Crushed By Criticism?


Giving and receiving negative feedback is fraught with anxiety for all involved.

For the deliverer it requires a thoughtful approach. But even when a lot of care is taken, the receiver can still react with anger.

For the recipient of negative feedback, the initial response is to feel threatened and challenged.

Why do we react adversely to a critique of our performance? 

It comes back to our most primitive of reactions; the fight or flight response. We see it as a dangerous situation. Our internal processing connects to all the other times we have faced negative situations and we react from this space of fear.

In primitive times our survival depended upon our standing within our social groups. Negative feedback can trigger a response of exclusion that further adds to our anxiety around criticism.

Changing, or re-framing, our mindset is the key to shift our processing of negative feedback from one of withdrawal to one of power.  Living with a growth mindset allows us to embrace all that aids in our progress, which includes being open to criticism. Seeing criticism as an opportunity for self-development and better performance is a powerful state.



Re-framing is a method by which you can derive a different and more positive experience from a situation and/or stimuli.

1 – Contemplate the thoughts you currently ascribe around criticism.  How are these thoughts helping and protecting you? How are these thoughts preventing you from either enjoying the process, or experiencing personal growth? Awareness and introspection is the first step towards your re-frame process.

2 – The second step is to identify a perspective around criticism that will engender feelings of personal power to have this opportunity for growth. Provide yourself with more powerful beliefs around criticism.

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body, it calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”  

Winston Churchill

BELIEF: Criticism is a call to action.


“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”


BELIEF: Criticism means I am progressing.  

3 – The third step is to make a commitment to yourself that, as each chance presents itself, you will put your new growth-mindset in to practice.


Don’t be crushed by criticism. Have it inspire you to be better!