I Love Criticism!

How do you feel about criticism? I’m talking about these feedbacks from your family, friends, co-workers, and sometimes strangers…when you learn that you are not as great as you thought, or that you really messed up. Do you feel a rush of anger or frustration? If so, you react like most people, but it could be totally different if you were to give this criticism a different meaning. Why would you be interested in doing that? Because feeling a negative emotion is a stressful place to be, and the first trigger to overeating and binge eating.

Feeling balanced and in harmony keeps you away from the need to cope. Anytime you feel stress, it’s a  signal that self-exploration is necessary. Your feelings are your guidance system.

People in your life are your best coaches. They really put you to work! They know all your flaws and don’t forget to let you know. They most likely are not even aware that, by doing so, they give you an amazing opportunity to grow as an individual.

Let me illustrate this point:

You come home exhausted after a hard day at work. You rapidly clean up the house and take care of the dinner: macaroni and cheese while preparing for an early meeting the following day. Your spouse and kids tell you that you could have done better! They don’t really like that dish anymore because you have made it too many times before.

Do you feel hurt, because you think you have done your best considering the circumstances? Do you explode into an argument and tell them about your day? How about simply explaining to them how mean and ungrateful they are? If you do, how does it feel for you…and for them? Remember they are the people you love and cherish… and that includes you.

Is their criticism reasonable? They are surely right, at least from where they stand. So how can reacting negatively help? It doesn’t. It brings unnecessary pain to you and to the people around you. It may feel good in that moment, but the consequences outweigh that brief moment.

Now, if we simply accept their criticism:

“I understand what you are saying, and you know my dear, you are right. I had no time to prepare dinner. Surely I could have done better. I will get more organized and have a dinner ready in the freezer to prevent the same circumstances from reoccurring.”

In this case, you feel good and close to your family. There is a real communication going on between the members of your family. You feel strong because the little things of life—insignificant events that you will not remember in two weeks—don’t make you forget the big picture. In fact, it is the contrary; these situations that can turn into drama in some families make yours stronger and confirm the cohesion of its members. Indeed, accepting feedback is the proof that real communication exists. It also shows that people care and respect each other enough to allow honest feedback. Criticism is sometimes hard to take, but if we accept to look at it, instead of reacting with anger, we actually can learn a lot. Each and every time, we get an opportunity to grow. Whether we decide to take into account those criticisms because they are constructive or we are just challenged to acknowledge other’s opinions, we end up gaining a better understanding of the people we love, and of course, ourselves! Most of the time, we can also learn something valuable that will help us improve in a practical way! If you don’t see your own weaknesses or errors, people around us sure do! Let’s be grateful for that gift!

If you want to learn more about the Bellsai weight loss method, I invite you to take my Free 5-Keys to Successful Weight-Loss e-course: www.Bellsai.com/5keys
You’re welcome to use this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “About The Author” info below:)

About the Author:

Isabelle Johansen is a life coach specialized in helping people address their overeating and weight loss challenges.  She is the Founder of Bellsai Mindful Weight Loss and Binge-Eating-Solutions.com. She coaches individually and in groups, and lead weight management classes at top Silicon Valley companies and the YMCA. Her clients gain a more positive outlook on their life, feel more centered and happy as they lose weight without struggle with the Bellsai Method.  To learn more go to: www.Bellsai.com.

Her free 5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss eCourse is available at www.Bellsai.com/5keys

Copyright @2010  Isabelle Johansen. All rights reserved.

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