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25 Productive Ways To Deal With Criticism

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

However way we look at it, criticism is judgment, and most people don’t do well in managing or accepting either.

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Perhaps only a micro percentage of the population can claim to have control over their bearings while being told what’s wrong with them.

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The criticisms themselves may not sting as much as how it is delivered or who delivers it. Sometimes or ever so often, it’s the person at the receiving end who tends to blow things out of proportion.

However, it is important to recognize that not all criticisms are essentially true or hurtful. A lot of them might actually be helpful when assessed with an open mind, regardless of the manner by which it was made known to you.

One fact of life that many don’t seem to get is that we can’t please everybody. Not everyone will give us a standing ovation or a pat on the shoulder when we most deserve it. There will always be the doubters, the envious, the pessimists, and the natural critics.

We all have these characters in our homes, families, communities, jobs, civic clubs — you name it. While it’s not your life’s purpose to please such people at the expense of your own happiness, learning how to properly acknowledge their innate tendencies will help you respond to them better. Response, and not mere reaction, is the key that unlocks a healthier attitude in the face of crippling criticism.

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Here are 25 simple yet rather useful ways to train ourselves to respond better:

1. Recognize the benefits of criticism.

Criticism can serve as the fertilizer that aids in our personal growth. Aside from teaching us to be humble, it also allows us to tap into different people’s perspectives. It serves as feedback that can help us improve how we conduct ourselves or perform a certain task moving forward.

2. Listen.

Let people talk. It’s important to hear them out first. By listening, you will be able to evaluate what the criticism is really about. Take note of the words used. Maybe the person is just curious and not really criticizing. It’s important to listen before replying — we don’t want to worsen the situation by misunderstanding the intention behind it.

3. Identify if the criticism is constructive or destructive.

There are such things as good and bad criticisms, and it will make our lives so much easier to know how to distinguish between the two. Some criticisms are constructive, meaning they are designed to help you improve something. There’s always a lesson to learn or a realization to keep that makes you want to be a better person.

Destructive criticisms don’t work that way. They tend to tear people down rather than build them up, especially when the person who’s letting you have it is someone you highly respect or greatly love.

While not all constructive criticisms are delivered carefully wrapped and tied with a red bow, focus on what’s inside. See if there’s anything you can learn from it. Again, it’s how you perceive things, what you take away from these situations, and how you respond that are of most importance.

4. Don’t take criticisms personally. This is easier said than done because it is difficult to disassociate a criticism over a particular action, output, or behaviour from the person as a whole. We can’t always be on our best behaviour, and even when we are, critics are there. What then when we’re at our worst?

After sifting through what’s constructive and what isn’t, recognize which ones are merely targeted at something you said or did rather than who you are entirely.

5. Don’t lash back with anger and bitterness. Breathe in. Breathe out. Stay calm and evaluate the situation. Remaining calm and composed isn’t an act of submission. It means you are not letting your emotions take charge. A premature reaction will only make matters worse or result in you taking a well-meaning criticism negatively.

6. Don’t be defensive. Don’t feel that you need to always save face and defend yourself. Don’t feel that you have to clear yourself of any blame or fault. Again, listen and stay calm. Even if the criticism is destructive, just listen it out and don’t let it affect you. Let the person finish talking, and then move on.

7. Consider and accept your flaws. Accept the fact that you are not perfect. After listening, evaluate yourself. See if there was something you could have done better. Check your flaws from time to time. Even though everyone makes mistakes, what is important is that we learn from them and constantly challenge ourselves to do and be better every day.

8. Don’t blame others. Do not drag other people into the situation just to make yourself feel better or to absolve you of any fault. It often heightens tension and worsens the situation. When it’s a case of misunderstanding, allow yourself a different time to explain, especially when you feel your emotions approaching the red zone.

9. Apologize when you’re wrong.

When you know you’re wrong, sorry is your best friend. Humility tends to soften any hurt and offence. Being the first one to settle an issue and acting humbly even eliminates the need for criticism at times because you already expressed recognition over your faults.

10. Respond with grace.

This is an attitude that you can actually practice and master. Regardless of the situation, even if you’re on the critic’s side for a change, respond with grace — with a gracious manner and with gracious words This is a common trait of mature individuals. They are not easily shaken by the negative and can even react and respond in a kind and gracious manner.

11. Ask questions.

Do not be afraid to ask questions—especially open-ended ones. Ask for possible suggestions for improvement. This shows that you are sincere and interested to learn.

12. Be honest.

Honesty these days is extremely rare. People will try to do everything to cover up the magnitude of a fault to avoid taking responsibility. While you may be tempted to do otherwise, start pushing yourself toward honesty’s side. Lying only aggravates the situation and, when found out, causes many more problems.

13. Never accept abuse.

You don’t need to sit through an entire destructive session when the obvious objective is to attack you rather than help you. Even though it’s important to listen, you should be keen in discerning what not to take from people. If you discern the criticisms as abusive, you can point this out in a calm manner. If it continues, people can’t hold it against you for turning away.

14. Inject humor only when applicable.

This depends on who is giving the criticism. If this is someone you trust or share a good relationship with, injecting some appropriate humour can lighten the situation. Chances are the person at the other end isn’t comfortable delivering the criticism as well but has to for your own benefit.

15. Say thank you.

Again, respond graciously. Though criticisms may hurt, the lessons learned could last a lifetime or beyond. Be grateful to people who care enough to point out your mistakes. They could actually save you from creating more.

16. Look for similarities and patterns.

If you’re getting the same criticisms over and over again and from different people at that, then some serious personality check is in order. Improve on those recurring points. Our habits make up who we are. Don’t let an oversight or a stubborn behaviour define you.

17. Help others, too.

Help other people grow by giving them constructive feedback as well. Criticisms given in a kind manner in a safe and appropriate setting could mean the world to someone who’s exposed to the harsher equivalents. You may even be setting a standard for how to properly go about giving criticisms, thereby helping them more than you intended.

18. Unwind and destress.

All the thinking, processing, and keeping a tight hold on your self-control and bearings can get quite taxing. Don’t stay in that bubble, especially if you’re one to pore over details and emotions. End things on a happy note by taking time to relax and destress. I’ve learned that meditation does wonders in relaxing the mind.

19. Use criticisms as motivation.

Accepting and acknowledging criticisms are already big steps to personal growth. However, the best way to make the most out of the situation is actually doing something about them and taking the steps necessary to improve. Use the feedback as motivation in your journey.

20. Don’t try to please everybody.

As much as people hate conflict, it cannot be avoided. Our differences will clash from time to time, and bending over backwards trying to please everyone will only make you lose your individuality. Let the criticisms come if they will, and rise above it all.

21. Preserve relationships.

Relationships are so fragile that some people do away with the need for honest criticism completely. This isn’t healthy, as people tend to explode from all the bottled up emotions they are keeping inside. Having the understanding to agree to disagree when it comes to personal opinions keeps people from treading the fault line.

22. Don’t be afraid to fail.

As you journey through life, it’s a guarantee that you will make and encounter more mistakes. That’s okay, because these are exactly what you need to grow and learn. Failure should not be feared but treated as a catalyst for change.

23. Focus on your goals.

Don’t let the criticisms stop you from reaching your dreams. Remember your goals, and focus on them. Use the feedback as tools, road signs, a push, or a hand up that all lead you closer to where you want to go.

24. Let go of worry and anxiety.

Don’t carry criticisms like a burden over your shoulders, and don’t let your fear of them keep you from living an authentic life. Constantly being anxious of other people’s opinion will take more of a toll on you than the criticisms themselves. Don’t do that to yourself.

25. Notice points for improvement.

The ultimate goal of criticism after self-reflection is action. As we journey along life, we get to know ourselves better. This leads to noticing how we can improve before others point them out.

We’ve pretty much established how criticisms can play an essential role in helping us become who we want and need to be in the future. Practice handling them well and wield them to your advantage.

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If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Aquarius: Rationality & Seriousness

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23rd/24th. It will appear the brightest on the night of the 23rd throughout most of the world and on the night of the 24th in the time zones East of Japan. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Cancer on July 9th/10th.

The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us; with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

Leo season began 36 hours before the Full Moon and will continue until August 22nd/23rd. This is the sign of self-expression, creativity, love, affection, children, courage, vitality, passion, leadership, generosity, and playfulness. Ruled by the Sun, it is also about shining in our power and being in alignment with what really lights us up and gets us excited.

The negative expressions of Leo can be egotistical, self-absorbed, authoritarian, dramatic, stubborn, jealous, and hot-tempered.  As it is associated with seeking praise and attention, it can be demanding of respect and be boisterous without considering or caring about how others respond to that.

The Full Moon highlights and brings the energies of the opposing sign of Aquarius into this Leo backdrop. This is the sign of friends, networks, social dynamics, social issues, groups, teams, humanity, and being in the best interest of the collective. This energy is unconventional, idealistic, innovative, progressive, scientific, original, inventive, technological, reforming, and even revolutionary.

Negatively, Aquarius can be overly detached, aloof, unemotional, and very invested in the mind at the expense of the heart. Traditionally ruled by Saturn, it can also be unyielding when it comes to the ideas and perspectives that it has already decided on.

Both Leo and Aquarius have some similarities. They are ‘Fixed’ signs and therefore can both be determined yet stubborn. They are also both associated with originality and authenticity. In Aquarius, this comes from its unconventional and innovative attributes while in Leo it comes from being inspired by its heart centred self-expression.

Full Moon Quincunx Venus, Conjunct Saturn, & Square Uranus

This Full Moon is in a quincunx with Venus which has recently entered Virgo. Our feelings, emotions, needs, or domestic lives may be at odds with friendships, values, finances, pleasure, or matters of love. It can be hard to integrate these areas but being flexible and making adjustments can be the solution.

The Full Moon is moving towards Saturn in the same sign. This can reflect a serious energy and we may be faced with limitations, restrictions, delays, or obstacles. We or others may be emotionally distant, pessimistic, or reserved. However, this can be good for some sort of effort that requires discipline, structure, and orderliness. After the Full Moon period, some of these energies will be strong again on August 1st/2nd.

Following the conjunction with Saturn, the Moon forms a square aspect with the disruptive Uranus in Taurus. This is activating the square between Saturn and Uranus that is happening throughout the year which I’ve covered in previous articles. Themes around ‘old versus new’, ‘restrictions versus freedom’, ‘the status quo versus revolution’, ‘commitments/responsibilities versus liberation’, ‘elder versus youth’, ‘progressiveness versus tradition’ and so forth.

Jupiter Going Back Into Aquarius

Jupiter entered its home sign of Pisces in mid-May for a short stint as it is returning back into Aquarius on July 28th/29th. The planet of expansion, freedom, beliefs, perspective, education, is unrestrained in Pisces and gets to express itself more ideally in this sign. We have seen examples of this as many jurisdictions loosened up covid related restrictions during this period.

With it going back into Aquarius, a traditionally Saturn ruled sign with Saturn currently present there, Jupiter will be more inhibited until late December when it re-enters Pisces again. It’s possible that during this 5 month period may experience more restrictive measures return or new ones implemented. We may also experience this in different ways in our personal lives such as not being able to expand the way we’d like to. However, this might not be noticeable immediately.

The combination of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius (which began last December) can be good for building towards something or planting seeds pertaining to some sort of technological integration, social networking, collective or social pursuits, activism, new scientific approaches to things, and innovation.

Venus Square Lunar Nodes, Mars Opposite Jupiter

Venus will be in a square with the Lunar Nodes which will be strong from July 28th-30th. We may be reflecting on the past and future, or perhaps at a crossroads, when it comes to friendships, love, values, or financial matters. We may need to complete something and address what is holding us back  to help us move on and take a step forward in an evolutionary way when it comes to these areas of life. Venus is in Virgo so therefore discernment, details, practicality, health, organization, or efficiency may be key.

At this time Mars will be switching from Leo to Virgo while in an opposition to Jupiter. We may begin to feel the need to apply ourselves in a way that is more productive, sustainable, healthy, and clean. However, we can overextend ourselves and take on more than we can handle. This can also play out as conflicts around beliefs, perspectives, opinions, or judgements.

Mercury’s Superior Conjunction

Mercury will be in its Superior Conjunction on August 1st/2nd which is in an important phase of Mercury’s cycle with the Sun. From this point onward we may have a better perception around certain things that were seeded or occurred in the previous two months which may also help our momentum forward. .

Circumstances and developments that happen at this time can help us gain more clarity or facilitate necessary realizations to help us make the right decisions and appropriate mental focus. During this conjunction, the Sun and Mercury will be opposing Saturn which can play out as hindrances or the need to be pragmatic as part of this process.

Things To Consider

How can you balance or integrate your personal passions with the needs of the collective? How can you resolve any conflicts between leadership and a team or group? Are you experiencing any challenges or conflict between your heart and intellect? What areas of your life do you need to be more orderly, structured, disciplined, or take more seriously? Is there anything that you need to separate from? How can you apply yourself in a more noble way?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak of this Full Moon is at 2:37am Universal Time on July 24th, night of the 23rd. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Consciousness

How To Embrace New Ideas & Envision A Better World

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CE Staff Writer 1 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

In this video I explore how to look in our minds and bodies for resistance towards new solutions and ideas. If we are to create a more thriving world, what has to happen within us? How do we use new and emerging solutions in a pure form, without applying the old dominance or capitalistic stories to them?

It can, very understandably, be hard to imagine something different than what we’re doing now. Especially when we consider we don’t know HOW things would change or what will happen to the current life we’ve built.

What if real global solutions involve shifting our long term plans? How do we gain a sense of comfort and stability in challenges we seek to solve at their core?

Every time I’ve been faced with some pretty big changes I had to make in my life, if I ever sensed resistance in myself, I had to find it in my body as well as navigate it in my mind.  I explain more in the video below.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Consciousness

Raising Our Vibration Through Compassion & Unconditional Love

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

An internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath dedicates itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives. HeartMath tools, technology, and training teach people to rely on the intelligence of their hearts in concert with that of their minds at home, school, work, and play.

It’s becoming clearer to many of us that working together with kindness, compassion and acceptance are the missing pieces for resetting humanity’s fast and furious trajectory into separation and division. It’s also becoming obvious that we cannot create solutions from the same consciousness level that’s creating the problems. Raising our consciousness vibration for drawing peaceful solutions is an undertaking that calls for kindness, forgiveness and an inclusive love that respects our differences.

A large portion of their research has investigated heart and brain interaction. Researchers have examined how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, it can yield significant data for researchers.

HeartMath has discovered that  emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.

This is very important work, as it shows how the heart plays an important role far beyond what is commonly known. For instance, did you know that your heart emits electromagnetic fields that change according to your emotions, or that the human heart has a magnetic field that can be measured up to several feet away from the human body? Did you know that positive emotions create physiological benefits in your body, and that you can boost your immune system by conjuring up positive emotions? Did you know that negative emotions can create nervous system chaos, and that positive emotions do the complete opposite? Did you know that the heart has a system of neurons that have both short term and long term memory, and that their signals sent to the brain can affect our emotional experiences? Did you know that in fetal development, the heart forms and starts beating before the brain is developed? Did you know that a mother’s brainwaves can synchronize to her baby’s heartbeats? Did you know that the heart sends more information to the brain than vice versa?

All of these facts, published research papers, and more can be accessed at heartmath.org.

I recently came across an article published by HeartMath titled “Raising Our Vibration Through Compassion & Unconditional Love” written by Sara Childre, Pres. of HeartMath Institute and Doc Childre, HeartMath Founder. I thought I would post it below for those who are interested.

Vibrations

HeartMath and many systems use the term vibration in reference to the quality of thoughts, feelings, emotions and attitudes that are generated and influenced by our beliefs, memories, choices, environmental stimuli and more. For example, you often hear people say, “I had to leave that office, the vibes were so low it was draining my energy, or, “I felt a lift from being in her positive vibration.”

The vibration of our moods, attitudes, thoughts and feelings can rise and fall throughout the day, based on our actions and reactions to others, ourselves, or to life’s issues. The vibes we emanate to others and to the environment vary, based on our resilience for balancing our mind, emotions and disposition – especially in today’s dynamic emotional climate.

Lower-level vibrations can occur at every turn in connection with frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, judgment, comparisons and much more. These emotions are part of being human, but it is within our power to shift out of these debilitating feelings into higher vibrational attitudes and perceptions.

An easy way to maintain a higher vibration is to interweave the qualities of our heart in our connections and interactions. These heart qualities include love, care, compassion, kindness, appreciation, forgiveness, and more. Anyone who experiences these qualities knows their power to lift our feelings into a kinder and more stress-free outlook.

Raising Others’ Vibrations

For evidence that the heartfelt intentions of one individual can raise the heart vibration of others, HeartMath cites studies it has conducted. You may be familiar with the study in which a dog’s incoherent heart rhythms became coherently aligned with a boy’s heart rhythms as he radiated intentional love and care to his dog. Go to Josh and Mable to read more.

Science tells us that human beings and all creatures radiate an electromagnetic field produced by the heartbeat. Our feelings broadcast like radio waves through this field. When you are in the presence of a group of friends, family or others, everyone’s thoughts, feelings and attitudes are intermingling in your immediate area — which HeartMath calls the field environment.

Another study, with 40 participants, explored the effects of being in a coherent field environment. The participants were divided into 10 groups of four people who were seated around a table. They were all connected to equipment that simultaneously measured their level of heart rhythm coherence. Three of the participants had been previously trained in the Heart Lock-In technique and were instructed to get into a coherent state at random times unknown by the fourth untrained person. Overall, as the coherent vibration of the three HeartMath-trained participants increased, the untrained person’s coherence level also measurably increased from being in that more coherent field environment.

Poised in Higher Vibrations

When poised in our higher vibration, we experience many benefits. Decisions and solutions flow more easily due to increased access to our heart’s intuitive wisdom; our discernment becomes more inclusive and our choices become clearer and more effective; it gets much easier to deflect frustration, anxiety, impatience and other chronic stress producers that strain our critical thinking and reasoning.

Most all of us feel more self-secure when in our higher vibrational composure, yet it can be harder to maintain in the midst of challenges and ramped up stress. We can learn to lift our vibration to meet challenges by adding heart qualities of conscious care, kindness, gratitude or compassion in our interactions. As these qualities of love move through our system, it lifts our attitudes automatically for the highest way to deal with the situation at hand.

Unconditional love and compassion are among the highest vibrations of love and are not subject to preconditions, limitations, or requirements of others. They serve the greater interest and benefit of all sentient beings and the environment in which they exist. Many people are realizing that unconditional love and compassion are from our higher consciousness potentials with the capacity for healing and attracting solutions for social transformation.

Uncountable numbers of people have experienced the benefits of compassion and more individuals are resonating with this powerful expression of love in these times of robust change. Practicing compassion is something we can do that benefits all, yet it takes heartfelt commitment to anchor this responsibility to the whole of which we are a part.

Summary of Benefits From Raising Our Vibration Levels

  • Increased care and kindness flow more automatically in our connections.
  • We are more clear-minded and self-secure in our choices and actions.
  • Our mind and emotions interact more harmoniously to suit our needs.
  • We deflect common stress triggers – frustration, impatience, intolerance, etc.
  • We are much more resilient and resistant to fears and self-doubt.
  • Our heart’s deeper care is not overridden by our disruptive mind and emotions.
  • The lift in our attitude wards off anxiety, excessive worries and overwhelm.
  • We tend to lift others and the environment when our vibration is up.
  • We are less judgmental and intolerant with others and ourselves, which prevents mega stress accumulation.
  • Lifting our vibration amplifies our intuitive heart feelings for better choices and outcomes.

Simple Exercises to Raise Your Vibration

(Adapted from exercises in the Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart book.)

How to replace lower vibrational feelings, such as sadness, anger, insecurity, anxiety, self-judgment, rejection, etc.

1. Exercise: Find a quiet place where, for a few minutes, you can breathe easily, imagining with each breath that your mind, emotions and body are becoming still inside. In this stillness, desire the uplifting feeling you would like to have, and as you breathe, imagine breathing this new feeling into your being for a while. Imagine you are creating it with your breath.

2. Another Exercise: When feeling low, just sit quietly and imagine radiating love, compassion and stillness into your mental and emotional nature. Self-care is often allowing ourselves to have a low moment without compounding it with self-criticism. When our light is dim, it helps to give ourselves the feeling of compassionate heart warmth that we would give a child or a pet that is infirm. Even if it doesn’t stop the pain, we know it can help energetically. If we feel awkward while trying this, it helps to ask ourselves, “What’s the difference in nurturing ourselves with compassionate intention than taking the vitamins and health foods we consume for self-care?” Or, “Why do we teach kids to put their hand over a hurt area and radiate sunshine from their heart to help it feel better?” We do this because it’s a natural expression of self-compassion, with benefits to their mental, emotional and physical nature.

You can soon feel a difference when doing these exercises, unless extremely challenged. If it doesn’t work the first time, be patient and simply try again later. Being genuine makes a difference. This activates your heart energy. Practicing for a few days in a row strengthens your capacity to reset unwanted feelings and lower vibrations.

Simple exercises such as these can do more to lift your vibration than you may think. Make it fun to consciously reset your vibration throughout the day and watch your spirit lift and the stress accumulation diminish.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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