Dealing With Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

It is hard for many to receive any type of criticism. Our ego makes it hard for us to receive it well. It can be hurtful, it stings. The thing is we need to learn to take a more mindful approach when dealing with Constructive criticism. This type of criticism isn’t there to harm you, but it is there to help one improve. We tend not to think of it that way though.

We associate constructive criticism with that person is attacking me, or that person is after me, or that person is picking on me. You may get offended. Have your pride a bit hurt. You may think ‘I am good at what I do, how can they criticize my work?’ The ego makes it all about me. Although we may see our faults and call them out. We definitely don’t like when others point out any faults, or mistakes of ours.

The thing about constructive criticism is that it is used to help you improve, and work more efficiently. The person giving constructive criticism could be doing this to makes things work more efficiently. To help make things become easier for other workers, and to make the customers happy. It may be hurtful, but we as individuals must remember that it isn’t all about you. No one is perfect. No one knows everything. You will make mistakes. You will not do everything right. Learning not to take this type of criticism personally takes getting to understand you are not perfect, and not always right, and being aware of our ego and how powerful it can be.

When it comes to work. There is always something bigger than yourself. You must expect criticism, even if you consider yourself a good worker. It doesn’t change the fact that you could make mistakes, or do things that may not be in the best interest of other workers, the company, or your customers. As we are not perfect beings. There is always something one can improve upon. It may hurt your pride/ego, but it is better to learn and grow, than to keep making the same mistakes repeatedly. I mean we all want to become the best we can be at what we do right? It all part of growing, evolving and learning.

You can only improve from constructive criticism and guidance. Well, that is if you are able to handle it in a mindful manner. You can also turn it against you, and become negative, angry, upset, bitter etc,. Remember that in the end, that just hurts you. Use that criticism as fuel to become better. Don’t use it to destroy your inner peace and progress.

Perfection is unattainable. We can only keep improving and working on ourselves. I know I am a good worker, but I know there are things I can improve upon. I have made mistakes at my work, and have been called out on it. I didn’t take it personally. I just took in their constructive criticism, listened to what they had they say, which made sense. I didn’t push back. I didn’t attack. I didn’t become reactive. I listened and gained new knowledge of things I can do better. I have learned to take it in and not take it personally. It is not about me. It is about getting things done in a more efficient way for the customers.

You may think doing things your way is the best option. The thing is the ego likes us to think our way is the right way. Sometimes you got to step back, and learn to be open minded to others opinions and advice. It may turn out their way is more efficient, or they may have some helpful advice. Some may have more experience, so they may know more than you do. There are a couple of times I thought one way was a good way, but then was taught another way that was more efficient. There is nothing wrong with learning and owning up to your mistakes. It can be hard. It can hurt your pride, but what is better, keeping your ego/pride intact, or growing and learning as an individual?

Now there can be some criticism that can be hurtful for an individual. Criticism that isn’t helpful in anyway, but is just plain hurtful is the wrong type of criticism you should not take. We should remember to tell the difference. Constructive criticism is there to help and guide you. It is there to help you improve, grow and learn. Regular criticism usually comes from a negative place, from a negative individual. Remember that type of criticism is a reflection of them, not you. It is best to ignore this type of criticism. There is no place for negative people, and their criticism in your life. Try not to allow them to pull you down with them.

Constructive criticism is good for us. The ego makes it hard for us to accept it. We must learn to break away from the ego. Be mindful and learn to take on constructive criticism to help improve. In the end, you want to do your best. You can’t do that by ignoring mistakes and flaws in your work. Remember, there is nothing to learn from perfection, and wouldn’t life be boring if there was nothing to learn?

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Learning to Adapt

I had a topic in mind this week, but I like to talk about a personal experience of mind. I tend to find inspiration to share my experiences of my mindful practices. I am always gaining some new enlightenment or reminders through my practices. With practicing mindfulness for a couple of years now. My ability to adapt to change in plans, or disappointment has improved.

I usually spend my weekends taking walks in the morning, but this Saturday the weather wasn’t particularly the best for walking. It was rainy and stormy. I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t go for a walk. It is really refreshing to take my walks in the morning, but as I realize plans don’t always go the way you want, weather is unpredictable, life is unpredictable.

I didn’t want to wallow in disappointment and let it defeat and consume me. I decided to use this negative emotion in a positive way. I wanted to use this rainy day to do some writing I have been holding off for a year now. I have been thinking about writing a book, but never really got to it. I decided to use this extra time at home to work on it. I am most creative and motivated in the morning, so this was my chance to work on it. I was happy to get a couple of things done. It was really rewarding to start it. I didn’t do much, but every little step towards your goal helps. I always think it is best to do thing little by little, instead of overwhelming yourself to get as much done. It puts a lot of pressure on oneself.

I was proud of myself that I was able to do something productive and positive with my extra time home, instead of wasting it one being sad and disappointed. I started to appreciate the time I got to be home. This was my chance to relax. I am always moving with work, during the work week. This rainy day was my opportunity to relax my body. Although, I have become aware of it. I like to be reminded that change can be a wonderful experience if you learn to focus your energy on the positives of it, and make use of it.

I also found it relaxing and soothing to just sit there and listen to the sound of rain. It was quite nice. It made me appreciate rainy days like these. Sometimes we need days like these to find inspiration, be creative and relax our bodies. I was reminded Saturday that a day at home can be just as wonderful as a day exploring. It is all about perspective.

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Thoughts to end the Work Week

I always enjoy reading my mindful day book, before heading off to work. I thought this message was perfect for these times. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity storm out there. Just remember there is beauty out there. There are things to be positive about. Things may look grim now, but we can get through this with a calm and positive mind. It is easy to be filled with hate and anger, but change can only happen from a peaceful, calm and positive heart and mind. I know this is hard to practice, but try not to look into the worries of tomorrow. Try not to dwell on the sorrows of yesterday. Look into the wonders of today. You can only change what happens in the moment. The moment is your chance to grow, learn, challenge oneself, evolve, make change etc,. Struggles are lessons to overcome. Try to live each day as happily as one can. See the good, see the possibility, see the positivity. I know for some it is hard, I get it, I empathize. Just remember a negative mind and soul does nothing for your peace of mind and well-being. I wrote a bit more than I thought I would. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Try to do something that invokes peace and happiness within yourself.

Finding Peace, Joy & Happiness

These days it can be hard to find the good in life. The media is consumed with negativity at the moment. This is why it is important to step away and take time to be mindful. I went for a lovely walk at a park. The scenery was beautiful. It made me see the beauty and good of this world. The Earth is quite beautiful if you really look at it. Moments like these bring peace, joy and happiness. Find those moments that bring you these things. Our state of mind is very important. We must remember to remain at peace, so we can continue to live the best way we can. I always find clarity, inspiration and meaning through my walks. Nature is truly a beautiful thing.

Ways of Creating and Avoiding Negativity

It is easy to fall into the trap of negativity these days, so much is going on that can cultivate negative feelings, emotions and behaviors. We must remember that we have to take care of our minds and bodies. A stress or negative mind and body can’t solve anything or make a change. Taking care of your mental health is important. So being aware of what cultivates negativity and how it can be avoided is a good step towards a more content and peaceful life.

Negative thoughts, feelings and emotions are ubiquitous, but there are ways you can avoid having them rule your life. There are triggers that can cultivate a negative mindset and lifestyle. I wanted to list a couple of things that promote a negative mindset/lifestyle. The best thing for your well-being is to steer clear of these things as much as possible. I just want you to be aware of the things that create a negative world, so that you can figure out ways to avoid falling into this trap. You may not be able to control negativity all the time, but you can learn to alleviate these negative thoughts/behaviors/habits most of the time if one becomes more aware of these habits.

Ways that create negativity:

Judging looking down on others, talking about others, questioning others lifestyle. This mindset is not helpful for you at all. Focusing on oneself is most important.

Complaining Leads to no solution

Reactive behavior Being cut off in traffic, arguments, angry outburst ,annoyance, someone saying things you don’t like or does things you don’t like. This can all make one react in a negative manner. It is best at times like these to step back and take breaths. These reactions can cause stress to the mind and body and raise one’s blood pressure, so it is best to avoid these reactions as much as you can.

Gossiping Wasting energy on others does nothing fulfilling or satisfying for oneself. This just promotes a judgmental mentality. Using your time to promote self-growth, learn, talk about insightful, in-depth topics.

Comparisons Looking at the positive of others and focusing on the negative of ourselves. People tend to focus on what we don’t have that others do. Try focusing on what you have that others may not have. No one is perfect. Comparisons can be problematic.

Victim mentality leads to no solution, one can’t improve or change with this mindset. Blaming others, circumstances, and the world takes the power away from you. I am not saying blame yourself, but one must remember that we have control of certain things in life. This mentality reduces that power. People with this mentality tend to feel helpless and the reality is that they are not.

Criticism This is towards oneself and others. It can lead or be a result of low confidence, or self-acceptance/love.

Controlling mindset The need to control others and the world around you is impossible and unrealistic. This can lead to a very stressed and angry individual. You can only control your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Let the rest be.

News/SNS We all know these things can be triggers, especially these days.

Pessimistic mindset Ah yes, the half glass full mindset. Focusing on the bad, negative and wrongs of the world.

It is easy for humans to focus on the negatives. From an evolutionary standpoint it makes sense. It was needed to ward off any foreign dangers, predators, other tribes, dangerous foods/plants. It makes sense that our brains are wired to focus on the negatives, but these days most of our negative thoughts are not cultivated from dangerous situations. They are just perceived that way. This is why it is so much harder to be positive.

Negative thinking is hard to avoid, but we do have control of how we perceive things in life. There are ways to promote a healthier, more positive mindset. I know this is repetitive, as I mentioned these a lot before, but it is important to keep mentioning it, so that these habits become habitual to live life with a more peaceful and positive mindset.

Ways to avoid negativity:

Take breaths Just stop and take deep breaths. This can help calm your negative thoughts and emotions. I always feel a sense of calmness doing this.

Take mindful breaks This is always helpful for me when I am consumed with so much information and negativity from the online world. Just getting back to yourself can create such peace and happiness.

Write down negative thoughts I saw this somewhere online, during my research. I thought this approach was interesting. Visually seeing your negative thoughts can be powerful. Letting it out on paper and to the world. Can put the negativity away from you and to these words on paper.It helps release the negative energy within you. Seeing your thoughts on paper may motivate oneself to change your perspective. I may try this one in the future.

Meditate Always a helpful tool when stressed, feeling down, or when negative thoughts consume oneself.

Exercise Known to reduce stress and depression. Gives one a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Go outside/walk in nature Something that is very helpful for myself. I always get a sense of peace coming back from a walk.

Change your language Avoid can’t,won’t, never, always, life is bad, people are bad. Push away negative words and put more emphasis on positive ones.

Practice gratitude Appreciate what you have, what is good, the beauty of yourself, others and life.

Practice compassion Show love for oneself, others and the world can help promote a positive and healthier mindset.

Practice forgiveness This can release a lot of tension and weigh on your shoulders. It will be much easier to move on and find peace if one does this.

Do things that spark joy Taking walk in nature, reading, listening to music are all things that bring me joy and happiness. Find things that do that for you. Feeling of happiness and content will exceed the negative feelings and emotions.

Be creative/productive Gives one a lovely sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and peace of mind. Doing something for your self-growth is always satisfying and rewarding. It can also help boost your confidence and give oneself a sense of appreciation.

Helping others There is nothing more rewarding, than helping others in need. We all can do our part in helping others in any way we can. It doesn’t have to be big, any small gesture helps.

Take action These negative thoughts will consume your life if one does not decide to make a change. What exactly is creating this negative mindset, life. What can I do to change this and live a more positive lifestyle. It is important to take steps away from the negativity.

I will end this with some quotes on this topic. I hope you all learn to live each day more happily, positively and peacefully. I hope you all have a lovely week.

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Chasing Happiness

We find ourselves chasing happiness. Not realizing it is right in front of us. The only way to find true happiness is within ourselves. It is about acceptance, appreciation and gratitude of who we are and what we have.

Trying to find happiness through external sources(success, life dreams, money, objects) will just lead to stress, anger, frustration, jealousy among other negative emotions. You try to seek happiness, but end up seeking sadness instead, because expectations are trying to be met.

Happiness isn’t something to obtain. It is always there, just like all other emotions. You never seek sadness, but it finds its way to appear. Happiness can also appear once you find peace within yourself and life. You just have to learn to appreciate the things around you, and be content with how things are.

Happiness isn’t static. It shouldn’t be the main goal. Like all emotions, it comes and goes. There will be times you won’t be happy, and that is okay. Don’t beat yourself up for not being happy. It just ends up making you feel worse.

In the end, happiness isn’t something to seek, it is just there. You just have to learn how to allow it into your life. There is no need to search for it.Awareness, appreciation, satisfaction, understanding, acceptance, and positive thinking all can contribute to happiness.

Nordic nations seem to have the formula correct. They are consistently listed as the happiest countries. Why? Because of their satisfaction of the simple things in life. They aren’t the richest. They aren’t particularly career driven. They don’t seek money, and they aren’t materialistic. They just want to live their lives, enjoying the beauty and experiences of the world. They live life in a comfortable environment as freely as they can making connections with the people around them. It seems this is the right formula to ensure happiness. This can create a longer lasting happy mindset, rather than the short-term happiness from external sources.

 

 

Be Appreciative. Be Positive. Live A Happy Life

I wanted to write this post to share my new mindset of being positive and appreciative. I should make this one of my goals for 2020. I kind of started to do this last year, along my journey with mindfulness. I really like to practice this a bit more this year.

I think this is a great mindset to have. It has made me a much more happy and content person. I like to focus my energy on the positive, and be appreciative of life. I don’t want to be consumed by negativity. I see myself being more at peace, calm, and happy now that I decided to see the bright side of life. I am in control of how I perceive things. I can either choose to be angry, bitter, sad, or miserable, or I can choose to be joyful, appreciative, calm and happy. I choose the latter. We should all choose that path if we want a satisfying and peaceful life. I want to focus my energy on positivity.

I have gotten a mindfulness book this Christmas. There are many wonderful exercises I can do to be mindful. It had me do a lovely exercise of dish washing, but it allowed me to be appreciative of the task, and focus my energy on the moment of the task. How the water felt, how my hands felt,etc. It allowed me to appreciate that I can walk, and use my hands to do the task. I also appreciate that I have clean water, and cleaning supplies to do so as well. It made me see this tedious task in a different light. It made me appreciate it more. If you can learn to appreciate simple tasks like that. It makes you much more appreciative of the whole scheme of things. It makes you appreciate life more.

Work has been difficult at times. I have been exhausted from all the work we have, and overworking myself. I can choose to focus on the disorganization, or the fact that they need more workers, or the fact that I am exhausted from the work and overtime.

But I choose to put my energy on the benefits of having the job. Money to get the things I want, and to experience the things I like. Health benefits that have been useful to me recently, especially Dental. Also, the lovely paycheck I will get from Overtime to help pay off cards and loans I need to pay off. Also, the lovely coworkers I have. That make work a bit more enjoyable. I actually do like my job, but it can be overwhelming at times. I also decided not to overwork myself as much to get things done quicker. I will do what I can, but nothing more. I shouldn’t give more, than everyone else. I tried that practice out Friday, and it made work much more easier and enjoyable. I felt much better.

In the end, it is the choice of the individual how we choose to perceive things. Either we focus on the good or the bad. Either we choose to be miserable or content. It is up to you. I chose happiness and peace of mind. Now I mentioned happiness isn’t stable, but with this mindset you will have a happier mindset. There will be more happiness, rather than sadness. You can be able to enjoy life much more.

I always try to remind myself, why be sad, when you can be happy. Who needs to be negative. When you can be positive. There is enough negativity in the world. I want to spread positivity. Grant it, we will get sad, that is life, but if I can control more happiness in my life. I will do that as much as possible. Always choose happiness over misery when you can. Life will have its bumps. Life will have its struggles. We just got to learn to combat it with positivity and appreciation, and the coping process will become much smoother.

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Release Negative Thoughts

Waking up to negative thoughts is never a way one wants to start their day. There are two choices. Let the negative thoughts consume the body and mind, and have it ruin the rest of your day, or reframe, accept, and release the thoughts, and have a more joyful day.

Being mindful can help you become aware of these type of thoughts, and find ways to release them, so the negative thoughts will not get out of control. You can tell yourself that you will not let these thoughts get the best of you. The day will be a good day. Accept what is, and if you can not accept it, than a change must happen. In the end, you control your happiness.

You can also try a meditation practice where you take a breath in(inhale), think about the negative thought. Immerse yourself in the thoughts, along with the feelings, and reactions it creates. Then release(exhale) the negative thoughts out of the body. This can be a helpful practice in releasing negative energy from the mind and body.

In the end, try not to let negative thoughts win. It is about having the best day possible, no matter the circumstances. Your happiness, and peace of mind depends on it.

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Create Positives to Negate the Negatives

Some things may not go as well as you may like in life. There may be things in your life that has created negativity. It may be out of your control, which can be tough to deal with. It can also be in your control, but hard to make changes, which causes a mental struggle. Negativity will find its way into your life. Unless you are able to purely practice detachment, this is reality. We can’t avoid it. The thing we must learn to do is finding ways to cope with it.

The thing one must do is to try not to let the negatives consume your entire life. We tend to overgeneralize the problems in our lives. We don’t see things in pieces, but as wholes. If we are struggling in one aspect of our lives. We tend to see it as our whole life as falling apart, but that isn’t reality.

This is where we need to find the positives. We need to create the positives to overwhelm the negatives, so that it isn’t the main focus. Now the most important thing is to be in the present! If you are not in the present, nothing can get done. Next is figuring out what positive thing you can create, or do.

I will use positive things I have been doing as examples. Recently, I have been waking up earlier, so that it can give me more time to do the things I want to do. I have also been cooking more recipes that I have wanted to do for a long time. I have also decided to not use my phone, or be online as much, so I can focus my energy on writing, gaining knowledge, and reading. These all have been positive benefits in my life that have uplifted me. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Accomplishment!, that is important to us. If things aren’t going well in other aspects of your lives. Find things in your life that you can accomplish, and achieve to balance out those negatives in your lives. This will give you time to focus more on the good things, rather than putting your energy on negativity.

The is a whole world out there to be explored. There are plenty of things you can learn and grow from. There are plenty of things to experience. There are plenty of things to achieve. It is up to what you can do with it, and how to find it. Don’t put your energy on the things you are struggling with. Put it on the things you benefit from.

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