#My500Words: Day 2 of 31 "Stepping Stones"

Day 2: Stepping Stones

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle” Napoleon Hill. I’ll be honest with myself; sometimes I have a hard time accepting constructive criticism. It isn’t that I can’t handle the criticism or think the criticizer is in the wrong for criticizing. It’s more of a reflection of myself. I tend to care too much sometimes. When you’re torn down it’s difficult to look at the bigger picture and see that the criticism is only to take in order to better yourself. The role of criticism isn’t to bring you down in anyway, constructive or not. For all things that don’t go your way, the constructive criticism from your boss or supervisor, of failure on a certain project, try to look at it from a different perspective. Or at least I’m trying to. It is just a stepping-stone on your development as a human being.

Most of us, hopefully, aspire to be positioned in a greater or better situation than we are presently in. Either it is career oriented, family oriented, or just purely personal, the constant strides that we take to get there usually aren’t always smooth. You will always run into problems, but that’s a lesson of life. Take the problems and turn them into fuel.

In all things there is meaning. We just have to look for it. If you fail, it isn’t that you’re a failure. You’re just a person that happens to fail sometimes. No one is perfect but we can strive for perfection. We have to be coachable and have the willingness to take into account our faults and criticisms in order to learn from them. To have them fuel your growth. Let them be stepping stones that determine how far you get to achieve your dreams.

If you ask my family or close friends, I am and have always been my worst critic. I’m hard on myself, but for some reason when the criticism comes from an outside force I tend to push back. Maybe it’s my ego in action…how can this person tell what to improve on?! I’m constantly fighting to change my own perception and drown out ego. As I grow older, one thing that I have learned is that it’s usually your toughest critics that want the best for you.

Use criticism, failure, and misshapes as stepping-stones to further achieving your goals and dreams. There’s always something new to learn. Critics are there to teach you new techniques. Laying out stones for you on a new route. That if you decide to take, just may be a better path to where you want to go. There’s always going to be roadblocks in this game called life – some may lead you to the express lane.

“Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified, it is not criticism, learn from it.” Anonymous. Take it, keep going, they are just stepping-stones.