Make criticism your friend

Today, something interesting happened to me which i’d like to share. After posting 95 times on this blog, I finally got my first negative comment. It appeared in my spam box, but before I had the chance to respond, it had disappeared. This is not an attempt to boost my ego by bragging, but I am writing to share the experience and what I learned from it.

The funny thing is that, despite its content, this message energised me. I felt a surge of motivation, which turned to disappointment when the message was no longer there. The message itself simply stated that reading one of my posts had been a waste of time, as it lacked information. The thing is, this person was right. That particular post had been written to inspire readers to question their situation and take action. It was motivational, rather than informative. I should have made that clearer in my writing.

It is very easy to be discouraged and disheartened by one bad review or comment. It has happened to me plenty of times in the past. This time, however, was different. It made me question what I am doing, and how I could do it better. It also made me realise that our response to criticism is our choice. It’s all about perspective and mindset. It’s easy to accept criticism as fact and give up, but this fails to take into account that another person’s criticism is simply their opinion and not a fact. Another person might see or read the same thing and enjoy it.

When I post on this blog, it is in the hope of providing value in one of two ways. The first type of post aims to provide value through sharing experiences, advice and information. The second type of post, however, is written as a call to action.

This was the first criticism which I have received while blogging, and if the author is reading this, thank you. I appreciate all feedback, and this particular piece motivated me to revisit my writing style and ensure that I am writing to the best of my ability each time. The aim is that this review and reflection leads to better quality writing, while providing more value for all readers. My only regret is that the comment has disappeared and I am unable to share it here.

I welcome, and enjoy reading, all feedback. While positive feedback lets me know what you find interesting or useful, negative feedback is a powerful tool which can help me to provide even better material for your reading pleasure. So, please keep sharing and I will do my best to keep improving.

As far as any lessons which I have to offer, it is that your response to criticism is your choice. You can let it get you down, or it can fuel the fire within you to keep growing and improving. It’s easier said than done and requires practice, but criticism can be a force for good when it spurs you into action. Use negative feedback to review, reflect and improve your offering. I chose to be motivated by criticism to improve my blog. When criticism comes to you, how will you respond?

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