How to Get Over Criticism

Sep 08 2011 Published by under Attitude, Change, Strategy

Here is an article I enjoyed so much that I just had to post it on my blog! 

It’s by Christine Kane:

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember – the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar
Here’s one thing I’m pretty sure of:

I’m pretty sure you don’t want to know “How to Get Over Criticism.”

I’ll bet you’d prefer a guide called: “How to Avoid Criticism and Ensure that Everybody Loves You Unequivocally til the Day You Die.”

Unfortunately, the subtitle would be: “Or How to Have a Totally Boring Life.”

Face it. When you play a bigger game, you’re going to make some people uncomfortable. Unfortunately, in the face of discomfort, most people don’t look within to find the source of it. They choose, instead, to lash out, criticize, or get cynical. All of us have fallen prey to this behavior. (Yes, me too!)

That’s because very few of us are taught Personal Responsibility. We are taught, instead, to blame other people for our results, our thoughts, and our emotions. We are taught to react.

What this means is that you will most likely be criticized along the way. (Especially if you begin to experience success.)

And no, I’m not talking about constructive advice or denying when you make a mistake. This is about the harsh stuff. The stuff that hurts – because that’s exactly what it’s designed to do!

So, how do you handle it?

Here are 8 practices that have worked for me.

1 – Make a decision NOW.

Marla told me that she was “sick of playing small.” I asked her what Playing Big looks like. A determined look crossed her face, and she said, “…to finally stop caring about what other people think of me.”

If this is you, then it’s time to make a decision. Decide right now that you will no longer live your life contorting your soul in an attempt to prevent criticism or judgment.


Remember this: Some will. Some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting.

An example:

After one of my big teleseminars, I received an email from someone who didn’t like it. She sent a list of things that was wrong with it. (And me!)

I also received an email from a woman who was literally on her way to end her own life – and upon listening to that same teleseminar in her car, turned around and chose to start over again because of what I said.

This is classic SWSWSWSW. Apply it to your own gifts!

3 – Give yourself space to grieve.

Criticism is designed to hurt. And it often does. If you need some time to cry, then give yourself that gift. Call a friend who will listen.

Do yourself a favor, however, and set a time limit. Then, choose to move on. Otherwise, it’s easy to let it eat away at you indefinitely.

4 – Coach yourself.

In her book Self-Coaching 101, the phenomenal Brooke Castillo provides fantastic techniques to heal any negative thought pattern. I’ve had great success using her work. You have to DO the work though. Get out your journal and write it all down!

5 – It’s not about you.

Criticism is never about you. It’s always about the person doing the criticizing. That might not help when you’re hurting. But it’s nice to be reminded!

6 – Protect your confidence.

Occasionally, a client will mention her “unsubscribes” or the snarky comment she received about her newsletter article.

My response is always the same: Why are you reading your customer service email? Hire someone to do that stuff so you can be about serving the world, not obsessing on the people who will never like you anyway!

Protect your own brilliance and confidence by not engaging in activities that are likely to trigger you.

7 – Give up criticizing!

When you are tempted to criticize someone, go within. See if you can find a more creative way to deal with the thoughts in your head. Maybe you’re being triggered by another’s success, wealth, happiness, beauty or brilliance. Take personal responsibility for your own reactions and give up the socially accepted habit of criticizing people.

8 – Decide again.

In the face of criticism, the only option is to decide again. Decide to keep shining and living life fully engaged.

Studies have shown that the most common regret among older Americans is of not having taken more risks. Don’t let this be you!

In the words of Marianne Williamson:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

4 responses so far

  • Alex says:

    I’m constantly criticized in life but I find it difficult to just ignore it. I’ll try to take this into account the next time I face a situation in which I am criticized.

  • Wendy Love says:

    Hello there!
    I haven’t popped by for ages. Interesting article on criticism. I don’t handle criticism well at all, does anybody? However, the tips in this article are terrific. Thanks for sharing.

  • Renae says:

    I think I can take criticism fairly well. But I was raised in a very critical home. Both of my parents were not only critical of my sister and me, but of pretty much everything and everyone else. I love them very much, so its hard for me to even say this of them. The point is, I have become them, even if its only in my head. I know this is destructive, but I’m finding it very hard to overcome. Criticism has stopped me cold, every time I even think about doing something with my life. I guess I’m still listening for some kind of approval, thinking I need everyone to be ok with it before I proceed. But I know even if that were to magically happen, it would feel uncomfortable, since I’m so accustomed to not being good enough. I’m not going to ever stop trying though. This has almost become my number one challenge in life.

  • ISA says:

    Ah I had to get someone in the business to deal with problem customers as I found it destroyed me, although some of their issues did help it to improve. Dealing with it through a staff member helped….
    My greatest challenge coming out of the greatest episode of depression ever and only just still being here is to work out how to shine, my life is at a huge cross roads and I have no idea how to work out what to do or what to be fully engaged in. I only know what no longer engages me…
    Looked at loads of resources Tony Robbins, Passion test etc…. but kept coming up with the block of ….. yes but How do I know what now engages me….

    So a post on how to find your core… niche etc would be wonderful as depressives have so often actually been disengaged sometimes for years.

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