Receiving criticism from others may cause discomfort. Causing us to judge ourselves and feel defensive and hurt. Perhaps even disappointed and embarrassed, which when not dealt with can be self-deprecating.

Start by remembering that criticism is often constructive and meant to help, not hurt. This reframe allows us to improve from it, rather than see it as a failure. By listening to constructive criticism openly, we can become receptive to growth opportunities rather than feelings of inadequacies.

When trying to accept criticism from a boss, family member or friend it helps to start with deep breaths and by reminding ourselves not to take it personally. It is not an easy feat, but by becoming fully present in those situations or conversations, we can become less reactive. Doing so benefits us and creates a less emotional response, thus allowing us to learn about ourselves.

The next time you are being offered criticism, determine if it’s constructive. Then, if needed, ask for some time to digest it. It’s absolutely acceptable to do so. Creating distance allows us to acknowledge our feelings with compassion. It helps us approach things from a calmer and clearer state of mind, judging ourselves less and taking only what serves us as feedback.

When there is truth in the criticism, don’t take it personally. Instead, embrace it as a gift in helping you grow personally and professionally. Thanking who it came from is a healthy practice in gratitude and acceptance.

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