Three things we shouldn’t let stop us

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There are so many obstacles we let determine our path. But many of them are much more obstacles of our own perception than obstacles of reality. There are some that we shouldn’t always view so pessimistically, because rather than stopping us, they can actually push and encourage us forward:

  1. Scars – When our trust is broken, when our confidence is shattered, when our love is fractured, scars settle on our skin to remind us of our heartbreak, sadness and anxiety. But we shouldn’t let the past pollute what is to come. And we shouldn’t let the past force us into hiding. Look at your scars as a guide and keep going.
  2. Failure – It’s pretty much human nature to be afraid of making mistakes. We have a warped sense that they mean we’re not good enough. And when we’re not good at something, we tend to steer clear of it, because we don’t want to look bad. But our failures are the pieces to our success puzzle. Look at your failure as a test and persevere.
  3. Criticism – Although there are people who intentionally try to bring us down, there are also people who try to help us grow and better ourselves and our actions. We shouldn’t be too sensitive to constructive criticism, because it’s such a useful tool to gain insight and perspective we cannot give ourselves. Look at another’s criticism as a blessing and carry on.

(Image: cristinabarkerjones.wordpress.com)

 

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Thought of the Day: Hateful Criticism

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There are two types of criticism: the constructive and the hateful. Both have very different motives: the former aims to push us higher and the latter to pull us down. And I distinctly say ‘push’ and ‘pull’ because those who criticise to pull us down are generally people who are stuck at the bottom themselves; they are provoked by jealousy, ignorance, and inadequacy in their own life, which they need to project onto those who are trying and succeeding. Do not let them triumph by allowing them to pull you down with hateful comments. They do not understand your passion and drive, your happiness and purpose. Do not let them steal those away from you, because you do not deserve it and they do not deserve the satisfaction. Let that type of criticism either fuel your journey to success even further or fly over your head. No matter what people say, keep going.

Before you criticise someone…

Everyone has been criticised and everyone has criticised someone else, whether in front of them or behind their back. Sometimes it is necessary and other times it is disguised in the form of a joke. And of course there’s those critical remarks that fall in between. Sometimes people deserve to be criticised if they’ve somehow wronged you in the past. But there is a difference between constructive criticism and being mean; sometimes there might be disagreement over which of these is true in a particular circumstance, the criticiser thinking one and the criticised thinking another. It all comes down to communication and the thought processes that occur in the instance of criticising someone, whether it is in the spur of the moment or has been in the works for a while. Constructive criticism or criticism with bad intentions has consequences, and not all of them good. Here are some questions worth asking before criticising someone in any form:

What is my motive?

Am I criticising this person for their benefit: to improve themselves, their interaction with other people, or their perceptions of the world? Am I telling this joke because deep down I actually mean what I’m saying and want to hurt this person? Am I telling this joke to make myself look better even though it is at the expense of someone else?

Is what I am saying worth it?

After contemplating the first question, ask yourself: is it really necessary? Is it constructive? Will anything good come of saying this? Is there a possibility that this could backfire? For example, everyone likes someone who is good-humoured and someone who can laugh at themselves, but nobody likes a bully.

How will the other person take this?

What kind of person is this? Are they strong, or sensitive, or good-humoured?  Remember that your opinion on this person may only be based on assumptions; it is not always easy to know how a person will react.

How am I going to say this?

Do I need to be careful and particular? Should this be done alone, spontaneous or planned? Think about your answer to the previous question and re-evaluate accordingly.

If the person takes it the wrong way, am I and how will I fix it?

Sometimes people take jokes the wrong way. It is hard to tell how someone might react; on the one hand, you need to take responsibility for your actions and your words, but also think about the aforementioned questions to make sure that anything you do is with the best intentions and not something that can use against you. If you don’t care how the other person feels afterwards or whether they take the criticism on board, then maybe you should not criticise them at all.