsh comments come rolling in:

  1. Identify what type of criticism this is. Is it a friend? Is it a critic? If it is a critic, do they have credibility? Or is it a Troll that needs to shut it and go live under a bridge somewhere.
  2. Walk away. DON’T START RESPONDING…. at least not immediately. I may have a soft, sensitive side but if someone attacks my character, something wells up in me and I enter into “defense mode”. You should NEVER write a response in “DEFENSE MODE”. Not a good idea. Wait it out and calm down before responding. If it’s a Troll or Critic with no credibility, I wouldn’t even respond.
  3. Share with a trusted friend. If you’re going to respond, share the situation with someone you TRUST before clicking “send”. I can’t tell you how many times Michael has saved me from sending emails in need of editing.
  4. Pray about it. This is just my way of dealing with these situations but I’m telling you, it’s a game changer. Deep down, while you may feel annoyed and angry… your heart is actually the part of you that is hurting. Giving this stuff over to God and praying for peace will only help.
  5. Remind yourself that YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You know what you’re about… you know what you stand for… you know your intentions… you know your own heart.

I know anyone can slip into selfishness and priorities can sometimes fall out of line but that’s where your “friends” come in. If I need an attitude adjustment, I have close friends that I have trusted and allowed to speak into my life. Those are the people (and Michael of course) that can be critical of me and actually have an impact on my decisions. I wish I could say that those were the only people that impacted my feelings but I am human! :) Ultimately, I have a great support system who keeps me in line… almost like a “Board of Supervisors” if you will! And as long as I have those people there to share constructive criticism, I don’t need to pay attention to anyone else!!

So if you’re someone who has dealt with or is currently dealing with critics and this post resonates with you in some way, share it and tag a friend who you know is struggling with this topic!! The sooner you realize what kind of critic you’re dealing with, the easier it is move forward!!

xoxo, Katelyn
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