Harnessing the power of negative feedback

Nobody said growth was easy.

It requires tons of practice. You fall down, and you get back up and try again.

You recognize your mistakes and learn from them.

But here’s what not a lot of people tell you—the best way to make real progress is to identify where you’re lacking in skill, and the best way to do that is…

Ask for constructive criticism.

OK, it sounds scary. That’s a natural reaction. But learning to ask for and positively receive criticism is one of the most useful skills you can have in life.

Think about it—no healthy relationship ever came out of two people ignoring their faults (and, trust us, everybody has faults). Growth is only achieved when both parties can take a step back and have a discussion. “What have I done well to support you over the last few months? What could I have done better?

It’s important to remember that no matter how well you do something, whether it’s being a supportive partner or leading a team at work, you could always be doing better. And chasing that progress is what makes us stronger, smarter, and happier people.

But, as are many lessons in life, asking for criticism—and not taking it personally—is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you along the way:

Stay Calm and Listen

Actively receiving feedback can be difficult, but it’s important to do your best to stay calm and really hone in on what your critiquer is saying. After all, if all you do is focus on your reactionary emotions, you’ll probably miss the very thing they are trying to help you improve. Take a step back and listen carefully; you can worry about reacting later.

Say Thank You

Regardless of how you feel about the criticism, express gratitude for their honesty and willingness to provide feedback. This does two things: (a) it makes the critiquer feel heard and validated, and (b) it helps calm down any negative and reactionary feelings, giving you the mental space to start looking at the feedback from a positive perspective.

Shift Your Perspective

Now that you’re in a calmer headspace, try and reframe the criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack. Remember, they are not critiquing you as a person—they are giving you feedback on something specific, like a project or a problematic behavior. When you picture their words as a chance to improve, they become less threatening.

Take Action

This is, by far, the most crucial step. Taking constructive feedback and turning it into positive change is one of the most powerful things you can do. And, once you practice this step long enough, you will begin to naturally reframe your entire perspective on criticism, making it easier to deal with—and learn from—in the future.

With all this in mind, remember that no matter what you do, you can’t please everyone (some people are just always going to be haters 🤷). So, while it’s important to embrace criticism to learn and grow, sometimes you just need to take things with a grain of salt.

With less than 7 mg of caffeine per serving and a multitude of brain-boosting ingredients, Omyum gives you the energy you need to kickstart your day without all the spikes and crashes of coffee. Think of this as a bit of… constructive criticism for all the coffee drinkers out there. 😉