Often times in our lives, we are constantly working on things whether it be new projects, new books, new music, new art, new clothes, new films, etc. We often place such a great deal of scrutiny amongst ourselves because we wish to be as spotless as possible. We are our own worst critic a lot of the time. That can sometimes be a good thing and can sometimes be a bad thing. It can be a good thing because that way you don’t sell yourself short and are able to determine your flaws and in response develop a plan to turn those flaws into strengths. It can be a bad thing because we can sometimes dwell over the smallest mistakes and make it out to be a big deal which can in turn cause a form of mental paralysis where we are too busy worrying about what can go wrong and how to do things right all the while we are staying still in motion while others are accomplishing things through trial and error. That is how we learn which is through trial and error. We miss every opportunity we don’t take. None of us are perfect and none of us are spotless. We all have flaws and we all have areas which we can work on when it comes to our respective work. It takes quite a long time to be able to accept that we are going to make mistakes and that we are going to slip up and fail while doing our works when it comes to us doing the best we can to maximize our gifts. It is a part of life.
It is important for us to experience failure and to make mistakes because that is how we learn. We don’t learn anything if we don’t make mistakes. That is the true process of how we become the best we can possibly be. There is no other way to do so than through trial and error. It is a very tough thing for a lot of us who are perfectionists to accept that we are going to make mistakes and we are not going to always produce the best work or provide the best answers because we want to give the best we can. However, what we sometimes fail to realize is that the best we give comes with flaws; however minor or major they may be. There has never been a perfect artist, perfect musician, perfect filmmaker, perfect basketball player, perfect writer or what have you because there has never been a perfect human being. The only one who ever was on this planet and was perfect is Yahweh Ben Yahweh and no one else. It must be understood that perfection cannot come from the hands of man because we are of the flesh which means that we are bound to make mistakes no matter how much we dislike it. When we understand this, we will be accepting of when we make mistakes.
One factor which plays into this is who is guiding us on how to handle these mistakes and turn our flaws into strengths. We may be guided by our fathers, our messengers if we know them personally, or other prominent male figures or leaders in our family. What comes with their tutelage or guidance is constructive criticism. We often are already dealing with our own internal self-deprecation because we erroneously value ourselves as being perfect and thus can have meltdowns whenever we slip up on our work. So when we are given constructive criticism, we may sometimes lash back at those who are criticizing us because it may seem as if we are being bombarded with an overload of criticism that we often can misinterpret as hating. A true father or a true teacher or messenger is not going to attack you personally just for the sake of doing so when it comes to criticism over our work. It may seem harsh but it is not a personal attack by any means unless once again, they address you personally. They may make what you think are slanderous comments about your work or they may criticize you in a harsh or verbose tone but it is all out of love and a wish to see you grow to become even better. A true leader is not going to go out of his way and personally denigrate someone who they know is doing their best to provide good work for the congregation to value. They may be harsh when addressing your mistakes but it is all from the perspective that they want to see you do better because they know what you are truly capable of. This is why it is important for us to learn not to obsess over the smallest details and then spend hours cussing ourselves out in our own mind because that truly breaks down your mental state. You become weary from your own self-hatred and you are at the point of boiling over by your own hand; not anyone else’s. If we are going to have an internal dialogue with ourselves, it must be from the standpoint that we are going to try to come up with ways to turn our flaws into strengths and do our best to not make the same mistakes next time. All that we do when we spend hours in our own mind denigrating ourselves is waste energy. We are drained after we go pacing around for an hour calling ourselves all kinds of names in the book because we slipped up on a few things. It is ok. We are bound to make mistakes. None of us are perfect. Nobody’s work is perfect. We all have things which we can tweak or sometimes are in need of massive improvement. That comes with the journey of being the best we can be in our own respective field or work.
It is simply fruitless and secular to waste valuable time obsessing over the small mistakes when you can be spending that time developing a plan on how to correct those mistakes the next time you do whatever it is that you’re doing. If we don’t get out of that mental rut, that negative energy is going to metastasize and eventually boil over into something bigger when we take constructive criticism the wrong way and we actually begin personally attacking the person who is fairly criticizing us because we ourselves are emotionally unstable. That attack would then lead to you having to waste even more time and energy going back and forth with that person because now you angered them by attacking them personally and that could go on for days or weeks where you’re trading jabs with that person; if they are angered enough by your response. If we’re not careful, we could seriously jeopardize those relationships that actually serve us well with people who fairly criticize us which would be to our own detriment both professionally for our own work without that external input or insight and personally without that person in our corner supporting us from afar. We have to always keep things in it’s proper perspective and not give into emotional rhetoric or banter because that further destabilizes our minds. When we don’t have a stable mind, we will always go off kilter and make the wrong decisions. You can never make the right decision when you are in the right state of mind. We have to stay on point at all times and to have as much clarity as we possibly can have; especially now. It is extremely important to have a clear mind now because everything we have is on a borrowed timeline since we are nearing the end. That means that our relationships, our works, our friendships, and our own reputations are at risk of never reclaiming its prior state after we tarnish those things because of our own emotional instability and short-sightedness. We don’t truly know just how much time we have left before this society winds down and enters the stage of tribulation; it could be this year or several years from now. Either way, we know that it is coming and it is fast approaching. Therefore, we don’t have as much time to be able to regain our lost friendships or reputation after the fact. It is often that those things take years to rebuild if possible. This is why we must work on our own mental state before we worry about anyone else’s because it is us who will have to deal with the fallout of our own issues; not anyone else.
We must learn to develop thicker skin. Even now, this current time we are living in is of the most sensitive and thin-skinned society we have ever been a part of. Nothing constructive gets done if we are constantly worrying about stepping on someone’s toes if they take our criticism the wrong way. Everyone is walking on eggshells today when it comes to their work environment, their families, their friendships, and partnerships pertaining to constructive criticism. Most people can’t see criticism as it being just that. They almost always see it as hatred or slandering. No, it’s not slandering. Even if constructive criticism is harsh, you are supposed to take that and turn it into something positive and productive in order for you to do better next time. The only way that each generation carried civilization throughout time was through constructive criticism. A king has to hear from his people about how well he is ruling and what his performance is. If a king doesn’t have the support of his people, that kingdom is in jeopardy of being toppled. It is the same thing with our own works; especially if we are content creators. The judgment of our work comes from our viewers. While we still are the ones who get to dictate what it is that we are to do with our platforms because it is our own platforms, we still have to give courtesy to the fair and reasonable constructive criticism of the people who are viewing our content because they are the ones who are receiving it. This is even more of the case if those people are paying for your content. If you are paying out of pocket for a service, you do have a right to say respectfully what you think of that service and what the provider of that service could do to better improve their service which they are giving you. If you have no valid reason for criticizing someone’s work, it is best that you keep it to yourself because then it would come off as slander. You can’t just write off someone’s work as it being subpar or poor if you are not giving a true specific reason as to why. That is the problem with a lot of people. They don’t know how to give proper criticism. They may have the proper understanding as to why that work is not up to par but they may not articulate it or they simply don’t want to. If that is the case, they should not provide input because you’re only going to cause people to come after you which would lead to needless banter when you could’ve simply nipped it in the bud earlier and provided valid reasons of criticism.
The hammer is the only way in which a major building or temple or home or cabin or what have you is built and kept together. When you are forming the structure of the house or building, you need to use the hammer in order to put those nails in together to connect and keep those parts together in order to keep that structure upright. You can’t put those nails or screws in to fit those parts together through your own hands. It is not going to be put in place. What you are trying to create is not going to get built. You need the hammer to put the nails or screws in place. It takes a strong force to uphold and keep a structure together for years and years to come. No king, president, or CEO ever had a smooth or peaceful or truly successful reign while having a group of advisors who were a bunch of yes-men. The most successful kings, presidents, and CEOs always had a council or advisory who advised him on the right things to do moving forward throughout their reign. That always came with constructive criticism. In order to advise properly, you have to let the person know what it is that they’re doing right and what it is that they’re doing wrong and how they can fix that moving forward to do better down the line. That is what constructive criticism is all about. If you leave a person to their own devices without them knowing that they’re doing the wrong things or going about things in the wrong way, this is only going to spell disaster for everyone involved; including yourself if you are in their direct circle. Kingdoms, countries, companies, families, marriages, friendships, etc. have all fallen because there was not proper discourse about what it is that those people who were responsible for upholding those things were doing wrong. It is like leaving a child to do whatever it feels like doing without telling them what they should be doing. You end up with a house that is a complete disaster. There are all types of food and spilled juice all over the tables and floor. There are all types of markings on the wall. Hell, you might even find your child sitting inside of your toilet with a mini-floatie on. All of that would’ve occurred because you did not establish order and tell that child what it is that they’re doing wrong and what it is the right way to do better.
We ourselves are children whenever we enter our respective fields; whether that be music, painting, filmmaking, writing, architecture, engineering, etc. We start off at a blank slate and through trial and error; we eventually get up to the point where we are experts at what we do. The only way we get past the error is if we have someone who is providing constructive criticism. That is the only way we become aware of what it is that we’re doing wrong and how we can do the right thing moving forward so at the end, we establish the best work. That is how we evolve from novices to experts. That is how we evolve from children to men. That is how we evolve from students to teachers. Once we accept that we are going to have to face criticism, however harsh it may be, in order to grow, that is the only way in which we are going to evolve. If we try and to fight against it, we are only going to be moving backwards, not forwards. We must learn to not take everything so to heart and as it being a personal attack when it is not. It is simply pointing out the things which we are doing wrong and how we can go about fixing it. It is as simple as that. This is the only way we move forward and build our work. We need the hammer of constructive criticism in order to put those screws in place properly to have a sustainable and durable structure which is of our work. If we don’t use the hammer, the screws are not going to be placed properly and therefore, you won’t have a sustainable or durable structure. It is bound to fall apart.
In closing, it is important for us to remove emotion from our evaluation of the constructive criticism which comes our way. If we look at everything from an emotional standpoint, we are never going to see things in its true form for what it actually is. We’re going to want the world to go how we want it to go and not accept the world for how it is. The more we try to force things to be something that we want it to be, the more stuck in place in stagnation we are going to be which would eventually lead to us backsliding to the tune of the demise of our own work. We must place and evaluate things in an orderly and mature manner. It is the only way in which we are going to evolve in our works, our relationships, and our own personal journeys. Constructive criticism is a crucial tool to the building of our home or building which is our work that we are putting time and energy in to be upheld and to serve as the foundation for greater things for years to come. We must use that tool whenever it comes our way in order to better grow. Without it, we will simply fail in achieving what we are trying to build. We must put our egos aside and our emotions aside and let rationality and understanding take hold in order for us to move forward. It is only through this that we will progress further in our work.
Peace and Blessings.