Overcome Criticism and Thrive
Have you been criticized lately? If you have, let me tell you that’s actually a good thing because leaders make the difficult decisions, and if you are not being criticized, you’re probably not leading effectively.
First of all, don’t take it personally; every good leader faces criticism. That criticism can come from a wide variety of places. It can come people within your family, from people at work, from people outside of your community. Sometimes you get criticized by your employees or from your employer. Critics are all around and they are part of the life of a leader; don’t take it personally. If you are being criticized, there’s a good chance that you are actually doing something right.
Second, don’t take it personally; I would encourage you to pray for and support that person that is criticizing you. When someone starts to criticize you, it’s easy to put walls up, it’s easy to get defensive, it’s easy to start to stand your ground and to build your case. If you are not careful, you can allow bitterness to settle in your heart and for a bad attitude to develop in your spirit. Instead of having a bad attitude toward that person that is criticizing you, pray for them instead. Pray more - worry less. It is very difficult to be bitter, to hold a grudge against someone that I am genuinely praying for everyday. Who is your greatest critic? Have you been praying for them? Do you realize that you are not alone? Leaders that do things and actually lead are going to face criticism.
Third, take criticism as a learning opportunity. Believe it or not, sometimes your critics are right. Sometimes God will use the criticism of another person to make you stronger and to make you better. The next time you are criticized, instead of immediately defending yourself and getting an attitude, pause and look at what can I learn from this opportunity? Sometimes criticism gives you a great opportunity to pivot and renew and reinvent yourself. Some of the best moves that we have made as an organization and some of the best decisions I have made in my life have come because of criticism. It really does force you to pause, reflect, and re-pivot.
What do you need to do about the critics in your life? Do you recognize that you are not alone? Maybe you need to just stop having that pity party and recognize that you are in good company with a lot of other leaders. Are you praying for that person that is being critical or for that group of people that are being critical? Are you taking this opportunity to learn and get better? What frog do you need to eat today? Remember Mark Twain said if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day. For some of you, you just need to eat a frog, you just need to start praying for that person that is being critical. Maybe your frog is to get out of your pity party and realize that I’m not alone; that this criticism means that I must be doing something right. Maybe for you, the frog that you need to swallow and eat is learning and really pausing to look at how can I use this criticism to get better.
Don’t let critics ruin your attitude; don’t let critics ruin your day; instead let that criticism take you to a whole new level. But, it’s going to require you to think like the leader that God wants you to be and that you know you can be.
Your #1 fan,