I grew up in a family of high achievers. My siblings and I had great examples of what achieving success should look like.  A factor that I strongly believe leads to success is acknowledging criticism. I learned to embrace criticism when I was fourteen years old.  I remember coming home from ballet class one evening and telling my mother that the instructor kept giving me corrections.  My mother, a former professional ballet dancer told me “corrections are a good thing. It means she notices that you have potential and that you need to work on a few things in order to progress.  If she didn’t think that you had potential to move forward she wouldn’t correct you. “

At the time I didn’t believe my mother, however, she made a valid point. I’ve applied what my mother has said to various areas I strive to succeed in, to include my education, hobbies and as a professional. Leaders strive for perfection, however, it doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with accepting corrections and failures. Below, are five reasons one should embrace criticism.

  1. Investing in your flaws

    When others point out your mistakes or areas of weakness, the majority of the time it is not intended to be hurtful, rather the opposite. It is intended to help you better yourself. The individual sees your potential and most likely is willing to extend a helping hand.

  2. Appreciate imperfection

    A life without challenges is a life I would prefer not live with. One should strive for challenges. Perfection does not exist, however imperfections are something to look forward to improving. Critiques allow us to set a goal for ourselves and likely later achieve.

  3. Criticism is another way of learning

    When you receive a critique, recognize that critique; identify a way to correct the weakness. Not only do you learn about the weakness but also you learn about yourself along the way that can help with future obstacles you should face.

  4. Be open minded

    Always identify the challenge you are seeking to achieve, the obstacles that can come in the way of success and most importantly the lessons you learned along the way.  Many of those lessons learned can be applied to future challenges.

Those that can accept criticism and apply it to whatever challenge they are hoping to achieve end up being a true success story that future generations can speak of. We should recognize when one critiques you they are investing in you and are contributing to make you better. It is up to you to remain open minded and learn from their suggestion. In the end, you for the most part are in control of your future.

Alexa S