Don’t Get Bitter, Just Get Better. The Constructive Criticism Saga

Don’t Get Bitter, Just Get Better. The Constructive Criticism Saga

 

OH. YES. I. DID

 Hearing constructive criticism feels awful.

It doesn’t matter if you ask for it, if it’s well deserved, or if it’s of the smallest detail. It never feels good to hear your hard work criticized, because you did in fact work hard. I read a quote by Norman Vincent Peale recently that really resonated with me, “The trouble with most of us is we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Hm…you’re telling me that it is so unbearable to hear that you made a mistake or that there is room for improvement that you would rather fail…

You’re damn right Louis CK!

If you are NEVER criticized, how in the hell do you expect to get any better?

As weird as it sounds, listening to the “bad” things people tell you can actually turn into something incredibly good! Do you think no one ever criticized Beyonce? I’m sure now they are more hesitant, but Beyonce sure as hell didn’t become Beyonce without a little constructive criticism…

So, not only did she get criticized, but on national television no less? AND it looks like she also lost a “who wore it better” contest. Damn, Beyonce. But, because of listening to that constructive criticism from those “Star Search” judges..DAYYYYYYYYUM BEYONCE! SLAY!

Speaking of constructive criticism, I actually received some immediately following my first blog…from my DAD!

Which brings me to my next point, in my opinion it’s more difficult to hear these things from your closest family and friends. But they want to tell you first to help save you from any heartache. They are saying this with love, try to listen knowing that. Wouldn’t you rather be a little butt hurt with the truth, than comforted with a lie?

But, there are always those that take it just a little too far.

Sometimes people approach this constructive criticism the wrong way, and it becomes destructive. These are the people that may have ruined how we take criticism in the first place. Telling me I suck isn’t constructive, it’s just criticism. It’s important to know the difference between someone that is just being mean and someone who is actually trying to help you and that we don’t confuse the two.

Embrace the help of those who have your best interest at heart and kill with kindness those who are trying to dim your light…

So now that we know the difference between those who want to help us and those who want to hurt us, let’s move on to asking for this very helpful constructive criticism shall we? If you are really interested in being successful, you won’t be shy about asking for help to get there. Unless you think you’re perfect, which you’re not…but hey if you think you are, good luck with that…

I watched a Ted Talk recently by Kathryn Shulz where she said something that really hit me, ” Trusting too much in the feeling of being on the correct side of anything can be very dangerous.” It can be dangerous for that person as well as everyone around them. It’s important to be confident, but be realistic also.

An example of asking for help to get better, is me asking my husband to proofread my blogs before I post them…

I remember when he first pointed out the flaws in my writing, it was slightly devastating. I certainly knew there were mistakes, but I immediately felt upset because I thought my mistakes took away from the message I had worked to hard to relay. But I quickly understood that he only wanted to help make it the best it could possibly be, and I thank god for his proofreading..trust me! But that doesn’t mean there will never be a mistake in my blog posts…

Great, we discussed the importance of asking for help! This may be something you want to work on, or you may be someone who has no fear of asking for help or advice. If you are one of those people, also ask yourself this…

Don’t be an Askhole.

This does not mean that you always to have to take someones advice, but you should try it every once in a while. Those who give you advice are looking out from an outsiders perspective, it could help. If you get stuck thinking your way is always the best, you will drown. Remember the definition of insanity? I mentioned it before…

Try a different way and get a different result!

Maybe this new way is risky and something you wouldn’t normally do. But without risk there is no reward right? In my experience, it can be disastrous to go through life worrying you will make a mistake. Mistakes are how we grow and become better, let go of that fear and welcome the mistakes as well as people helping you find them!

Yes.You.Can!

Take my advice, listen to the constructive criticism people give you. Figure out if it is helpful or hurtful and use it wisely. Do you think when Eminem got booed off stage he went home and cried in his moms spaghetti? NOPE! Do you think when Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination he threw in the towel? NOPE! Do you think when Drexel University denied me the first time for acceptance into their school I gave up on getting my degree? NOPE! I called and got advice on how to improve to get in, worked it out, tried again…and boom…I got accepted. I’m not nearly on the level as the other two examples, but you get the point 🙂

Do it for yourself. Do it for those who are watching you, lead by example. Show them how you don’t get bitter, but get better!

 

I will leave you with these powerful words written by a brilliant man….

“Don’t stop, get it, get it!”

-Ice Cube.

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur

As children, most of us couldn’t wait to grow up. All we wanted to do was be tall enough to ride the ride or old enough to drive a car. Or, if you were me, you were counting down the days until your 21st birthday…

But, it seemed that with each milestone reached, the more serious life became and we slowly enjoyed less of what made being a child so wonderful…being carefree.

Carefree or gay…either way…either way is fine…

When we got our license, we worried about what people would think of the car we drove…

When we graduated high school we immediately had to make a career choice. What would people think of the path we chose?

What an incredible rush we were in to get to these points in our lives, and what a shame that some of those milestones lost their luster due to our worry about what others thought of us. But don’t worry! I have some good news! There are still plenty of milestones to reach, and plenty more chances not to give a rat’s ass what people think!

Ask yourself this…what revs your engine? What makes you feel on top of the world? What is something you have always enjoyed no matter what? Don’t lose that! It could be as simple as playing the harmonica, being part of a team, or dancing….

When life sucks, it’s because we lost what revs our engine, tickles our pickle, or lights our fire. We get too busy and we care too much. So do yourself a favor, make the time to do the weird thing that makes you happy, and care less about the reaction from others to your weird.

Take the time, even when it feels like you can’t spare a moment. You will be glad you did. More often than not, I have to put out the effort to make the time, and 100% of the time I’m glad I did.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re bored, you tend to do something boring like watch TV? It’s easy to plop on the couch and click passed 100 commercials to finally land on a winner like “Real Housewives of Who Gives a Shit.” Instead of wasting time this way, put out that effort to do something you love! Were you a football player in high school and miss the game? Throw a god damn football!

Miss the old days when you used to sing baritone for the Tone Rangers? Well get your ass off the couch and tank tank tank with the best of them!

It’s ultimately up to you to get your groove back Stella! And I just know you can do it 🙂

Another reason for this…as if you needed another…is to be an example to others, especially your kids. Personally, I try to do more rather than talk more. For the longest time, I felt like I was drilling into my daughter what she was capable of. To take the bull by the horns and to stop her self doubt. But, then I thought to myself, am I relaying this message to her through my actions? Or am I just telling her all of these things and expecting her to believe them. 

Since that “aha” moment, I try my hardest to walk the walk with my freak flag flying high. She may be embarrassed of me when she’s older. But, my hope is that she sees my weird as confident, and that she takes notice of me enjoying life.

I bet you thought “Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur” was just a silly quote from Step Brothers I used…

Well, think again…

(That is me as a Dinosaur with my two awesome kids!)

And don’t just apply this to what you have already done. Think big! What have you always wanted to do but never had the guts to try? What have you talked yourself out of doing for fear of others reaction? I already know you’re getting excited just thinking about it…

Don’t let fear stop you. Just do it. It doesn’t have to be monumental, start small. And remember when I said earlier that I wanted to show my daughter through action instead of words? Well, I’m going to do that here also! I have a list of goals I want to accomplish. Some are big and some are small, but I am going to put it all out there for you. When I said we were on this journey together I meant it…

Throughout the month I am going to display for you an example of walking the walk instead of just talking the talk…or blogging the blog…So be on the look out for my first video of the journey to my goal! Here’s a hint… I mentioned this right above Elaine’s awesome dance moves!

And remember my friends, when it feels like you’re always stuck in second gear..when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year. Always know, I’ll be there for you…

Keep checking in for encouragement for your journey, to be a spectator for mine, or to meet me in the middle to start your own happy.