Aristotle says in order to avoid all criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. I think we can all agree that wouldn’t be much fun. So we say, and we do and we become authentic versions of ourselves only to be opposed, mocked or even attacked by critics, a.k.a.haters. In show business and even organizations there is a saying that bad publicity is still publicity. Perhaps you have heard of the theory that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
It’s important to remember that nothing great is for everyone. You are also not for everyone. Knowing your adversaries only helps you to find your tribe and love them even harder.
So why then is criticism so difficult to swallow? Why do we focus on the one negative remark instead of the 10 positive ones? For a moment, shift your perspective. Although it’s not easy to ignore critics, nor should you, do try to see how learning to love your haters can help you grow.
4 Reasons To Love Your Haters:
1. You become stronger.
Author Jeff Goins says you don’t master a craft by avoiding criticism. Let’s face it, we all want to be better and the only way to improve is with endurance and resilience. He says the more he bears his soul, the thicker his skin gets. Goins considers criticism a gift and so should you. It means people are listening and that’s better than the alternative of being unnoticed and unheard.
2. You learn.
There are no mistakes, only lessons. Whether it be a failed relationship, business or exam, you know what not to do next time. There is no lesson like a life lesson. That’s why it’s called experience. Keep trying, keep getting rejected. You fall down seven times, you get up 8. Like a baby learning to walk, they never give up, no matter how many times they fail.
3. It keeps you humble.
Humility is the mother of all virtue, said Tennyson. Teachability is one of the greatest strengths of all leaders. In a world full of narcissism, a little ego check is sometimes in order. Even established recording artist Ziggy Marley says his haters keep him real. While you shouldn’t dwell on criticism, try to listen from a somewhat detached state. Easier said then done. If it’s really hard to let something go, this may be an area to research and improve.
4. You empower others.
While some criticism is constructive, much of it is suppressed doubt and fear lashing out in an ugly way. I remember one of my mentors telling me “People are going to love you and people are going to hate you and it will have nothing to do with you!” When you humbly rise above petty opinions and press on you subconsciously inspire others to do the same. Being comfortable in you’re own skin, even if it’s a little uncomfortable at times is extremely liberating and that’s empowering.
So welcome the feedback. The good and the bad. Try to take it with a grain of salt because lurking around the corner is certainly another opinion, another window of opportunity and another chance to grow, prosper and be great!
Jenn Bodnar is co-founder of Yoga Digest Magazine and has a genuine belief that yoga can benefit everyone. She is 200ERYT having attended multiple teacher trainings, facilitating yoga teacher trainings and studying and practicing yoga since 1999. Jenn is an avid fitness professional, who has taught and managed group fitness for many years. As a former competitive triathlete, gymnast and dancer Jenn loves the balance of strength, flexibility, perseverance and freedom that a yoga practice provides. She loves being active and outdoors with her family and friends. Jenn is a self proclaimed health food chef who hopes to leave a positive footprint by inspiring others to always choose happiness. “Watching people grow through yoga is one of the most amazing miracles to witness.”