Neither Praise nor Criticism Define You

By Javier Munoz
Posted on: August 30, 2011
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The key to the upcoming BeYourGuru program is the reconciliation with your fundamental essence devoid of all interference. One of the most “expensive” sorts of interference you may encounter is the habit to draw your sense of identity from either criticism or praise. I describe it as “expensive” because it places your attention away from your true essence at the mercy of other people´s limiting beliefs. Your attention is a terrible thing to waste. The time and energy wasted in managing what people might be thinking of you, could have been invested in discovering and realizing your unique strengths – your true essence. We certainly have enough work dealing with our own limiting beliefs to have to deal with other people´s ideas of what we should be.

You will never be remarkable by complying to what others expect of you…


Attention to both criticism or praise is an interference. Praise seems to be desirable positive reinforcement, but if not careful, it could divert your sense of self. You could also say there is much to be learned from constructive well-intentioned criticism. And that is absolutely true, as an entrepreneur, one of my main activities is to listen to any feedback to improve our products and services. However, the keyword in the title of this post is define. You should not let your identity be defined by praise or criticism. You are the only one in charge of defining YOU.

What other people think about me is not my business.” Michael J. Fox

Praise is certainly seductive, it just makes you feel good about yourself. What´s wrong with that? You must realize that praise is a sort of pull energy that you can leverage towards your mission to inspire action and trust. But, if you let this incoming energy create your self-image, you run the risk of being left without a strong foundation when challenged by failures.

Failure is an event. Not a person – Zig Ziglar

Criticism is most draining when you take it personally – when you think it defines you. Then, your first reaction is defensive to set the record straight. However, you should stop and consider what you are defending exactly. If you respond defensively to a critic, you are defending their idea of what you should be. Not yours. It is a futile effort that creates nothing of value. Imagine if you had to conform to everyone´s opinion!

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win – Mahatma Gandhi

In some cases, if you are working towards a new vision, the onset of criticism is a great sign that you are making people uncomfortable showing progress in the advancement of your agenda. If you were to allow such criticism beyond the door steps, you would be relinquishing your remarkable quest. To be prepared, you have to be heart-centered and fully aware of who you are. That will be your journey in the upcoming BeYourGuru program powered by Just Action. I hope you will enjoy it.

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