We all get criticism from time to time, whether it’s at uni, or work, or in our personal lives. A lot of the time it’s constructive, and is given to us as a means of helping us to improve. That’s when it’s perfectly necessary, and there’s nothing malicious behind it. And it really does help you do better. But other times, it’s unwarranted and merely a bitchy attempt to discourage us from doing the things that’ll help us do well.
That’s one thing that really motivates me to succeed.
There will always be someone who incessantly complains about and criticises you for no good reason, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. It’s often difficult to understand why they do it but as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter. It’s how you respond to it that makes all the difference. So instead of letting your harshest critics bring you down, use them to rise to the top.
There have been many times in my life when someone has been unnecessarily harsh about the most trivial things. Or they have undeniably tried to discourage me from doing great things. One such occasion involved someone telling me I’d be “unable to compete” with others doing the same things as me. When I asked why, I was told simply that I “wasn’t good enough”. I wasn’t even given a proper reason. The laughable thing about that though, is that I’m now doing exactly what I was told I “wasn’t good enough” to do.
On another occasion, I was considering whether or not to accept my place on study abroad. In reference to an ongoing health condition, I was asked: “Will you be able to cope?” In that moment, I decided there was no way that I wouldn’t go. For whatever reason, that person seemed to want to discourage me from going, but I couldn’t let them do that. And I’m glad I didn’t because I ended up enjoying four of the best months of my entire life.
I’ve also had people go behind my back to complain how “annoying” I am in doing what I love, and for doing things that would (and did!) help me in my future career. They criticised my work and the frequency of it, and did so when I wasn’t around. Kind of says it all really!
But it’s not all bad.
In my experience, using bitchiness and unwarranted criticism as motivation to succeed can really work in your favour. Firstly, you prove your capabilities to yourself. You begin to realise that, despite what anyone else has to say, you can and should do the things that make you happy and help you go further in achieving your goals. At the end of the day, it’s really no-one else’s business.
Proving how capable you are is something I’ve also found to be really empowering. It also does great things for you mentally, instead of allowing others to get inside your head.
And the best thing is, most of the people who have tried to discourage me from doing my thing are now either doing the very things they criticised me for, telling me how proud of me they are, or are acting like they supported me all along.
I don’t think anyone will ever really know why some people try to bring others down. For some, it might be a pathetic attempt to mask their own insecurities; others maybe just can’t stand to see others succeed.
There is a big difference though between people who give constructive criticism because they genuinely want to help, and people who give you unwarranted criticism to be a bitch. And it is important to take on the constructive stuff so you can grow and improve in what you do.
The point is: just never give the bitches the satisfaction of letting them stop you doing the things that take you forward in life.