How many times have you been told that you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re not doing what you are supposed to? The answer will vary for each and every one of us. Some of us feel like we are constantly criticized, some of us feel incredibly confident. The differentiator here, however, is not how many times throughout the day we are criticized, but our reaction to it. I think it’s fair to say that we all get similar amount of criticism in various aspects of our lives; however, some of us can easily shrug it off, knowing that they’ve dove their best, others will think and re-think their actions, stressing themselves out about the minor things. It’s a slippery slope when it comes to this kind of behavior as it discourages you from moving on and concentrating on what makes you truly happy. The key here is to be able to accept the criticism, extract things that will help you grow and ignore all the other negative, destructive parts. I was once told a truly great advice: “You should listen to what other people say but you can always choose whether to actually react to it.” Reacting to criticism (meaning reacting to it emotionally, or accepting it) is what usually causes us to get discouraged or even give up. We are (or we should be) in control of our own emotions, and it is up to us whether we take on that criticism and feel guilty, even though we know we’ve done everything we could at that point, or whether we dismiss it and move forward. “Focus on the positive,” “look on the bright side,” “every cloud has a silver lining” – are all the things we keep hearing mentioned but do not give them any good thought. Well, we should!
I just read this book where the author makes a point of how all of the problems and illnesses we deal with are created by our own thoughts. There is no situation in our lives that cannot be changed by merely changing our behavior and attitude towards certain aspects of our lives. We basically create our own problems, and all we need to do to resolve them is take responsibility for our lives, for our actions, for ourselves. It also talks about the fact that there are no wrong decisions, there are no mistakes, there are no incorrect actions. Every choice we make is the right one is any given situation. Just think about, there is something – some sort of force, some sort of thinking – that pushed you to make a certain decision in a given situation, be it conscious thinking or unconscious action. At the time you made that decision it seemed like the most appropriate one, for one reason or another. Regardless of the outcome, it was the right thing to do at the time. In case the outcome was successful – good, you’ve just experienced something positive; if the outcome was not successful – even better, you’ve just learned your lesson, maybe the hard way, but you will take something away from it, something that will help you build on your personal growth. I think if you go through life with this thinking (and I know – easier said than done!) you will realize that there isn’t good or bad, wrong or right, there is a given situation and its outcome, which at the end of the day benefits you in either case.
Dress: Diane von Furstenberg (best flee-market buy!); Top: NY & Company