Said no one.
Yet, learning to welcome criticism is a fast-track to happiness.
To avoid anxiety, indigestion, depression, frustration, fits of anger, revenge, and sleepless nights, learn to be friends with criticism. Because…
- regardless of how right or good we are, others will always misunderstand, disagree, and (inadvertently or purposely) taunt
- criticism is ubiquitous; an international pastime
- criticism reveals gaps in our knowledge
- accepting criticism takes humility and one can’t get enough of that
Self-acceptance conquers the pain of criticism.
Ever wonder why we love to hear about the rich and famous getting caught doing something wrong?
“An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.” – Zora Neale Hurston
In her book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston hits an uncomfortable bullseye with this observation. We don’t like to admit envy drives our gossip-hunger, yet it often does. If we want to break the “treacherous ear habit” we’ll have to want for “our neighbor” what we want for ourselves, which, by the way, isn’t humiliation. “No,” you might say, “It is justice that drives me.” Maybe so. Yet, according to our own preferences when we screw up, mercy feels much better than judgment.
So, it is probably the safer choice (for our own future misfortunes) not to rejoice in others’ failures.
So very easy to be mean…
- and be totally oblivious to how we were mean
- even when we were merely trying to do the right thing
- or when we were attempting to be efficient or honest
- especially when it seems someone else was mean first or taking advantage of our time and resources
- and we were taken totally off guard
In these cases, it is difficult not to add more trouble to an already troubled world.
To be more aware of unintentional meanness, I must…
- have a willingness to question the stories I tell myself
- walk into someone else’s story first
- set aside my ego (and my looping self-justification)
- remember how it feels to be misunderstood
I have read two books recently that I should have read years ago. The content would have accelerated my growth through difficult circumstances.
But the reason I didn’t read them is pathetic; I was jealous of the authors.
I had convinced myself that one author was too young to be insightful and the other was not profound, just lucky.
Too often I have stymied my own growth by hanging on to a prejudice and refusing to learn from a perceived competitor.
So, I will now be suspicious of these behaviors:
1) Writing someone off before I know them
2) Protecting my own ego by condemning someone else’s
And…I will call it what it is: plain and simple jealousy, driven by insecurity and immaturity.
Original post: July, 2013
I am enough not because you failed and that makes me feel better about my own success
I am enough not because I didn’t get caught doing something that you were caught doing
I am enough not because I have the power to make you feel small
I am enough not because I have more friends, money, education, talent, smart kids, hair, or possessions than you have
I am enough not because I embrace diversity and you don’t
I am enough not because I care about animals and the poor and you don’t
I am enough not because you are a narcissist and I am not
I am enough not because I make you appear to be less
I am enough.
You are enough.
Learning to trust and be trusted has been the most important and courageous journey of my life.
Dare to Lead‘s illuminating road map:
Boundaries (to be clear about our expectations) – setting, communicating, and maintaining boundaries with ourselves and others
Reliability (to be able to relax) – doing what we say we will do
Accountability (how we fix things) – being willing to apologize and take responsibility for mistakes
Vault (to feel safe)– keeping things confidential that need to be confidential
Integrity (character) – doing what is right vs. what is fun, fast, or easy
Non Judgement (kindness) – agreeing to ask for help and say what needs to be said without judgement
Generosity (loving as we love ourselves) – extending the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others
I am just now reading the book, Unbroken about Louie Zamperini’s story of survival.
Inspired to become a stronger person by the story, I know that means keeping a fire burning inside me that is brighter than the ones that have threatened, and will threaten my survival.
I had never thought of challenges this way before. Now that I have, I will let pain remind me to dig deeper within before I panic, give up, or curse God.
Some days, I start out high on life and then quickly hit bottom when someone (often me) does something stupid. Other days, I see-saw my way through disappointments and the unexpected until I am exhausted.
Then, duh, I remember I could have had more control than that…if I had only prepared myself better!
Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning describes a method for satisfaction using his transformative morning routine:
It might sound like a lot of stuff, but after trying it, you’ll probably agree it is easier than the alternative!
“We are the superhero, none of us individually, but all of us together.” – Hank Green
Accepting this truth solves multiple ego problems.
Which happens to be one of the absolutely remarkable themes of Hank (brother of John) Green’s first novel.
If you haven’t read it yet, here is another absolutely remarkable (and very notable) theme…
Uncomfortable but true, the SF tale is packed with timely reminders of…
- our vulnerability
- the penalty our insecurity and arrogance will extract from our relationships
- the destructive power of hatred and fear
- how wrong we can be when we think we are so right
- how much we need each other
Whether you like fiction or not, you may have to admit that the Green brothers are smart, humble dudes who make remarkable insight absolutely entertaining.
These are the gossip-deterrents that give me the “ears of a wise person:”
- Imagining the subject of my words overhearing my comments reminds me to speak for intended as well as unintended audiences. (This one shuts my mouth every time.)
- Someone should be “bigger” than the situation. (And it sure is cool to be my own hero.)
- Save the airspace. (There is enough yuck in the world already.)
(Original post July 2015)