What does criticism do to you?
“People who are right a lot listen a lot, and they change their mind a lot,” Jeff Bezos once said in an interview. “They wake up and re-analyze things and change their mind. If you don’t change your mind frequently, you’re going to be wrong a lot.”
To grow and learn, we must listen a lot. It doesn’t mean that we must change our views to match others or adjust our values to fit in. But without input we don’t grow, we don’t learn and eventually, we fail. So, why is it hard to hear criticism? Well, no one likes to be wrong or perceived as such! It can be embarrassing, frustrating, and sometimes feel devastating. But each and every time, we come away with something ranging from learning something new to confirming you weren’t wrong to begin with. But if you shut down every time someone gives negative feedback, then a lesson will go unlearned.
Be open, that is my message to you. This applies to all aspects of your life. We all are faced with making decisions daily from parenting (grandparenting for me!), at our jobs, in school and in all of our relationships. When someone offers their advice, take a mental note and later sort through it. You don’t know everything and you never will. But that is the beautiful thing about having people around you that are interested enough to take the time to contribute. And of course, you should contribute as well. We all are students and teachers of life.