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How To Deal With Criticism And Negativity

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I recently received a question from someone, asking “How do you deal with criticism and negativity?”

Great question.

I believe we're all subject to criticism and negativity from time to time.  This is especially true if you're someone that's more in the spotlight and have put yourself in a position where you're being viewed by millions of people.

I've faced my fair share of criticism in my lifetime.  Formerly being a shy young man, I was always a target for criticism from others and was constantly made fun of.  People saw me as an “easy target” and often would poke jabs at me to elevate their status.

On my journey of self-improvement, I worked hard to improve my confidence and social skills.   This required putting myself out there, meeting random strangers, approaching women and as a result, dealing with massive rejection.

And even further, being a YouTube personality and blogger, I'm even more susceptible to criticism and negativity as I am now in the public spotlight, being viewed by millions of people around the world.

In this video blog, I cover how to deal with criticism and negativity.  I share a bit about my experience with it and how to not be affected by it.

Watch the video below:

(Click here to watch the video on YouTube)

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Why Criticism And Negativity Happens

Anytime that someone criticizes you or is negative towards you, understand this:

It has nothing to do with you.

It is always a reflection of the other persons mental and emotional state.

People that are truly happy and fulfilled have no reason to put others down.  They have no reason to hate, be judgemental, criticize or be negative towards others.

Happy people, filled with joy and abundance, openly share and express positivity.  They bring others up, look for the good, are positive and cheerful.

On the other hand, someone that is negative and criticizes – they're typically unhappy and unfulfilled in their lives.

These haters are “fault finders”.  They're people that are unhappy with themselves and their own lives, so they take it out on others.  By pointing out the flaws or criticizing others, it momentarily makes them feel better about themselves.

Here's one of my favourite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them 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, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high 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 neither know victory nor defeat.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

How To Handle Criticism And Negativity

First and foremost, you need to become accept it.

The most famous and successful people in the world all face massive criticism.

There's a good saying:

“To avoid criticism – say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

So anytime that you're attempting to be great, understand that you'll face criticism.  Accept it.

Professional athletes, entertainers, musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, presidents, leaders, etc… ALL face criticism.

In the social media world we live in today, it's harder to avoid.

These people are getting haters on their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – you name it!

How do they deal with it?  They become immune to it.

They literally become de-sensitized towards it because they've encountered so much of it.

So I think the first step in overcoming it, is just facing it head on and eventually you don't let it bother you.

However, I think one of the most important pieces is really developing your own self-confidence and self-worth.

When I was younger, I got picked on.

Kids would say to me: “You're stupid.  You're ugly.  You're a loser.”

Because I didn't have much confidence in who I was, I just accepted those beliefs as part of my reality.

I started to think that I was “stupid” and “ugly” and a “loser”.

As I got into self-development, I made a decision: “Nobody decides who I am or what I believe but me.”

YOU DICTATE WHO YOU ARE.  Nobody else.

I started to develop my own beliefs and became more confident.  I started to believe that I was intelligent, good looking, fun, cool, etc…

These beliefs became convictions, the more that I worked on myself.

As a result now, I have rock-solid confidence and belief in who I am.

I have a STRONG identity.

When people say to me “You're stupid” or “You're a loser”, it just bounces off of me.  I just laugh.

Why?  Because I'm not easily swayed in my beliefs.  My beliefs are strong and I know who I am.

Like I said, nobody can dictate who I am or what I believe about myself than I do.

Ultimately, I look myself in the mirror each day and am proud of what I see.  My friends, family, and my Creator are all proud of me and those are the opinions that I value most.

You should too.

You shouldn't be affected by those that don't know you or haven't seen the real you.

They're just making judgements and assumptions, based on their limited view of you.

So that is the real secret to overcoming criticism.  It comes down to your confidence.

Those that are negative and criticize you?  Just send them love.

Pray for them, love them and be positive towards them.  If you do that, they'll have no power over you!

In a book I read recently called “Love Is Letting Go Of Fear”, it states that there are only two responses from people:

A Loving response or a Cry For Help.

Any Cry For Help is just a request for love.

That's how you have to view those criticisms and negativity.  They're suffering in their lives and are requesting love.  So why not just send them love and positive vibes?  Who knows, maybe they'll change!

Please leave a comment below or let me know any questions you have.  I'd love to hear what you think!

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How To Deal With Criticism And Negativity
5 (100%) 4 votes
  • Hey Stefan, Great video.

    I love how you explain about your beliefs because that’s spot on. Just like I might have a solid belief that the sky is blue on a clear day; if someone tries to convince me that the sky is yellow, I would just roll my eyes because my belief is that strong. I wouldn’t have my feelings hurt by this person. It’s the same with your beliefs about anything – including your self-worth.

    Once your conviction about yourself is strong and unwavering, anyone else’s negative opinion (whether they’re just trying to bring you down or they actually believe it) about you is really quite irrelevant. You can just roll your eyes like you would at the yellow sky.

    Good stuff, enjoy France!

    • Thanks Ryan! That’s an excellent point. Keep rocking it brother!

  • Andreea Bordas

    Hey man, I LOVE your videos, this one in particolar is SO true, and amazing, and ispiring! I really admire you for the great work you do with your blog and YouTube channel! I read every mail you send me with pleasure and I’m so excited when I see that we always think in the same way! I am into self improvement since I was 17 too, now I am 19, and it all started with a course of memory techniques and then with my choice to collaborate with that amazing and super motivated group of young people for a year! It was the most amazing time of my life, and I got a lot out of the comfort zone, getting to know new people every day. Now I am out of that group but my heart still beats when I hear people like you speaking about this sort of things and I feel inside that my dream is to become a Life coach and to help people from all over the world to change their life for the better. And YOU are my biggest inspiration right now.
    Thank you soo much,
    Andreea

    • Wow, awesome Andreea, very happy to hear we have so much in common and I am able to add value to your life! Maybe will meet one day. Good luck!

  • Christopher K. Riley

    Thanks for that video Stefan, you address those issues perfectly. I wish you could come to the UK and do a few seminars, I’d be front and centre at them. Watch your videos everyday, inspiring beyond measure. Thanks Chris 🙂