Week 7: Dealing with criticism

One thing which gets to me is criticism. It doesn’t even have to be a critical remark, it could just be something which I perceive as a criticism.

Last week I encountered a lot of this – seems to just clump together – which is great from the point of view of my blog but not so great for me!

The reason I decided to start this weekly challenge was to work on my self-confidence. I started off initiating things to do each week and over the past few weeks I have written about things which I have encountered in that week and how I have dealt with them. There is no right or wrong way of writing a blog and half the fun is discovering how everyday situations can have a bearing on my overall confidence levels.

Back to the criticism thing then. This week I received a couple of remarks from people who don’t know me very well about quite insignificant things but I took them to heart and it knocked me down a bit. Thinking back on them now, I can see that actually they weren’t criticisms at all. People were just trying to be helpful, however I took it very personally.

In her blog, Tiny Buddha, Lori Deschene wrote, “If someone criticises you, take it is an opportunity to improve. If someone does better than you, see it as an opportunity to learn from them. If you fall short at something, realise you can get closer next time. Don’t worry if you’re not confident in what you can do now—be confident in your potential.”

I think this is very valid advice and a lot of self-confidence issues simply stem from not believing in yourself. Someone once told me if you act like your confident, then you will become more confident. Time to give that a go and put it to the test next week. Unlike wearing a new top, it isn’t something which you can measure but I recognise things that make me feel insecure and so I will try and address them.

Things like meeting someone in a pub or restaurant and not knowing whether to go in or wait outside, or not saying something at work because you feel your opinion isn’t valid and even feeling self-conscious at the gym because you’re not stick thin like the girl next to you.

These all boil down to self-worth, not having the confidence to do or say something because you feel you’re not important. In actual fact, no one is going to look twice if you sit waiting inside for a friend, or laugh and point at you at work for saying something and you’re certainly not going to get odd looks at the gym for not being a size 0.

On the whole, people are so absorbed in their own world that half the time they don’t notice things about you which you think stand out. That should make it easier then to address low self-esteem. Indeed, it appears it may be more of a psychological issue rather than anything else and that starts with changing the way you see yourself and starting to really believe in yourself.

Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.   — Charles F. Kettering

That’s next week’s challenge.

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