In order to avoid criticism say nothing, be nothing, do nothing
When you begin to say ‘yes’ to your hopes and dreams, when you start to take a little time for yourself that others are unaccustomed to, when you begin to daydream and muse silently to yourself you can soon become aware of criticism – real and perceived.
It can feel horribly cutting, it can hurt like mad, and it can be a huge stopper in your ability to move forward and follow your heart’s desire.
We are all so accustomed to the critical voices we’ve heard all our lives that we somehow believe there must be something intrinsically wrong with us for wanting to move out of our ‘norm’ and into something that ‘fits’ and flows with the person we secretly know ourselves to be. Most of us carry around a deep sense of shame and guilt that prevents us from acting from our true authentic center in our dread of ‘getting it wrong’ or being unacceptable to those we know.
How do we do that?
1. By not ‘putting ourselves out there’ – hiding our light under a bushel, playing small.
2. Not speaking our truth – unless it’s deemed appropriate and acceptable.
3. Not trusting and following our inner guidance – denying the little nudges from our internal voice, our gut feelings.
And you know what? It pains me to say it but, even though we may be all too ready to blame others it is often we ourselves who are our own worst critics.
Why do we criticize?
Somehow we view it as a way of making things better – offering a different solution to ‘improve on a situation’ Hmmm … that may be the case some of the time – certain people do actually offer useful, constructive words but you know very often we are criticized because what we are doing, thinking or saying is making someone else feel slightly, or very insecure. If what we are considering is valid there’s a possibility things may change – and if we change, well, that means on some level it’s going to affect them too.
Twenty odd years ago I taught Access Classes in Adult Education where women returned to college after staying home to look after their children or fled their ‘dead end’ jobs with a view to entering University and brighter opportunities. They knew they wanted more, to expand their interests and their minds, to discover pastures new. It was the best job to be with bright, talented, enthusiastic individuals who were thrilled to be in an environment that encouraged their development and creativity.
Well, that’s how it was for the majority to begin with anyway…. But, as the weeks progressed spirits began to be dimmed and on some occasions virtually crushed by the pressures of significant others feeling left out, or scared because their ‘other half’ wasn’t the same person any more. The scornful words and obstacles that were created to prevent any form of progress was heart breaking. Mainly what it did though was to make these women ‘man up’. The difficulties heightened their desires and made them more determined to prove their worth and yet for others it was all too much and their dreams crumpled before their eyes.
Had I known then what I do now I’d have been pointing them in the direction of the best EFT Practitioner I could find to work on their limiting beliefs and the self sabotage that results from those hidden messages and critical voices but alas that didn’t happen.
Whether it’s self inflicted criticism or the words of another there are things you can do:
Criticism from another:
1. Don’t take it personally – what they are saying is coming from their perception of the world (It’s not about you – it’s only their opinion)
2. Objectify the comments. Hear what they are saying – not how they are saying it.
3. Don’t ask for opinions if you can’t take what comes back.
4. Ignore it. Yes, to begin with that’s easier said than done but remember – it’s not yours.
5. Show kindness. Who knows what’s going on for them.
1. Come on girl, this is a toxic habit – it’s time to take a fresh look at who you are and what you are truly capable of.
2. Make yourself a great big list of ‘Things I do well’ Start with 50. Oh I know that sounds like a lot but once you start to include every last little thing you ever did that was good from your first swimming certificate to introducing yourself at a networking meeting last week you’ll soon surpass that number and get to 75 and 100. Go for it. Just take a look at what a multi talented woman you happen to be.
3. Gracefully accept a compliment. Remember it’s a gift from the giver. Would you throw a tangible pressie back as if it didn’t matter? Of course you wouldn’t … Take it and wallow in the warm feelings of appreciation.
4. Stop putting yourself down – how can you expect positivity from others if don’t recognize your worth? Self criticism is awful.
5. Cut out the gossip and the moaning. Try it for a month and see how much better different your thoughts are. You know the saying “What goes around comes around?” If you only put out good thoughts and energy imagine how much better you’re going to feel.
6. Listen to inspirational recordings. If you can’t find space in your busy schedule any other time play them whilst you’re driving.
7. Look for the beauty in everything – it’s there but sometimes it’s about shifting your point of view.
Value and love yourself enough to choose what defines you.
They are entitled to their opinions and you have your own positive thoughts to hold on to.
How do you keep your dreams alive?