To Earn the Appreciation of Honest Critics

I have wanted to launch a blog for a long time but have not reserved the time necessary to do so—until now. So many of you have asked me to do this and now I am. This blog will be a potpourri of things that I find relevant, interesting, spiritually important, along with a bit of good ole’ common sense. My background of education, psychology, Native American study, spiritual study, management, leadership and life coaching will find their way into the blog, but so will information about protecting the earth, nature, wildlife while nestling in fun ideas about food, beverage, kids, teamwork, communication, motivation, wellness, and “down home” good fun.

Join me. You have much to share, as well. How fun it will be to stay connected with people throughout the world. Somewhere—somehow—we connected once upon a time. Let’s stay connected. After all, relationships and connectedness means everything in the span of a lifetime. I want to know you better. And I hope you will enjoy knowing me better, as well.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“to earn the appreciation of honest critics”

It takes strength of character and strength of friendship to both give and receive criticism. But, it is being reinforced for the good things that one does and being guided through positive criticism that one grows. Most of you have had a great coach, teacher, director, parent, or friend who you have trusted enough to follow their recommendations—even when those recommendations are tough to take. In fact, when most people are asked who has influenced them the most, they refer to a person who has been “tough on them” or who has “pushed them further than they realized possible”.

When someone cares deeply about you, they encourage you to believe in yourself and to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Sometimes this “encouragement” feels like criticism. But, when someone you value gives you honest feedback that pushes you to a higher level of achievement or self-realization, they do so because they see talent in you that you may not even see in yourself.

To “earn” the appreciation of honest critics? The people who have the experience, education, wisdom and strength to provide guidance to you probably have much to do in their lives and many people who would seek their instruction. But, if these wise people take the time and have an interest in you—that is because they see potential in you and believe in you. You, in your own uniqueness and with your own special talents have earned their guidance.

Listen to them. Do your best not to become defensive. Think about what they have said. Reflect on the purpose behind their criticism or recommendations. Teaching means to provide instruction, education, and knowledge. Constructive feedback-when delivered carefully and caringly, can be some of the best teaching you will ever receive.

Criticism does not have to mean that someone is “tearing you down”. Rather, a great coach, teacher, director, parent, friend becomes an honest critic when they acknowledge the constructive and powerful things you do—or the things you could do and are not—yet!!