How to Deal with Criticism

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Have you ever been criticized and left feeling horrible?

Why does criticism hurt some people and not others?

How does it serve to be such a disempowering force?  What is criticism anyway?

How can you protect yourself from it without creating conflict?


Most dictionaries offer a couple slightly different definitions of criticism. The first is an expression of disapproval while the second one is an analysis and judgement of merits and faults.

Either way, criticism is the process of passing judgement on another.

Do you know why criticism makes you feel bad? Because it hypnotizes you into believing that you are now suddenly less valuable than you were a moment ago. It increases your overall self-doubt.

To increase your immunity to criticism, it’s important to learn how to de-hypnotize yourself from this curse and learn to overcome your self-doubt. Let me show you how.

When someone criticizes you and it hurts, it’s because they have said something that resonates with a self-doubt already living within you. The criticism steers your Attention toward your self-doubt and the power of your Attention activates it. Powerfully hypnotic* criticism can even create a new self-doubt.

(*hypnotic – the act of redirecting your attention without you being aware that your attention is being re-directed)

Anytime you activate a feeling of “less-than” within you, it causes emotional pain.

What’s important to know here is that criticism hurts because it strengthens self-doubt.

People who have “thick skin” don’t allow the criticism to steer their Attention away from their strengths. Always keep in mind that your life energy flows in the direction of your Attention – you literally give life to what you pay Attention to.

Hypnosis is the process of guiding your Attention without you being aware of it. Once you are aware that a person who is criticizing you is trying to guide your Attention toward self-doubt, you can take back the reigns and steer your Attention back toward self-confidence. In other words, focus on what makes you valuable – the things you do that others appreciate. Don’t ever give anyone else the power of choice over what YOU pay attention to. Choose for yourself. Every moment you spend thinking about criticism is a moment stolen away from you making a difference in other people’s lives.

Here are some practical tips you can use for reducing and even eliminating the negative effects of criticism from your life:



1 – Realize that criticism is not about YOU, it’s about what you DO.

When people criticize you, whether they know it or not, they are not actually commenting on WHO you are but rather on HOW you are being. You can change what you do and improve your results without seeing yourself (WHO you are) as less valuable. In fact, your willingness to change and grow (your abilities) makes you even more valuable.

2 – Don’t criticize others, compliment them. Your life is a garden and it can only grow what you plant into it.  If you want less criticism in your life, you must not allow it to grow within you. If criticism arises, pull it out like a weed – don’t water it with your attention. Choose instead to notice the many ways in which you and others make a positive difference – then COMMENT on that. Bring their attention toward what is good about them. Do the same for yourself. When you and others are tuned-in to how you make a positive difference, you become motivated to do more of it. Do this consistently and make it a habit so that this process happens automatically.

Note: This does not mean looking at the world as though there is no need to improve. It means that when you  see how something/someone could be better, you direct attention towards the action and not the person. Comment on what they are already doing right and then add how they could do one thing even better.

3 – Make a list of the ways you add value to other people’s lives. Why do other people like having you around? What do you do that makes people enjoy your friendship? What makes you a good friend to have? How do you contribute to another’s well-being? Write these down. Also, remember that your positive actions toward others are seeds that, in time, bear the fruit of positive actions toward you. What nice things have others already done for you? What does that say about you?

Read your list at least once every day to build a habit of focusing on what is valuable about you.

4 – Pull out the weeds of self-doubtIf you find yourself the victim of another person’s harsh words and negative judgement, remind yourself of two things:

1.) You can only feel bad when your Attention is on your self-doubtLet the pain of your self-doubt trigger you to focus immediately upon something on your list from step 3 above. Your Attention is like water and sunshine and will help to grow more of whatever you focus it upon. Do not water your weeds, starve them! It will make them easier to pull out. Only pay Attention to those things you want to grow.

2.) The person harshly criticizing you is doing it as a preemptive strike. They want to get you (and others) before someone gets them. They criticize you because they are trying to protect themselves from their own self-doubt by directing other people’s Attention toward what they judge as negative about you. They are weak and are unknowingly cultivating more criticism into their lives. These people live in fear of being judged. What they are saying about you isn’t actually true, it’s only designed to divert attention away from them. 

5 – Don’t Resist. What you resist persists. Anyone harshly criticizing you is looking to get a reaction out of you. That’s the “fun” of criticism. Don’t give them a reaction. It might be difficult to do in the moment, but if step number 3 worked for you, then you’re not allowing their words to make you lose focus upon what’s actually good about you and you can basically breathe deeply, “agree” with them, and walk away.



If you are someone who is easily hurt by other’s opinions, it’s because you’ve given them license to control how you pay Attention to yourself. Take back your power by consciously choosing what to focus on. Pay attention to how you are valuable. You are being valuable when you smile at someone. You are being valuable when you listen to someone. You make a difference to the world just being here. Pay attention to the ways you make a positive difference and stay focused on them. Cultivate the environment you want to live in by being the type of person you want others to be in your life. Don’t criticize others, stay tuned-in to what they do that makes a positive difference and let them know you noticed. If you want others to notice what’s great about you, you must show them how to see it in themselves first.

Bottom Line: Don’t let another person’s criticism take your attention away from what is valuable about you.


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