Criticism and Personal Growth

It’s sometimes the case that people who come across as arrogant are actually pretty insecure inside. They have built this edifice, this armour of protection, to hide how they see themselves as inadequate. They cannot bear criticism, it smashes down the wall of pretence and leaves them raw. They believe that they have been spotted for the inadequate, waste of space they think they are. What they don’t realise is that we are none of us perfect and we don’t have to be, or to pretend that we are. Criticism can be taken as a personal attack on our whole being, a judgement that we are not good enough and never will be, or it can be taken as a useful reflection. We can consider it with some courage and honesty with ourselves and decide whether it is accurate, whether it resonates in us. There is a world of difference between constructive criticism of our actions or attitudes that may be harmful to ourselves or others and the destructive type of criticism that is a subtle form of abuse, that wears down our sense of self and our confidence. It is important to distinguish between the two before we decide what action to take. We are not helpless and unable to change. One of the most significant characteristics that has made humanity such a successful species is our ability to adapt and change. One could almost say it defines us. Being able to make changes and grow is a natural and positive skill. It does not have to threaten our identity, in fact it can enhance it. We can grow into ourselves and be happier than ever.

© Janey Colbourne 2015

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