Criticism will happen.
I don’t know that we get much of a choice about that. But we do have a choice about how we respond to it.
And one of the more helpful things I’ve found for handling criticism happens long before the criticism comes.
When I am feeling solid and clear, I ask myself two questions:
Who am I going to choose to be when I’ve been criticized?
This isn’t a one and done choice for me. It’s a choice I have to make again and again, and it helps to have some reinforcement along the way. So, the other question I ask myself is:
What healthy support will I give myself to help make this choice?
I might choose to be grateful and my support will be to reach out to mentors for perspective, meditate twice a day, and listen to my (quite excellent) early 1990’s One Hit Wonders playlist when I’m feeling low.
I might choose to be teflon and my support will be to work out first thing in the morning, get plenty of sleep at night, and spend time with people who remind me of how I want to spend my time in between.
Or I might choose something entirely different.
But the important thing is that I make these choices before criticism comes. Then when it does come, I’ve got something of a roadmap. A roadmap to help get me feeling solid and clear again.
And from there, I can piece through that criticism and see if there’s anything I can learn from it. If so, learn it, then move on. If not, then just move on.
Don’t get me wrong, criticism still stings. But if I can’t choose to avoid that, I can choose who I want to be in the face of it.