How To Deal With Criticism

Hey, guys. Cal here from Young & Wildly Successful, just recording a quick video for you guys. Heading out to meet up with an old friend in Cottesloe, the beautiful Indiana tearooms. But whilst I’m in the Uber on the way through, I just want to record a video about how to handle criticism. And this is not necessarily on how to handle haters. There’s another video for that, but how to handle criticism, because everybody today in the world that we live in has an opinion about how things are meant to be.

We live in a global landscape, global competition, and even if it’s just criticism of friendship, or criticism of communication, or criticism of what you’re doing with your own life, everyone has an opinion. And I think it’s really important to understand a couple of key pillars here that will hopefully help you navigate this period, because you know, there’s a lot of people at the moment that want to have opinion about a whole heap of things that they don’t really know that much about, and that’s not going to change, you know? It used to be a case if you go back 10, 15 years ago, if someone had an issue with you, they would tell you about it, or they will pick up the phone and probably gossip about you on the phone.

Now it’s so easy for somebody to post something up online. It’s so easy for somebody to attack your character behind closed doors. It’s so easy for there to be conversations that are, you know, really not coming to the main forefront, and it’s so easy for people to have what’s called keyboard courage. And that really means people having a go at somebody without really owning up to having a go about it. And you know, for me there’s nothing that, you know, lacks more integrity. There’s nothing that shows lack of character, lack of courage, a lack of humility, lack of appreciation and understanding for somebody than to not have a real face to face conversation with somebody about a problem or concern.

The people that have bravery enough to have that conversation, we shouldn’t even use the word bravery. We should just use the work common decency and respect, but unfortunately, it is today that you have to have bravery to have a conversation with somebody face to face. Those people, whilst it can be very challenging and confronting for everybody, that’s so much better, because I know we’ve all had experiences before. I know I’ve had it. I know other people have had it. I know you certainly had it as well, where you post something, and you maybe sent an email or text message, and it got read the wrong way. You weren’t intending to be rude or obnoxious or any of these different things, but it gets read the wrong way.

So let’s not mistake something. When you look at communication, and Henry David Thoreau Sorrow once said, “The biggest myth of communication is the illusion it’s actually taking place.” I’ll repeat that, “The biggest myth in communication is the illusion that it’s actually taking place.” Most people think they’re communicating, and they’re not. But when you look at communication, it’s broken down into the words that you use, the way that you say them, and how you communicate with your physical body. Your physical body is about 55%. The way you say what you have to say for tonality and gesture is about 38%, and the remaining 7%, just 7% is the words you use. So when you send a text message or post something online, even if it’s meant in the right way, it’s not said in the right way because it’s online.

So I guess an overarching message is this: If you’ve got a problem with someone or something in your life, then talk to somebody who can do something about it. And I’ll repeat that because it’s so important and so powerful. If you’ve got a problem with someone or something in your life, talk to someone that can do something about it, and oftentimes, that’s that person. When we have a problem with someone or something and we talk to someone that can’t do something about it, it’s bitching and just gossip.

There’s a difference between just getting something off your chest in private with a loved one or family member that you just want to express something because you know what? It’s not going to be resolved. There’s a difference between that and then posting and gossiping and slandering. Because you know, the whole concept here is, treat people the way that you’d like to be treated. No one likes that shit, so don’t do it. But that’s oftentimes easier said than done, or not actually easier said than done, it’s just oftentimes said more than it’s done.

So that’s the first message. If you have a problem with someone or something, guys, as a rule of thumb, do something about it by talking to somebody that can do something about it. You know, if I’ve got a problem with a member of my team, I’ll speak to them individually. I won’t want to speak to other team members about it, because I want to speak to them about it, because they can do something about it, and we can have a conversation and flesh some things out. But also as well, if someone is going to slam you online, it’s going to happen, guys. If it’s going to happen, you know, Jay Z once said that he knew he was the number one player in the space when people decided to go for him. We’ve copped in these last 12 months. I remember 12 months ago when we first launched our online programs we copped a lot of criticism. In the last couple of months as we’ve been starting to do different events we’ve copped a lot of criticism. I’m okay with that. I understand it’s part of the territory, and everyone’s got an opinion. But how do you deal with it?

Well, there’s a couple of different ways I want you to approach this. The first one is that you want to go with a mindset as much as possible to listen with the intent to understand somebody, not to respond. And what that really means is, I know we’ve had conversations and challenges in the past, particularly when it’s heated, this all goes out the window where we’re already thinking about the response to somebody before we’ve actually listened to them. And most people want two things. Oprah Winfrey said people want two things. They want to go, “Did you hear me, and did what I say matter?” And she’s in Australia at the moment, so this makes a lot of sense. But did you hear me, and did what I say matter?

If we listen with the intent to respond, which is where I’m only listening so I can quickly tell you something, the idea here is that you’re not really listening to actually understand or appreciate that person. If you listen to understand that person you get clarity around it, and you don’t talk but rather you listen, then you can actually understand their point of perspective. That and then build on top of that with this idea that you really want to go with a mindset when you’re accepting and taking on board criticism or you know, even just feedback in general with a commitment to being better and not being right.

Because you can be right, and you can make the other person wrong and you learn nothing from that, or you can be better and you can learn from the experience. And that’s harder to do because the reality is we all have a sense of pride. We have a sense of ego. We have a sense of, you know, it hurts to take on board criticism at times. Even if we really want to grow, it still hurts. So that’s hard to do. But if we commit to being better, not being right, then we’re at least putting ourselves in an opportunity of growth which is really, really powerful and really, really important.


And then I guess the final piece that I want to share with you as well is almost like the flip side of what I’ve just shared, which is that I don’t want you to sit [inaudible 00:06:09] other peoples shit. And what I really mean by that is, I’ve just shared listen with the intent to understand that person, and also being committed to being better, not being right. But I want you to understand that with awareness, with self-awareness and with awareness of other people, you can start to discern from what’s actually their stuff that they need to deal with, and what’s your stuff that you need to deal with. Because as I’ve just shared, everyone wants to point a finger. When things are not going well, people want to point a finger at somebody else, not at themselves. The age old metaphor is, when you point a finger at somebody else you got four fingers pointing back at you. Same thing goes.


So you want to accept your appropriate amount of criticism based on your assessment of your truth, and don’t accept all the criticism unless you deserve all of the criticism. This comes from self-awareness, because there are times where you actually…you haven’t done anything, and there are times where somebody is just so off their, you know, you’ve triggered something in them. That’s their stuff. It’s not your stuff. So let it be their stuff, and you accept your stuff.


And likewise, if you actually, genuinely…and this oftentimes happens in a bit of reflection…if you genuinely have some things to grow and learn, then come in with an attitude which is, I’m here to learn, I’m here to be better. Because you don’t learn when you win, guys. You learn when you fail. You learn when you have to pick yourself back up off the canvas, and in this last two or three weeks, we’ve copped a lot of criticism from a lot of different people from a variety of different reasons. And some of that I take that on board, and some of it I go, “You know what? That’s your stuff.”


And you know, we’re growing and learning as we all are all of the time, and in fact, if you’re not copping criticism, you’re probably not growing fast enough. But it is hard to tolerate that when you go, “You know what, I’m a good person. I’m doing the right things. I’m heading in the right direction. I’m trying to make people’s lives better and people have got an issue with that.” You know, everyone’s going to have issues. If you don’t do something to improve people’s lives, people have an issue. If you do something to improve people’s lives, people will have an issue. So no matter what you do, you’re gonna piss somebody off. Get used to that, that’s part of life.


And on the same token, I come back to my original metaphor. First, try to understand and communicate as much as possible in person face to face, first pillar. Second pillar, go into the communication with an intent to understand, not to respond. Third pillar, when you are going into that communication, go in with a mindset that is, “I’m committed to being better, not necessarily being right,” and that allows you to be able to grow. Fourth pillar is to have self-awareness to be able to filter all of the feedback you get and go, “Actually, yes that’s accurate. Yes, I messed up there. Yes, I’m going to take that on board. No, that’s not accurate. That’s your stuff. It’s got nothing to do with me and I actually…I did my own truth there and I know I’m going to own that as well,” because you’ve got to be able to own your own truth.


Will Smith says it better than anybody else. He says, “You’ve got to be willing to…you can’t be afraid to die for your truth.” He says it’s the only thing that’s ever going to be constant in your life, and I 100% agree with that as well. So hopefully, that helps you guys. We’re heading into a period of time where a lot of people are hurting. Heading into Christmas is meant to be a joyous experience. For a lot of people, it’s not. It’s meant to be an abundant experience. For a lot of people, it’s not. It’s meant to be a process of gratitude where we take stock, and we are grateful. We are thankful for what’s happening in our lives.


Unfortunately, a lot of people are not thankful. They’re not grateful, and they’re not appreciative of the life they have and the people that have helped them along the way. And so a lot of people are hurting right now, and a lot of people want somebody to blame for the reasons why their life isn’t the way they want it to be. That’s just what’s happening at the moment and that’s fine, because people are going through their own journeys. They’re on their own path, and you know, we wish them well. We wish them with love.


And that’s not to say that everyone’s perfect, because they’re not. But you know what? Fighting with people doesn’t solve the problem either. So let’s embrace criticism with love and with appreciation for it, because it’s an opportunity for us to grow, and let’s take on board our appropriate manner of it as well, and then implement it, right? Like you want to be better, and if people are not willing to give you that, then that’s pretty tough, right? But I’m sure you will roll with the punches as you have so far before you’ve watched this video.


So guys, here in December 3rd, rocking it with you guys. Hopefully, you’re having a fantastic December. It’s already just getting started so keep going until the very, very end. And until I see you in another video, live strongly with passion. Make today and every day a phenomenal life changing adventure, and above all else, remember to live life on your terms, guys. Lots of love. Good luck and God bless.

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