Written By: Kari Mirabal

Why Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count

Most people don’t enjoy criticism yet critics often help us grow and prosper – it just requires a shift in perspective.  We all benefit from people in our lives who recognize our bravery, acknowledge our failures and send us back onto the field for more; but how can you learn to leverage criticism as a tool for success in your business?

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she studies connection and vulnerability.  In this presentation, she explores the benefits of not allowing fear of critics to inhibit you from displaying your work for all to see.  Brown believes it is important to “buffer yourself from your haters” by taking the stance that unless your critics are also exposing themselves and exhibiting vulnerability, their opinions are irrelevant.

Brown explores how creative people sometimes “armor up” emotionally and psychologically against vulnerability which is impervious to the positive by-products of exposure, including love, joy, belonging, trust, empathy, creativity and innovation.  Her advice – manage vulnerability successfully by creating a “clarity of values” that drive you forward in the face of possible failure. Consider a few of Brown’s best practices to shift perspective about managing critics.


Managing Critics | 5 Best Business Practices

  • Accept that ignoring your critics impinges on your capacity to connect and be vulnerable.
  • Welcome critics and acknowledge their views, but stay true to your ideas.
  • Realize that you are your own worst critic.
  • Don’t let your inhibitions consume you.
  • Be aware that reaching the end of your life and realizing that you haven’t shown up and been seen is much more terrifying than putting yourself and your work in the limelight.

Take the challenge of embracing your critics and see where opportunity takes you.  What can you learn (about yourself and others) in the process?

Written By: Kari Mirabal