Placing Petty Criticism In A Proper Place

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."  Calvin Coolidge

Maintaining focus is difficult in the best of circumstances.  Dealing with petty criticism only compounds the challenges.  In this page we'll suggest a few ideas to help overcome the critics noise.

Petty criticism has an amazing, immediate effect on people.  It can distract the strongest person and it can stop a more sensitive person in his or her tracks.  The words of a critic can paralyze someone who isn't prepared for such a verbal assault.  We'll help you with that preparation in the next few paragraphs

Overcoming Petty Criticism

 In this section I'll offer some wise words from best-selling author Matthew Kelly.  In a chapter subtitled "Don't Let the Critics Win" he writes. "I want to encourage you to be watchful for patterns in which resistance is easily defeating you.  Over the years I have noticed two in my life.

The first surrounds critics and criticism.  It is so easy to let the critic distract you....It is amazing how easily we can allow the critic to rob us of our passion and energy.

I was watching a short Winnie the Pooh film online with Walter (his son) last year, and at the end of the film you had the opportunity to like or dislike it.  The film had 13 million likes and twenty-five thousand dislikes.  And I thought to myself, 'It's a classic story, a classic character-and what's not to like about Winnie the Pooh?'  But twenty-five thousand people disliked it enough to voice their opinion.  Even Pooh had haters.

The critics will always be there, but it is not the critic that counts.  Have you ever seen a statue of a critic?  No.  I haven't either.  Do they award a Nobel Prize for Critic of the Year?  No, there is no Best Critic Ever statue or award."

We'll add some more wisdom from Matthew Kelly in the next section.  But his words in the previous paragraph were worth noting.  It's not the critic that counts.  In fact I've been carrying around a famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt for many years.  It's torn and tattered now.  I've read it so often that I can recite it verbatim.  I've posted it in the call out box just below.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done 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 and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows 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 know neither victory nor defeat."

How To Handle Criticism

Petty criticism comes from two very distinct areas.  Jealousy and self-loathing.  In our recent page about character analysis, we wrote about someone who was jealous of other's accomplishments and did everything in his power to bring down another person.

Petty criticism also rears it ugly head among people who don't like their own lives.  Too often they resort to gossip and verbal abuse that goes far beyond the realm of petty criticism.  But it's all about bringing people down to their levels.  It's like the old story about crab fishermen.  They don't need to put a lid on the crab bin.  If one tries to climb out, the others pull it back down to their level.

"Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember-the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you."  Zig Ziglar

Matthew Kelly explains petty criticism this way.  "Throughout my life I have noticed two trends when it comes to criticism.  First they have usually made up their minds before they meet you.  The second thing I find with critics is more often than not...they are simply reacting to something they heard from someone else."

There is a place for constructive criticism.  This comes from people who genuinely care about you and want you to succeed.  They are sincere in their opinion and only offer it to help you.  They have no ulterior motive.

Petty criticism is the complete opposite.  The intention is to hurt and to derail success.  Once again from Matthew Kelly, "Be watchful.  Be on guard against the critics.  Resistance will use them to discourage you, or at the very least distract you.  Press on with what matters most.  Perseverance is the antidote for the resistance put forth by critics.  It is a great virtue."

I'll add these closing comments.  We give the purveyor of petty criticism the power to bring us down to their level.  We give them the power to derail our goals and stall our dreams.  We give them the power to make us feel bad about ourselves.

But since we give them the power, we can also take it away from the critics.  Take the constructive advice from those who care about you.  But ignore the petty criticism that seeks to halt your efforts to do great things.

There will always be critics.  But they only gain power when we allow it.  Their words are empty and non-threatening when we stay laser focused on what we believe in and in our purpose in life.

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Just below is a quote from "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson.  The chapter title is "Open Your Heart To Compassion." 

"Every day we are given hundreds of opportunities to practice compassion in action.  We can learn to be less reactive and live with more patience.

We can smile when others are serious.  We can drive our cars more carefully, pick up litter on the streets, recycle, and reduce our consumption.

We can resolve conflicts rather than create them, and we can become less judgemental and more inclusive.  When someone is aggressive, we can teach them to be more peaceful.  Instead of waiting for an example, we can be the example.

The more compassion that enters your heart, the happier and more peaceful you will become.  By knowing that you are doing your part to create a better world-whatever form that takes-you will fill any void that exists in your life, and you will begin to find the peace you are looking for."

What's New?

Just below is an article from Peter Schiff about passing the buck from one administration to the next.

Owning The Bubble

Just below is a link to look up your congressional representatives.   Let them know you expect accountability.

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