Mondays with Meg: Food for Thought from Tiny Buddha

Ah, another Monday!

This week, I’ve had a few things on my mind…especially regarding criticism and negative energy from others. While I’ve been called headstrong and relentless in past, I also have some pretty thin skin. I can defend myself well (and sometimes too well), yet I also take things to heart, even when I shouldn’t. Criticism really gets me, especially the unsolicited and negative type (actually, that’s just called plain meanness, in my opinion :P).

One of my favorite websites is Tiny Buddha, which is all about “simple wisdom for complex lives.” I can usually find an article on that site about whatever I’m going through and AHA! A great article on handling criticism came up. So instead of blabbing on, I thought I’d share a few tips from Lori Deschene’s “HOW TO DEAL WITH CRITICISM WELL: 25 REASONS TO EMBRACE IT.” Enjoy :)

1. Looking for seeds of truth in criticism encourages humility. It’s not easy to take an honest look at yourself and your weaknesses, but you can only grow if you’re willing to try.

5. You have the chance to practice forgiveness when you come up against harsh critics. Most of us carry around stress and frustration that we unintentionally misdirect from time to time.

8. Receiving criticism that hits a sensitive spot helps you explore unresolved issues.Maybe you’re sensitive about your intelligence because you’re holding onto something someone said to you years ago—something you need to release.

10. Criticism encourages you to question your instinctive associations and feelings; praise is good, criticism is bad. If we recondition ourselves to see things in less black and white terms, there’s no stop to how far we can go!

11. Criticism presents an opportunity to choose peace over conflict. Oftentimes, when criticized our instinct is to fight, creating unnecessary drama. The people around us generally want to help us, not judge us.

14. Criticism gives you the chance to teach people how to treat you. If someone delivers it poorly, you can take this opportunity to tell them, “I think you make some valid points, but I would receive them better if you didn’t raise your voice.”

15. Certain pieces of criticism teach you not to sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter that your boyfriend thinks you load the dishwasher “wrong.”

18. Fostering the ability to let go of your feelings and thoughts about being critiqued can help you let go in other areas of your life. Letting go of worries, regrets, stresses, fears, and even positive feelings helps you root yourself in the present moment. Mindfulness is always the most efficient use of time.

 19. Criticism reinforces the power of personal space. Taking 10 minutes to process your emotions, perhaps by writing in a journal, will ensure you respond well. And responding the well the first time prevents one critical comment from dominating your day.
21. Learning to receive false criticism—feedback that has no constructive value—without losing your confidence is a must if you want to do big things in life. The more attention your work receives, the more criticism you’ll have to field.
24. When someone else appraises your harshly, you have an opportunity to monitor your internal self-talk. Research indicates up to 80% of our thoughts are negative. Take this opportunity to monitor and change your thought processes so you don’t drain and sabotage yourself!
and my absolute FAVORITE on the list…
25. Receiving feedback well reminds you it’s OK to have flaws—imperfection is part of being human. If you can admit weakness and work on them without getting down on yourself, you’ll experience far more happiness, peace, enjoyment, and success.
Thanks, Tiny Buddha, for helping me reach my inner zen!
Happy Monday!
-Meg
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