I respond badly to being criticised. Especially when I feel it is untrue and uncalled for. And most especially when I’ve put in lots of effort and yearn for appreciation instead of judgment. Clearly I’m not very good at coping with criticism.
There’s a story I love: Someone threw a donkey into a well and shovelled dirt into it to bury him alive. The donkey faced certain death, until he got an idea. Every time fresh dirt fell, he simply stepped up onto the pile of dirt. As more dirt fell, he made it higher and higher. Eventually he made it to the surface.
I want to be that donkey!
Practically, how does this story help us in coping with criticism? Well, don’t think of criticism as dirt, to be afraid of and avoided. It’s construction material for building a better self. Accept the criticism, respond to it by improving ourselves, and we will stand on higher ground.
PPS: I’m a fan of Seth Godin who makes excellent points with few words. I’ve decided to emulate him too, hence this relatively short post today.