The Power of Destructive Criticism

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The term “haters gonna hate” is a good way to go about living life. Their job is to hate so why bother making a big deal out of their presence? Instead, embrace the negativity of your peers. In fact, even go to the extent of learning from these people because they may have even better intentions than they may actually portray. In other words, we all need some form of criticism in our lives. Some may be more direct than others, but in the end by learning to take out the good from the opinions of others, we learn to grow as humans in whatever we do.
I encountered my first problem with “destructive criticism” during my Junior year of high school. As a 160 lb wrestler, I was given the responsibility of starting off a grudge match against our rival school. From the jump, I knew that my opponent had the odds in favor of him. He was blessed with over ten years of experience in the sport of wrestling as opposed to my three. He wasn’t as strong as I, but if you have ever paid close attention to the sport, you’d know that experience packs a much bigger punch than that of pure strength. Like a typical match, I mentally prepared myself until the moment before stepping out onto the mat. The coach pulled me aside and said, in all seriousness, “There is no possible way that you are going to win, so we need you to do your best to avoid getting pinned”. This was the last thing I expected to come out of his mouth. In my mind, I had envisioned the ideal coach to give you a confidence boost prior to such a personal and physical sport, but instead he did the opposite. At that moment, I lost all hope and mentally lost the match for the team and myself.
So what lesson did I learn from that. At first, I blamed the coach for his lack of motivational skills. Today, I have come to realize his teaching skills are what we all need in life. I should have taken his criticism into consideration. Instead of taking offence to it, I could how sought for the solution. After the match I could have asked the coach what would it take for me to beat that guy, and I’m sure that he would have designed a path for me to follow in order to improve my skills. By doing so, maybe I would have given myself the opportunity for a rematch in the state tournament and the ability to fulfill the fantasy that we all love to see in movies. The underdog taking away the gold trophy.
I share this story with you because it withholds a much deeper life lesson. We are all raised in a world where you are supposed to be encouraged and told that you have great potential, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes we all need to hear the truth in order to develop the drive to achieve greatness. Imagine you are the passenger of a plane with a new pilot. How would you feel if the copilot told the trainee that they could do the job correctly even though they knew for a fact that the new pilot was not actually prepared to take on the task? I’m sorry to have painted that image in your mind, but that’s how we should view our lives in general. Next time you hear something that you don’t like, consider looking past the words and into the deeper meaning. We can all learn from a little “destructive” criticism.
-Image by Pixabay

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