I do not for a secound believe that there is a single successful person in this world who has not taken their share of criticism. People criticise for various reasons; maybe it is out of jealousy or disagreement, or maybe it is to make the person being criticised reflect upon their work and push them forward in their personal or professional development. Either way, criticism should never be two things: taken personally, or taken lightely.
If you ask someone to give you feedback on something you have been working on, how much does it give you to only hear good things about it? Sure, it might make you happy and feel like you are succeeding. But nothing is ever perfect; your work can always be improved.
As the perfectionist I am I have always taken criticism badly. I do not show my work to anyone until I am satisfied with it and if someone points out the flaws, my intuitive response has always been that they are wrong. That I, who have worked on whatever I have worked on for hours and hours, know better than someone who has looked at it for a couple of minutes.
I recently got a new English teacher. One of the first assignments I got was to write a literary analysis on a critically acclaimed book. I read the book, I wrote the analysis, I asked for feedback. Never in my life have any teacher commented that much on a text that I have written. I raised my eyebrows and could not believe that the text that I considered to be one of the best things I had ever produced was so bad that he could comment that much on it. After reading through his comments I did what I have always done. I rejected them. I was offended. I thought that I knew better.
Did I know better? No, of course not. I simply could not see that the criticism he gave me was to push me to make an even better analysis. That he was doing his job. That he was teaching me English. And to be honest, he has taught me more during two months than my last teacher did during all of last year. My last teacher was wonderful, but she did not push me. She did not criticise me.
Even if my current teacher had been wrong about every single thing he pointed out in my text, it would still have had importance. By reading his suggestions and considering them, I would have had to value what I had originally written and question why I had written what I had in the certain way that I had which would have brought me awareness of my work. Then, if someone else questioned it in the same way he did, I could motivate why I had chosen to do what I had done.
In conclusion, we should not be afraid of neither standing up for our work nor changing it if we realise improvements can be made. No matter if the criticiser is our teacher, our neighbor or a complete stranger, his or her words are valuable for us and our growth. Then, we must also learn to seperate criticism from hate, or rather how to turn hate into criticism, and not let words tear us down rather than lift us up.
Keep your head high and stay original, gorgeous. xoxo