“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Chris Gardner played by Will Smith in ‘Pursuit of Happyness.’
Some of the most inspiring lines I have come across in my life.
Never stop chasing your dreams. Unless you dream, you will not have a goal to accomplish. Unless you have a goal, you cannot become a leader whom the world follows. So, dare to dream, dare to think big, dare to be yourself! Let people laugh at you or put you down, it’s their obligation to play the role of a ‘Critic.’ Let them denounce your ideas, your thinking, and your mentality because that is how leaders are born!
Time and again, history has proved, every new idea, every ‘not-so-common’ thought, had to face criticism until it became the reason for revolution. So how can you expect to get a ‘Green-Signal’ in one go? So understand that criticism is a part of your life which you cannot delete or erase. You have to evaluate if that criticism is fair or unfair. If what is said is fair, you need to IMPROVE and if not, well this article is for you!
Let me first give you some instances of unfair criticism.
You burnt the midnight oil working hard on your presentation that got criticized for how it did not have unnecessary detail by your colleagues. Instead of praise, you have to listen to the negative feedback. You know that was not right.
Or let’s discuss another scenario.
You work hard for a year; go the extra mile to meet your professional goals. You try to be as creative and productive as you can be. Now comes the time for your one-on-one annual review. Contrary to your expectations, your boss ONLY expresses disappointment in you and adds negative feedback. Your review meeting turns into a ‘rude-negative-feedback’ session.
In both cases, you face unfair criticism. You are dumbfounded and feel numb.
So, what do you do now?
Quit like a loser?
You deal with unfair criticism with calmness and patience.
Don’t be scared!
Don’t be scared of judgments and comments.
There are two reasons for this. First, because no one is born perfect or ideal, so are you and you are in your learning phase. Second, you cannot change selfish pessimist people and their mentality.
So, just take a deep breath and deal with it.
How can you deal with unfair criticism?
1. Calmness is Mastery!
It doesn’t matter if the condemnation was from your colleague, or boss, or a friend or relative or even family, do not let your anger overpower your ability to think and act. Do not express your disagreement in the heat of the moment. It will do nothing good to you but give your critics the high ground. So when the critics are dropping the hammer on you, take a deep breath, be calm and react with courtesy.
2. Never Question Your Abilities
While you receive unfair criticism, do not start questioning and underestimating yourself and your abilities. Negative comments about your work or yourself can shatter you for some time but do not let it break your confidence.
Remember what Zig Ziglar said, “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”
Always keep the doors for self-improvement open and never let your confidence fall because of a few negative comments. It may happen that the person delivering negative feedback might be unhappy or stressed. Stay confident, take all that you feel can add to your self-improvement and ignore the rest. And yeah, do not forget to say “Get Well Soon” to the critic. Oh no, don’t shout, just loud enough to be heard in your mind. 😀
3. Listen, Understand and Acknowledge
The most common issue that arises while experiencing this friendly fire is we start defending ourselves in order to prove the critic wrong. Instead, listen to what is being said, understand it and acknowledge the parts which you feel hold even a little bit of the truth. There may be things that can benefit you in the long run.
If you feel that elements of the criticism are not at all true, don’t be scared. State your differences in a professional and respectful manner without getting into an argument.
4. Look for the Behaviour
The most important of all the tips you will come across. Analyze the behaviour of the person delivering the unfair criticism. Is the person a hypocrite, and an egoist? Does the person like to dramatize situations, criticize others, and show unpredictable behavioural patterns all the time?
If the answer to these questions, my friend, is a yes, then you have your evidence. Congratulations!! You can happily disregard their feedback without even feeling any guilt.
On the other hand, the person is a stable, disciplined, supportive and trustworthy professional, then add the feedback to your list of improvements.
5. Seek Higher Authority’s Help if Required
Once in a blue moon kind of criticism is acceptable but if the situation continues, be witty to understand that it is becoming mental harassment. Ongoing belittling or continuously damaging criticism is nothing but harassment. Do not hesitate to involve higher authorities to resolve the issue. Take a stand for yourself, because no one else will.
The Moral of the Story
Just think big but remember to take small steps daily towards reaching and realizing ‘the BIG.’ Criticism, fair or unfair, will follow. You have to decide which ones to pick and which ones to leave behind.
“Arise, Awake, and Stop Not till the GOAL is Reached.”
Work hard, strike harder, be the best version of you. Let your work speak for your talent and your experience.
Born in Chittaurgarh Rajasthan, Minal Jain is an artist and creative writer. Currently working as a content writer, she takes out time to follow her passion for promoting the Indian culture, tradition, and heritage through her artwork and writings. You can follow her work on
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