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This week’s entry comes from Autem Clay, founder of I Teach Like Jesus, an organization that inspires teachers!
Dreamers Need Critique NOT Criticism (Dreams Critiqued Become Sharper. Dreams Criticized Don’t Become)
We live in a world of participation trophies and hyper sensitivity. Where champions don’t require challenges. A world where criticism and critique mean the same thing. I want to let you in on a little secret… criticism is not the same thing as critique. But bigger than that, both are essential. Every great man or great woman has become such as the result of receiving critique somewhere along the journey.
I’ll start with two definitions. Critique is defined as a detailed analysis and assessment of something, and is the act of evaluating in a detailed and analytical way. Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes. It is the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of something or someone’s work.
Let’s be honest. Most people hate being critiqued or criticized.” (Inserts raised hand emoji !!!) It’s usually from a negative experience of someone judging you or telling you something negative or at least perceived that way. Who likes that?
I am like most people. I have a strong dislike of these two words. I take them as synonyms, even when it is clear that the connotations and definitions are distinctly different. But that doesn’t change the way it feels in my head or in my heart. I feel personally attacked, like I’m not good enough, and like the work that I’ve created or produced sucks terribly. And that is the problem. If we are honest with ourselves, we take things personally and often consider them an attack on who we are – our identity, our creativity, our passion, our productivity – so much so that we miss the message and the great gold mines because we refuse to dig in the dirt a little bit.
The “gold mine” is digging past the surface to expose great treasure below. Critique and criticism are actions that can do the same thing for us, if we allow them to do the work. It’s a dirty, messy experience to dig below the surface of things and find the moneymaker. It’s arduous and sometimes requires going deeper to get it. But it’s worth it!
If someone gives you a critique of your work, your work ethic, your dream, and your progress it’s not an invitation to become a victim of self-pity. It’s time to listen. It’s time to (re) consider. It’s time to walk down the path of adjustment and revision. The eyes of the critique offer a unique look into your work and the feedback they provide should be used as a springboard toward greater success. I took a look at some of the great men and women of history and their amazing stories of great accomplishments and realized this. A lot of them have shared that they didn’t get there just by hearing “yes” all the time. Nor did they get there by having an amen corner. They usually arrived at the place of success after great trial, failure, criticism, and many no’s. Often they had words of critique or criticism that they took and ran with in order to become a great success. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt is a proverbial statement that does have some truth to it. Whether critique or criticism, its not a tool of pain, but a tool of process. How do you handle yours? Your dreams await you.
“The best critique is a better solution.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg