Criticism is an extremely valuable element to success. It is important to value the opinions of others and change your actions based on good feedback. It is this feedback that helps us to achieve success.
The first rule of accepting criticism is to understand the motivation behind the criticism. Understanding this motivation helps you decide how valid the criticism is, and whether to accept it or not. Here are some of the more common reasons why people criticize.
Out of jealousy: When others are jealous of your work, they will criticize with the intent of damaging your self-esteem. It is usually easy to spot this motivation because the critic will usually have something to gain by your failure.
Out of anger or frustration: Often when someone gets frustrated they misdirect their frustration and start playing the blame game. This blame is dished out in the form of undue criticism. This kind of criticism can easily be identified by the tone and the words used to criticize.
Concerned for one’s own interest: People have different tastes and preferences. Some critics will criticize based on their own personal preferences. Take for example someone who hires an artist to paint a portrait. The one who is being painted is justified in criticizing the work based on his own personal preferences, since the work was specifically done for him.
Concerned for your best interest: Criticism made by parents, loved ones, or good friends is usually done with your best interest in mind. This is important to realize because it is this group of “critics” that are usually the most resented for their criticism.