“If you really want to get better, you should...”
”What makes you different than the thousands of other people doing what you do in that space?”
“If I were in your shoes, I would definitely...”
There is so much noise in the world today. It doesn’t take much to put thoughts, opinions, and criticism out into the world. Even when we don’t ask for it, criticism comes in all forms. Whether it’s to our face, on social media, or behind our backs, we can’t escape the opinions of others, especially when we are going “all in” and “playing big” in our lives. How can we cut through the noise and differentiate between criticism and feedback to use what we can to get better and leave the rest for those not in the arena to worry about?
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Criticism - “Expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.”
Feedback - “Information about a reaction to a person’s performance on a task, used as a basis for improvement.”
As we step into the arena and experience vulnerability, there will no doubt be opinions of other people. When trying to decipher whether or not to give any weight and credit to these opinions, it’s important to distinguish the difference between criticism and feedback. People can post or talk about us to get a reaction. It is easy to be a critic from the stands, but what is the goal of their opinions? Is it to be a talking head and try to diminish what we’ve done or belittle what we’re trying to do? If that’s the case, then we don’t have time to give any merit to their words.
On the other hand, if the goal of their thoughts is to help us get better and move forward, then we want to seek out their feedback. The name of the game is progression and moving forward. We can move forward at a faster rate if we have effective feedback from
those who want to see us grow.
This week our job is to figure out who is a critic and who is providing feedback as we continue to live in the arena. Cut the noise by leaving criticism behind from those who aren’t even in the arena. Seek out those who want to see us improve, and use their feedback as a way to grow faster.
It’s not the critic who counts!