Your Biggest Growth Opportunity

Your Biggest Growth Opportunity is in how you handle Criticism.The best growth in life comes from the toughest times.

The difference between you and the “unsuccessful people” is your ability to capitalize on those tough times. Too many people go through tough times without learning anything.

 It’s sad. Don’t do that!

 My mentor John Maxwell says, “When you fall down, pick something up while you’re down there.” What he means is, when you fail and are at the bottom of it all, you should look around for the silver lining. Sometimes you may have to shovel through crap to find it, but it’s there.

 Tough times are sometimes thrust upon you in the form of criticism.

 Criticism is like kryptonite, it can take a superman down. You may have been flying through the clouds until, unexpectedly, someone throws a fiery ball of criticism and knocks you down to ground zero. Hey, if I had a penny (I am a Pennypacker) for every time this has happened to me ….. well I would be on vacation right now.

 I challenge you to a new perspective today.

 Life experience attempted to convince me there is only one definition of criticism:

“Criticism = Threat.”  So back away and fight it at all cost.

 That definition is a lie!

 Those who truly become successful as an individual use the new definition:

 “Criticism = Opportunity” 

 Take a moment and let that sink in.

When being criticized if you were to ask “Whats the opportunity here?” how would the outcome change?

 My first business mentor Chuck Fiske (aka, The Old Man) opened up our relationship by criticizing my lack of business acumen. Initially, I told him “Take a hike old man and stay out of my business.” When he persisted, I ended up giving in. Eventually I began to ask “Whats the opportunity here?” The answer was a friendship going on 11 years and counting. Without his lessons, I would never have made it in business.

 Keep reading, the “How To” part is coming up.

I don’t expect you to love being criticized but you can learn to love the results reflecting on criticism brings forth.

Those who love the results, no matter how tough it was to hear, will prosper. Those who can’t handle it perish by their own ignorance.

Who will you be?

Will you be the person who learns new skills, techniques, and gains knowledge but does not grow personally into a more mature person. Yes, it’s possible and happens often.

 “Learning new skills does not equal personal growth”

 Or will you accept criticism, reflect on its truth, and grow personally?

 No one really likes to stand and listen to criticism. If you do, you might be crazy but we all need to fall in love with reflecting on it, filtering out the lie, and accepting the truth.

 Criticism always has two parts:

  1. Someones perception of you and
  2. The truth about you.

 It is up to you to separate them out.

 What I have gleaned from criticism is that we NEED IT to conquer our weaknesses while stretching our strengths.

 What keeps you from the benefits of criticism?

The difficult part is allowing criticism to pierce through our arsenal of deflection. Somewhere in life we are trained to put our guard up, build a wall, or throw punches at those who criticize us. When that happens, the odds allowing criticisms golden nugget to stretch and challenge you decrease.

How you get over this is to know what your defense tactics are and change them, or at the very least, acknowledge them. Both will allow you to be stretched.

I think we both know that criticism is more prevalent in your life than pure encouragement, sad but most likely true.

Here are tactics in the arsenal of deflection. (I have used many of them)

Go on the defensive.

Give Excuses.

Agree with everything but listen to nothing.

Crying.

Avoidance.

Anger.

Get loud.

Walk away.

I don’t want to talk about it.

What is your arsenal of deflection?

How can you react better to criticism?

Since you can’t change what people say to you, change how you receive them.

I was thinking about this a bunch (as you can tell). I asked myself “whats the proper reaction?” So I started to day dream of how I would want someone to react if I was to sit them down and have a critique session. How would I want the other person to react?

In my dream I was talking to Mr. Potato Head about his shortcomings and assaulted him with well intended Criticism, I wondered how I would want him to react.

In dreamland I would want him to smile and say THANK YOU for caring enough to say something to me. Then I would want him to leave happily. I would want him to think about it, analyze it, and throw out the parts that were not true, accept the parts of the criticism that were, then make the necessary changes immediately.

Honestly, if you are the one doing the criticizing, isn’t that how you want them to react? You may even dream they would ask you for tips, tricks, advice, and strategy to make the change. Yeah, wouldn’t that be awesome! Yes in your dream world that would be awesome, however in the real world it’s not like that.

Whats the solution? Since you can’t control the other person, all you can do is BE the person you just Dreamed of. When someone comes to you and wants to criticize… listen, then smile and say thank you for caring enough about me to say something and help me grow. Then go make the necessary changes and earn their respect. Even more than that, you become a respectable person.

If you can begin to love the results of criticism you will prosper and live a happy life.

Remember “Criticism = Opportunity”

To your success,

Coach Jeff