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Constructing Resilience Through Criticism

22 May
Constructing Resilience Through Criticism

Disregard for constructive criticism infects the lives of many each day, ultimately having an adverse affect on one’s personal growth. People resent being corrected and/or having to accept that their options are not the only solutions. Plainly said, they are not resilient enough to be wrong. 

I appreciate receiving constructive criticism and I respect individuals that can accept constructive criticism.

Receiving constructive criticism is a process that involves considering the thoughts and perspectives of someone else, reflecting on the critique and suggestions provided, and deciding whether or not to incorporate the given advice into your plan.

I was not always capable of handling the processes involved in constructive criticism. As a child, I could not see the learning opportunities in being “wrong”, therefore stifling my creativity and the ability to improve my coping and communication skills.

Theatre eventually provided me with the skills to do so, however.

There were eight of us in my theatre class beginning my sophomore year of high school. It was in the consistent space of open-minded individuals that I learned to embrace the idea that others were creative, smart, and caring enough to offer better, or improved options, in a variety of situations.

At 15 I realized that cooperation is the foundation of constructive criticism, and it is a fundamental aspect of the creative process. Acting, script writing, and directing encouraged my close-knit class to attempt new elements of engagement during rehearsals. I was not allowed to be the only person that was “right”; in order for the audience to be satisfied, the role of every person on and off stage was valid. It was with this group of artistic players in training that I felt safe receiving and sharing criticism.

My potential to co-exist was growing peacefully. 

Believe it or not, I never had a conflict with a member of my theatre cohort in high school. For three years, we spent one hour and 45 minutes together, 5 days a week, for 9 months out of the year. We brought the drama to the script and to the stage. We learned and practiced resilience as we criticized one another with care and a desire for excellence, instead of the unknown place, better known as, insecurity.

On a regular basis I observe people of all ages disregard constructive criticism as “hating”, “jealousy”, “minding my business” and other foolish terms that create isolation and “yes man” relationships.

By accepting that I am imperfect and that others are “good enough” to redirect me, thus embracing constructive criticism, I remain humble and susceptible to unimaginable success.

Are you able to give and receive constructive criticism? If not, what do you think holds you back?

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