How to handle criticism when stepping outside your comfort zone!

Chances are, if you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, showing up, playing big and reaching for your dreams, you will come across some type of rejection and criticism. You may face someone being disappointed in something that you created or outright rejecting you and your business. 

This topic spans across all areas, be it rejection and criticism by a potential lover, career or business opportunity, or simply someone not liking you and something that you created or developed. No matter the area, the solution is the same.

This was an area that I struggled with in the past (and still comes up for me at times), and one that I received a question on this past week, so I wanted to address it today. For me, I had this need to please others and worked very hard to do so, and sometimes it meant ignoring my own needs. When someone did not like what I created or criticized me, it would affect me for days and completely take me off my game.

What has helped me tremendously with this is acceptance. Acceptance in the fact that no matter what I do and no matter how conscious I am of being liked and doing my best, there will still be people that simply do not like me nor the work that I do... and that’s okay.

Because when I put myself out there, it means that I face possible rejections daily. I get emails from people on how my posts resonated with them, and I also occasionally get people that unsubscribe. At first, I used to take it personally, but now I think of it simply as just not being the right fit. I now try not to even look at it and just concentrate on my work and giving the best I can, and not let it affect my sense of self.

An issue we have with rejection and negative feedback, especially when it's the first time is that instead of looking at the total picture and the small percentage that it represents, we only focus on the negative. We completely ignore and disregard all the positive feedback we've received and only focus on the one negative.

It's important to remember that it only represents a small percentage and also accept that not everyone is going to like your product or service. This is a hard pill to swallow, but once you make peace with it, it'll have less an impact.

It'll still hurt, but at least will not take you out as much. I tell myself, not everyone likes Oprah and Wayne Dyer, and I ADORE them both!

Another great thing to remember is that criticism, when constructive, gives you an opportunity to grow and develop. If you are a business owner, one of the worst things is to have a customer not voice their concerns when they are unhappy with your product or service. It means they're quietly unhappy and may not return.

This does not give you any opportunity to address the issue and fix it for them or other clients who may feel the same. The same goes for friendship. Maybe, there’s someone you may have offended. A friendship can be lost if one silently holds a grudge without even giving you the opportunity to explain.

If you're a business owner who comes across negative feedback for the first time, it's important to first thank the person for their honest feedback.

Be respectable, and advise that you will review their comments and see opportunities to improve (and actually do this!). You want to make sure the last impression they have of your brand is a good one. The positive handling of the situation could improve your brand image with them.

Remember, don't focus on the one negative comment and let it to overshadow all the great things you’ve accomplished. Look at what you can learn from it and move on. Also, if you are getting rejections it means you're stepping out and playing big and that already makes you a winner!


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