How To Handle Criticism

One of the topics I feel passionately about as an entrepreneur is criticism: specifically, how to handle criticism. In fact, I feel so passionately about it that when I had the opportunity to talk with Richard Branson, I asked his advice on this very topic!

How does Richard Brandson handle criticism?

When I asked Richard Branson how he handles criticism – because just like anyone doing big, bold things, he has of course received his fair share over the years – he said, “Sometimes it’s hard, but you’ve got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again.”

I couldn’t agree more!

The Fear of Criticism?

In my work with clients (helping them to grow their businesses and become “bigger and bolder” in business), I’ve learned that criticism – or the fear of criticism – can absolutely stop people in their tracks, keeping them from moving forward.

The fact is, you can’t avoid criticism. As you grow your business, step up and and step out, not everybody is going to like what you do.

So your ability to handle criticism is crucial.

When I first started out in business, I was really sensitive to criticism. Even someone unsubscribing from my list bothered me!

These days, I have a different perspective. I have the attitude that if I’m not attracting criticism, I’m not trying hard enough. In fact, I welcome criticism.

My favourite tips for handling criticism

Following are a few of my favorite tips for handling criticism – whether it is helpful or nasty!

  • Again, understand that you can’t avoid criticism. As I mentioned, it’s part of stepping up, stepping out and doing bigger, bolder things. So instead of dreading it, expect it. It WILL come.
  • Shift your perspective. Instead of defending against criticism, welcome it and appreciate it. Consider it free “advice” to help you move onward and upward.
  • Start to be really aware of how and when YOU are criticizing others. When you point a finger at another person, you’re actually pointing a finger back at yourself. If you’re casting judgments on other leaders in your industry, those judgments will keep you stuck, because you’re essentially telling your subconscious you don’t want to be experience success the way those leaders have. But the thing is, even if they are doing things differently than how you would do them, they ARE successful for a reason. So don’t self-sabotage!

So there you have it! Don’t let criticism or the fear of criticism stop you from growing your business. Have the courage to step up, get out there, and make it happen.

Join the conversation

I’d love to hear from you below: What have you learned from other people’s criticism? Have you ever allowed criticism or the fear of it to stop you from taking action in your business? What happened?

[spoiler]Today on Bernadette TV, how to handle criticism.

Hello, and welcome to Bernadette TV, online TV to help you be the best you can be in your business and your life. Today, we are talking about how to handle criticism. Now this is a topic that I feel very passionately about because in my work with clients, helping them to grow their businesses and step up and be bigger and bolder in their business and life, one of the things I have noticed can really stop people in their tracks is either being on the receiving end of a lot of criticism or simply the fear of being criticized that really stops them from moving forward.

I can really relate to this because I can remember when I first started out in business, I was so sensitive to all types of criticism, sometimes not even direct criticism. Even someone unsubscribing from my email list, I would take it so personally. I would think that meant that they didn’t like me. As I’ve grown in business, one of the things that I’ve realized is this ability to handle criticism is a really crucial skill. The truth is as you get bigger, not everybody is going to like what you do. You are going to attract criticism. Sometimes it will be genuine, constructive criticism and sometimes it is people just being plain old nasty.

But I do think that the bigger you grow in business, the more essential it is that you are able to handle criticism. In fact, I have been lucky enough to visit Richard Branson on his Necker Island and I remember asking him this question about how to handle criticism. He said, you know, sometimes it’s hard, particularly if the press had written something nasty about him, but his words were this, “You just got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.” I think that that’s one of the things that has really helped him to keep moving it forward in business because just like anyone who is doing big and bold things in business, he has received criticism over the years.

So today I want to offer you some new perspectives on how to handle criticism. The truth is you cannot avoid criticism, it is part of stepping up and stepping out in business and life. So I just want to offer you some perspectives that might help you.

These days, I have a completely different perspective on criticism from when I started out being so sensitive. These days my attitude is this, if I am not attracting criticism, then I am probably not trying hard enough. So now I welcome criticism and I notice every time, particularly when I’m stepping up to a whole new level, that’s the moment often when I am on the receiving end of a highly critical attack. One of the things I have learned to do, instead of defending myself against that criticism, I have actually learned to welcome it and appreciate it because that is a really great sign that I am moving onwards and upwards. The other thing that honestly, I’m still learning to do is to welcome that criticism with love because one of the things I have noticed is that often when someone is attacking me in a highly critical way, it’s actually, in their own way, a call for help.

Now the final thing I want to say to you about criticism, and I feel really strongly about this because I do think that criticism is one of the things that does stop people from stepping out and moving forward, is to start to be really aware of where you are criticizing others. There is a saying: when you point one finger out at another person, you are actually pointing three back at yourself. If you have had a lot of judgments on leaders or people who achieve the results that you’d like to, then those judgments will keep you stuck because at a subconscious level, you don’t want to become like them. Let go of your judgment on leaders, even if they are not doing exactly how you would do it, you can at least appreciate them leading the way and showing you an alternative way.

So there you go. I’m on my soapbox. I feel very passionately about this subject. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How do you feel about criticism? Are there things you have not allowed yourself to do or have avoided doing because of fear of criticism? Maybe this episode has inspired you and maybe there is something where you are aware that you have been holding back, but now I’ve given you the courage to step up and get out there and make it happen. Whatever your thoughts are on this topic, I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment under the video or come on over to my blog, bernadettedoyle.com. While you’re there, why don’t you sign up for email updates so we can continue the conversation? This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I have to share with you. That’s all for us now on Bernadette TV and I look forward to seeing you on the very next episode.[/spoiler]

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