Last week a fair amount of coaching calls, equally split between my male and female clients, centered around the feeling of criticism. Feeling criticized in one way or another by their boss, a co-worker, friend, loved one and even a complete stranger.
What was interesting was the forms of criticism that clients were most impacted by, what “hooked” them (meaning they chose to make the criticism everything to do with them) and those criticisms that they were able to just let go of and move on from.
An example of criticism that clients didn’t seem to get hooked on was criticism that didn’t match the beliefs they held about themselves. They could simply ignore the feedback or take in a part of it that they found could be useful, and move on. For some, it was criticism through hurtful words,
- “you are insensitive”,
- “you aren’t a good listener”,
- “you are disorganized”
- “you don’t love me enough”
If their heart clearly said otherwise, they truly believed they were sensitive, they truly believed they were a good listener and they were an organized person, they truly believed they loved with all their sole, those words didn’t carry arrows to penetrate them and bounced right off.
What was the difference for those clients that got hooked by criticism?
Because criticism hurts when it mirrors what we believe about ourselves, often what feels like a problem with painful criticism is really a problem with what we believe about ourselves. It isn’t that we are upset about the person providing the criticism that stings, its that they touched upon a soft spot within us leading right into the belief or fear we have about ourselves.
Take a minute to reflect on those instances where someone said something “critical” that wasn’t a big deal to you. You may have to think long and hard because you so quickly were able to let it go. You paid no attention or gave it any meaning. You didn’t get hooked by it.
Now think of a time where you did get hooked. Where what someone said, the feedback they gave to you, was so piercing, feelings rose up and stopped you cold. We all have at least one example! Now ask yourself what was the belief you had about yourself that someone’s words got you hooked? Write it down. That’s where your power starts. You can unhook yourself.
How perhaps is that criticism still hooking you in? Is that belief you hold onto about yourself still showing up today?
One last suggestion. I invite you to think about someone you really admire. At work, in entertainment, maybe your social media guru? Do they get criticized? YES IS THE ANSWER. Ever wonder what the person may be feeling or better yet thinking about themselves, as they are offering up the criticism? YEP, their criticism has everything to do with them.
If you are ready to get unhooked? It is doable. Click the button below and bring it to a call.
Decide ahead of time that you will have a fantastic week ahead.
P.S. If you are a coach, I’m participating in the ICF accredited Coach Supervision Certification Program. I’m offering 6 hours of FREE coach supervision (no matter your coaching experience). I have 3 spots left. Schedule your no-cost 30-minute supervision consultation to find out more and answer questions. All supervisions are virtual.