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Listen … Learn

Criticism is a scary thing. When someone corrects you, often you’re thrown back into being five years old and Mom telling you that you did something wrong.

Despite your best efforts to listen to the instruction and learn, your ears get hot and shame tries to flood your system.

And that’s when you need to shut that shit down.

Because if you spend your life reacting emotionally to criticism, you’ll have a hard time improving. If you spend all your energy on how you feel, then there’s not going to be much energy left to learn and improve.

If you can’t listen, you can’t learn.

You need to keep your ears open and let your brain hear the words. Decide if and what you should improve. And, maybe sometimes, you decide the criticism is total BS. That’s okay too. But the point is that you evaluate, instead of merely react.

I’m not saying don’t have emotions. Emotions are the wonderful, messy, delicious part of life. Sort of like cookies. Enjoy them when you should enjoy them. What I’m saying is try to learn how to temper them, adjust them, understand what is happening to you so you can handle the moment instead of the moment handling you.

There’s an old saying: “He who angers you owns you.”

Don’t let anybody own you. Own yourself.

And the next time someone offers a critique and you feel your heart race and your ears get red? Breathe deep. Stop. Listen. And then learn or walk away (even if that’s only mentally). Either way, you’ll be the stronger person for it.

_______________________

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Emerson in his Journals”

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