Criticisms can really ruin your day and if you’re very much into self-criticism, you will get the confirmation that you’re doing it all wrong.
Sometimes that feeling can really stay and for me to say that you are not your thoughts is easy to say, but it is really true. Sometimes I can just feel bad and I’m thinking: why am I feeling bad? And then it’s because of that.
So one of the first things you should determine when you receive criticism (we’ll talk about self-criticism later) is to determine who is saying this.
Is it someone you have a personal relationship with, like your friend or your partner, try to figure out what the critique is and be open about how that makes you feel.
I am not a life coach or a relationship coach, but from my experience I can say this:
Most of the time it is not as bad as it looks. And you know what, sometimes it is actually very bad and then it means you should reconsider your friendship or relationship.
I have had a friend who was very vocal about my current way of life and to me that’s something I am never gonna change, so that friendship doesn’t need to be saved. And I’m also friends with people who are for instance politically at the opposite of what I think and we’re best friends forever and we agree to disagree, so it’s possible people! Especially if you’re above 35 and think you can’t make new friends anymore, you can!
If it’s your boss or your employer saying this, you can figure out if they’re right or wrong and if it happens often. Too many times I’m seeing people work with employers who really treat them bad and you know what? We’re currently living in a market in which you don’t need to stay at your job. And sometimes you just don’t have the right skills for a certain job.
For instance, my husband, aside from being a pop artist, also works at a private charitable fund which subsidizes organizations who fill in their applications. He is very systemized and he loves checking all the boxes.
I would probably die at a job like that and he would never want to run a business like I’m doing, it’s okay. Sometimes you’re just crafted in a certain way and just because you did something, doesn’t mean you have to stick to it.
Also if it’s constructive feedback and you can actually work on it, this can be really difficult once you are dealing with self criticism and it’s really hard to carry. If someone is taking the time to give you feedback in a constructive manner, they really mean well.
How to give the right feedback?
- Talk about the behavior of the other
- Saying this from a ‘me’ or ‘I’ perspective
- Say what this behavior means to you
- Tell the other person how that makes you feel
- Say what you desire from the other person
- Say that you want to help figure out a better way
- Give time for the other to respond
- Figure out a solution (both of you)
And one more thing about bosses not doing their best job: if you see they are improving, investing in their skills and willing to learn, you could definitely stay.
And so now what if it’s your client?
My best advice is to create a protocol before this happens. You don’t want your inner critic to take over.
Having a protocol for a complaint coming in through
- email, zoom, telephone, face to face
Will really help you stand your ground.
The same goes for the feedback from the bosses, if they’re right, change your proposition, if they’re always complaining, never happy, fire them as clients.
Yes, you can do that.
And I know this can be scary and I know this is not what you desire, because you need the income, but imagine all the freedom and creativity that comes once you’ve said goodbye to this toxic person?
You deserve a business that has only your favorite clients!
What is it’s someone from your team who messed up?
Also have a protocol for this, inform your team members about this and be clear on the repercussions once something bad happens. It’s never a nice conversation to have, but you are the boss and you have to decide.
What if it’s press?
There was once a publication in a national magazine on business coaches in the Netherlands and they were roasting them all. So many women who were mentioned there decided not to care too much. Because this was clearly an article made for the thrill.
If this happens to you, you shouldn’t either and something I learned from politics: don’t make it bigger, it will go away.
And now let’s talk about your inner critic
I never noticed it before, but I have a very vivid inner critic inside of me, and I’m currently going to a therapist to help me make that inner voice a bit more gentle. The interesting thing avout this is that I never noticed I had an inner critic, my friends told me.
So if you are judging others than you’re probably judging yourself too, maybe you want to do something about this and go to the doctor to see what they can do for you.
It’s not a very nice process, but I’m very happy I did this.
It’s okay to get help.
Thank you so much for reading.
My doors are currently open for new clients, my 3-week intensive is open right now and also in 2 weeks, you can pre-pre-order February’s Mastermind and join Groundbreaking, my new workshop priced at only 11 euro.