Criticism is one of those things that is naturally considered negative. However, when you learn to use it to your advantage then you turn it into a positive motivating force.
First, you have to know how to use criticism to your advantage though.
1. Acknowledge how it makes you feel
That does not mean wallow in those feelings, but it is important to recognize the sting of criticism. That is often the sting of truth.
Face it, criticism hurts. Admitting that it hurts and knowing that you are not alone or weak to feel upset by it is the first step towards turning it to your advantage.
2. Take some time to think before you react
Your gut instinct when you receive criticism is to react emotionally. You may be in fight or flight mode and responding while in that kind of frenzied state is never productive.
Try sleeping on criticism before you do or say anything in response. It can help avoid embarrassing situations and help you to turn the criticism to your advantage.
3. Reflect on who is giving you the criticism
Is the person giving you the criticism somebody you consider a trusted and wise advisor? Do you value their opinion as being a knowledgeable point of reference?
Some people feel entitled to weigh in with their opinions on every topic, regardless of whether they know the subject about which they are talking. If the person criticizing you is one of these people, you can discount their uneducated negativity and move on.
Don’t waste your time on any criticism that cannot be used to your advantage.
4. Consider in what spirit the criticism is offered
Is the criticism coming in the spirit of kindness and collaboration or from a place of mean-spiritedness? Is the person delivering the criticism sick, under a lot of pressure, going through a challenging time?
Keeping a clear sense of perspective can help make it easier to see whether the criticism is worth considering or ignoring. There is no sense wasting time trying to find an advantage in criticism that is cruel or offered from a place of emotion rather than reason.
5. Find the inherent gift in any well-informed, supportive criticism
By now you have taken time to let yourself feel the sting of criticism and slept on it until you could approach it logically rather than emotionally. You have also considered whether the criticism is knowledgeable and well-meaning.
Now you can decide whether there is anything of value to be learned from this piece of criticism. If there is not, then you should ignore it and keep moving forward with positivity.