“It is easy to teach one to be skillful, but it is difficult to teach him his own attitude.” - Bruce Lee

When we are challenged, or someone says something that we’re not doing right, it is easy to get defensive and shut out the critique. Even if someone comes at you with a nasty tone, or in a mocking way, the best way to take any criticism, positive or negative, is to be self aware. Listen to what is being said, and decide if any of the information is helpful. Take what you want from the information coming at you and move on.

Defending your position with sarcasm and snarky comebacks is never helpful. There is actually a great book on many of these concepts called “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” by Bruce Lee. It is a great read for anyone who has issues with critique or communication.

Some of us might do well when people we like critique us, but when strangers or people we don’t like give us critique or let us know what we’re doing wrong we immediately get offended and allow the situation to hurt us, rather than help us. A simple fix to this is:


  • Either what they're saying is true, and you just need to work on it.
  • Or what they're saying is not true and you don’t need to worry about it.

Getting offended does nothing for you. There are no takeaways, nobody wins. Understand that people are going to judge your work in progress. You might not be where you would like to and everyone will critique you in the moment as if you’re displaying a final product. Instead of getting upset and making excuses and disclaimers:

Take the heat. 
Decipher the good. And keep going.

Opening yourself up to critique and adding some self awareness is a great way to grow as a performer and a person. If you can understand that your attitude is what really drives your success, you will move further, faster, and things will be much easier and less mentally draining. But if you allow other people’s opinions and critiques to constantly derail your mindset, you will never truly win.


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