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Great minds on confronting criticism


Success is a wonderful thing, yet the flip side is the criticism one encounters while climbing that ladder and the storm only worsens once one reaches the top.

Who better to listen to when it comes to advice on handling this unavoidable occurrence then than those who reached the pinnacle and lived to tell about it?

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings has sifted through a decade’s worth of reading for some gems to help us deal with critics and their barbs as constructively (or humorously) as possible.

Mark Twain in Mark Twain’s Notebook:

The critic’s symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else’s dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.

Eleanor Roosevelt in You Learn By Living:

If you consider that you are being criticized by someone who is seeking knowledge and has an open mind, then you naturally feel you must try to meet that criticism. But if you feel that the criticism is made out of sheer malice and that no amount of explanation will change a point of view which has nothing to do with the facts, then the best thing is to put it out of your mind entirely.

Theodore Roosevelt in The Man in the Arena: Selected Writings of Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Full story at Brain Pickings.

Quotes to inspire confidence.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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Comments are off for this post.

  • Ms.Kate, you have made this article for me only it seems. I was looking for how to react to criticism and this came up. This will help me to handle criticism in a creative way and remain cheerful.
    Thank you.

  • Bri

    Just ignore and carry on.