All Hail The Critics!
Living into a vision “that all human beings discover their full potential” is cool and all but what happens when we do? When we discover our full potential and start the process of working towards it, we end up in this place called, “success”. While success is something every human being wants, it creates an entirely new set of pressure and challenges. Not everyone handles it well. For most of us, achieving success is everything we’ve ever dreamt of, however for others what comes with it is not only unexpected but unwelcome. This ugly entity has a name and it's called, ‘The Critics’.
There are two types of criticism that will surely confront you as you rise to ever higher levels of accomplishment. They are constructive criticism and personal criticism. Constructive criticism will occur when a colleague, teacher, coach or mentor may give you their opinion based out of experience to assist you in a situation. If you understand that they have your best interest at heart, then you can use it as motivation to get back on track. Most of the time they have a vested interest in your becoming successful. If you don’t understand the valuable role that this insight can provide, then you will never grow as a person and unconsciously thwart your ability to achieve your goals, dreams and desires.
The other criticism that you will have to deal with is personal criticism. Personal criticism can be easily avoided by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing. If you are successful, know that people will be jealous of and criticize you. It's like night and day...you can't have one without the other. However, don’t let that distract you from reaching your goals. When you achieve a lot of success, whether it is personally or collectively, there is always someone coming after you to replace you with themselves. It's the nature of competition and the human need to survive.
While it’s easy to criticize other people, it’s harder to duplicate their efforts. Critics aren’t the leaders or doers in life because the leaders and doers are too busy with their own accomplishments to criticize. Mediocre people (The best of the worst, worst of the best, and cream of the crap) play it safe and avoid criticism at all cost. Champions however, risk criticism every time they get on the court of life and play full out. The more you do, the more you accomplish, the more you’ll risk being criticized.
The next time you’re criticized, picture a loud obnoxious beer drinker watching a football game who has all the answers once the play is over. Most have never even played the game they're criticizing? Once you get the lunacy of it all, and don't give critics power over you, the more you grow in the certainty that you did your very best. The more confidence you have in yourself, the less you’re bothered by the critics. The key to staying on top is your ability to handle the pressure and constant challenges. With success, along with the critics, comes an expectation level and standards that can’t be compromised.
When victory is achieved, though the feeling can be overwhelming; it’s important to keep your common sense and be gracious. If you are part of a team and you must talk, praise your opponents and your teammates; never how great and wonderful you are. Standing for something greater than yourself and being grateful for all the support that's needed to accomplish extraordinary results unleashes the paradox of success...it's not what you gain, it's who you become from it. Live it well and make a difference in the world. You're not only worthy of it, the world needs you to succeed and in doing so providing an example for us all to follow. Let's all hail the critics...and keep on succeeding anyway!