When I started training a few years ago people around me started making negative comments about my strong body and new lifestyle, even from some of my family and friends. At first I found it really hard to deal with, as it can be extremely hurtful. Though with time and confidence I realised that people are going to criticise and you just can’t take it personally or let it get you down. At the end of the day if you are doing something that is good for your body and mind then that’s what matters. Because I know so many of my readers are going through these same health and lifestyle changes, then I thought I’d share with you how to effectively deal with criticism.
Some people just won’t understand
Sometimes when someone doesn’t exercise or eat healthy they can’t understand why you do it. They think the way we eat is crazy and being a strong female is wrong and unattractive. Well I disagree. I think women with strong, healthy, toned physiques are beautiful. When you make a change in your life, especially a big change you’re more vulnerable to personal attacks. The people in your life are familiar with you being a certain way and sometimes dislike it when you change for the better. Usually this is because of how it affects them rather than what is actually best for you. For whatever reason they feel the need to criticise and voice their opinion regardless of whether it’s their intention is to hurt you or not.
Don’t take it on board
Criticisms can be really tough to receive, especially when you care about what that particular person thinks of you and you respect their opinion. But the important thing is their opinions are just opinions, nothing more and you don’t need to take them on board. The main thing is that you are happy. You are doing what you love; you are healthy and fit and have never felt better. If these people can’t be supportive then you need to learn to ignore them and just keep going the way that you are. This is your life and no one else’s, so remember that.
You can’t please everyone
We are not put on this earth to please everyone else. We are all unique and have different opinions but the only opinion that really matters is the one you have of yourself. It takes up too much energy and time trying to go around pleasing everyone. You are far better off using all of that energy on making positive changes for yourself. Once you give up on the idea of pleasing everyone you will feel so much more relaxed and have so much more time on your hands.
Establish if it’s genuine
Sometimes a criticism can actually be genuine and it could just be feedback coming across the wrong way. So some criticism can be used to make constructive improvements. You do need to establish though if the criticism if coming from a genuine place as feedback or if it’s a criticism out of jealousy and negativity. If it is genuine, maybe take it on board and see what you can do to better yourself. We aren’t perfect, so when criticism comes from the right place and is constructive it can actually be beneficial to us.
Don’t respond with criticism
The worst thing to do when dealing with a negative person is to fight fire with fire. If someone is putting you down and criticising your new way of life don’t turn around and start criticising them, even if you may want to. Take the high road, simply smile and say thank you for your feedback and then move on. If they are going to criticise you then let that be on them and don’t stoop to their level. You will feel so much better for it and trust me it’s not worth the fight. If you find it hard to not react then don’t respond straight away. Give yourself time to let the emotions settle before you give a response. That way you won’t say or do anything from a hurt place and you will be a lot calmer when you do chose to give a response.
Unfortunately there will always be negative people and sometimes the most negative can be the people closest to you. Always remember that the person who knows the most about you is you and the only person who can truly make you happy is you. Let these people judge and criticize but continue to do what makes you happy. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt in my life is -the less you care about what other people think of you the happier you'll be.
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