Sift the critics | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

A number of times many of us are weighed down because of what the critics around us are saying. We just find it difficult to move on despite knowing that we are on the right track. Their comments or criticisms have weighed us down so much that the next thing we are thinking about is to quit. You should know that you can listen to every critic.

When you take a look at the word critic then you will understand why a lot of critics are like that. One of the meanings of the word is ‘a person who APPRAISES the works of others.’ Another meaning is ‘A SPECIALIST IN JUDGING works of art.’ The other meaning is ‘one who criticizes; A PERSON WHO FINDS FAULT.’ Most critics take on the last definition given. They simply find fault and when they are talking to you all they are doing is to find fault.

If you are going to listen to critics you should listen more to the kind of critic in the first definition. When someone appraises your work, it is not necessarily to dwell on the mistakes of the works or to find fault. The purpose of an appraisal is to give you a meaningful feedback which will help you improve on what you are doing.

When someone is also appraising your work, they are most likely to use what is popularly called the sandwich approach. That simply means that when someone is providing you feedback, they start with some of the things you did well. Somewhere along the line they talk about the things you did not do well and they end up talking about the things you did well again. When you get that kind of feedback you are encouraged and you find it easy to move one. You will want to improve on the things that you were told to improve upon.

I think I need to quickly say that we should not only take this as people at the receiving end. Sometimes we are the ones criticizing other people and we are not careful to give them some positive feedback. We only talk about the things they don’t do well and totally forget all the things they are doing well. This kind of feedback can come from others to us or from us to other people.

As far as you are concerned, you can choose the kind of criticisms that you listen to or dwell on. It is not that you don’t want to hear the truth. That is why you must choose someone who can appraise your works; tell you what you are doing right and also show you where you are going wrong. That is what you need. An appraisal has the sole purpose of helping you to forge ahead.

You can choose not to listen to any critic who is not appraising your work. In fact, one of the other words for critic is opponent. So if you think that you must take criticisms you just might be listening to an opponent who is not interested in your progress.

In all of this, you should note that you are your own best critic. When you do something and you have given it your best you will know. When your best is not yet in you will also know. Each time you finish anything, you need to criticize it yourself before others do. Tell yourself the truth and move on. The only caution I have here is that some of us can be too hard on ourselves and a few others can be too soft on themselves. We need to find that balance in your personal appraisal today just for the sake of tomorrow’s results. Judge yourself right before others do and take appraisals from well-meaning folks around. Outside of that, just sift the criticism.    

Fola Daniel Adelesi
President/CEO,
Edible Pen.

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