Truth Over Criticism

Finding the real you and discarding the rest.

“Arrogant.”

“Humble.”

“Conceited.”

“Selfless.”

I have some of the best supporters in the world. I have family, friends, even strangers who see only the best in me. They see a perfect man that could do no wrong.

I also have some of the harshest critics in the world. One simple mistake has changed their perspective of me. One slip of character has forever engraved a negative outlook of me into their minds of who I am. No blog post, no confession, no change of heart will ever alter that reality.

We all have this. We all see the best and the worst of both worlds. One side gives us confidence and potentially swells our egos bigger than necessary, whereas the other side breaks us down, hurts our hearts, and pushes us into shame for who we are.

Within the realm of criticism, there will always be naysayers. On one hand, there will always be biased positive supporters. On the other hand, there will always be those who tend to give the allusion that they know more about who you are than even you might. Some critics only point out the best, others only point out the worst. Somewhere lost in the middle of criticism is truth.

How do we find truth? How do we distinguish distasteful or untrue opinions from reality? What can we do besides hang onto the words given to us? At some point we must find a way to grow. We are not on this earth to exist and remain the same. We are here to evolve into the best version of ourselves. Criticism can chain us to an unrealistic perspective. It’s time we break free. Like losing weight or becoming a millionaire, it is simple, but it is not easy.

Take in criticism with a filter

Imagine criticism as contaminated water. Ultimately, we can drink it if we so choose. However, it is tainted. There are chemicals, poisons, and substances that may be destructive to our physical well-being. To fix this, we have created filters that purify water and allow us to return the substance to its’ purest state. What if there was a way we could do the same with criticism? Not all criticism is truth, and not all opinions are the purest state of truth, or how the reality of things truly are. Good or bad.

Allow the tainted, often biased, perspective to pass through your own filter. This requires a high level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness. For this to work, a total self-assessment is required. One must glean the criticism given and compare it to the reality of how they actually think, how they actually speak, and how they actually respond. One moment and lapse of character does not define one, but it most certainly cannot be a non-factor to the truth.

As criticism is taken in, allow yourself to filter out the bad, or untrue opinions. Be able to distinguish biased perspectives. Know that not all criticism comes from truth, but it may come from one that is hurt. As they say, hurt people, hurt people.

Discard what is not truth

We as a culture have evolved to the point that new human nature is to over consume. We pack our lives with clutter. So much so, that we become overwhelmed and stressed out. We consume until we don’t have enough space. We purchase large spaces to hold all of our goods thinking it will solve the problem. Then, we continue to fill it until even the new, larger space isn’t enough. Forgetting what the underlying issue is: we store more than we need and more than we can use.

How we store criticism is no different. We cram the thoughts and opinions of others into our heads so frequently that we often need to increase our own head space. We start meditating and reading/watching quick-fix, self-help resources to learn methods to cope with the stressors, however, we continue to hold onto the criticisms. Again, forgetting what the underlying issue is.

Where the real issues lie is that we neglect to discard what we do not need, what we can no longer use, and what does not add value into our lives.

Look around in your room. The items laying around that have no purpose and no use mimics the idea of what we do with criticism. We sit on it, when instead we should develop the habit of filtering criticism, then discarding the waste. Our goal and call to action is to put behind us the heavy thoughts and words of others. Our goal is to not hang up on the words of those who see no wrong in us, because our junk stinks too (if you know what I mean).

Write your truth

Our life is a blank sheet of paper. Each day we have a chance to write our own story. We have an opportunity to improve or we can choose to take the route of complacency and remain the same, repeating the same chapter over and over again. We have chance to create the image and life of who we want to be.

What we consume begins to be what we are. The truth behind who we are is ever-changing with the ebb and flow of the influences and thoughts we place into our lives. The people, the music, the media, the places we go and consume, all play a role into the truth.

Take inventory of your life and find out what the truth is. If you desire to be more and grow into more, take the time and steps to do so. This may mean ending toxic relationships, spending less time with the darkness of the nightlife and more time with the tranquility of a quiet morning. Maybe it means you starve bad habits and feed into those that are positive. Whatever it is for you, allow yourself the time to brainstorm and create who you want to be.

Most importantly, establish your “why?” Begin to process your purpose for change and growth. The fact of the matter is, when we live for just ourselves we can never succeed. The truth we write must have a purpose bigger than just us.

When the pressures of life push you to your breaking point, you must lean on inspiration so big that you find the courage and perseverance to be the person you always wanted: The true you.

Have you found your true self? What type of criticism do you receive and how do you suggest handling it? Leave a comment!

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