How To Take Criticism Not Personal



At work, I give 100 percent or feel guilty if I am not able to for whatever reason. When I think about it, that actually rings true for other parts of my life as well. Take blogging, for instance. If I am sick or otherwise distracted I´d rather not blog for the week until I am back on track rather than publishing content I am not happy with. That makes sense, I guess. Still, I am always stressed because I want everything to be perfect.


Today I had my annual work evaluation. Turns out, according to my boss, I tend to take criticism personal and should work on changing that. I can´t really argue with this, because it´s true. I know it is and I almost have an out-of-body experience when I am in that exact situation where I get criticized in a normal (read: professional, polite) way, but still feel like an unworthy piece of you-know-what afterwards.


First of all, I am not working in a field where my mistake could cost lives or harm someone in any way. Summed up, I work with a budget and make sure every bill gets to be paid and that everything runs smoothly. Mistakes happen, but in my field anything can be undone with a little effort. No big deal. Why do I feel like it IS though?


I do my best at work and if something goes wrong – after all I´m just human – I am all riled up about my mistake. On the other side how could I not take criticism personal, if my personal action caused harm?! I feel like an actor who gets turned down after he auditioned. He might not have done anything wrong, but he didn´t get the part, so he didn´t do it right either – don´t you think?


Taking things personal is haunting me my whole life. I believe I do have a more relaxed attitude about it now than I did a couple of years ago – that´s what maturing does to you. But still, it stings.


How to change that?



(Image courtesy of Andrew Gallo)


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