The most natural reaction to criticism is to feel awful or angry. The beauty about using assertiveness techniques is that it exposes whether the criticism is justified or not and, knowing this, you are then able to decide whether to take it on board or not. But what do you do if it is justified? Do you simply curl up in a ball and feel awful and helpless? Although I have been guilty of this in the past this is very seldom helpful.
The good news is there are so many ways to turn the criticism around so that – rather than feeling like a lost cause and helpless – you can instead feel empowered and optimistic! It’s just a matter of seeing the criticism as an opportunity to exercise empathy and understanding towards others, gain more self awareness, develop more personal responsibility in life and grow into your best self.
Of course this outlook and the process of developing more empathy, personal responsibility and working on improving yourself is never easy but never underestimate the impact of rewards! When you first discover a new weakness you possess and feel low treat yourself with pick me ups and walks (a ten minute walk has been shown to significantly improve mood). Then reward yourself every time you progress in the right direction like reading a self-help book or article, reacting to small things in a new healthier way or big treats like a weekend away for when you achieve a major breakthrough.
Some amazing treats are:
- Taking a scenic walk
- Gourmet hot chocolate
- Coffee at a café
- Takeaway or going out for a meal
- Going to the movies
- Buying new music or DVD’S
- Having a professional massage
- Having a hair cut
- Going on a shopping spree
- Going on a weekend away
What treats can you think of? Do you struggle to see the benefits of discovering your weaknesses? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.