Rising Above Negative Messages and Criticism

Light escape

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

~ David Brinkley

Most of us have heard the childhood chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

The words of others do sting at times though.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I hear negative messages or critical remarks from other people and I take it to heart.

Believing the wrong messages from others or yourself can ruin your day.

Or your life.

Other People’s Opinions

The opinions of other people are just that – their opinions.

There is no reason for you to believe negative messages from other people. They don’t know everything, and they don’t know more than you.

Motivational speaker Les Brown was given the label “educable mentally retarded” at a young age. But a person crossed his path who changed his life and taught him a very important lesson – that he didn’t have to believe that message.

He could choose to believe in himself whether or not others believed with him.

As Les says, “Don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.”

Learning that lesson allowed Les Brown to transform himself from a young man that some thought of as slow to a very successful motivational speaker, writer and former politician. These are goals he would not have accomplished if he had believed the opinions of those who didn’t see the greatness and tremendous potential in him.

There is greatness and potential in you as well. It’s time to shrug off anyone who tells you anything else.

Hold your head up. You can rise about criticism and negativity.

Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by what happens to be me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Believing the Right Things

The thing is, we all choose what messages we choose to focus on.

If someone tells you that you are unintelligent or ugly or too fat or too clumsy or too anything at all….so what?

It’s only their opinion.

You can have a different opinion. You can believe that you are someone who is unique and special, someone who has plenty to offer the world.

No matter what anyone else says.

Throughout your life, some people will be in your corner and some won’t.

Each time someone says something negative, critical or discouraging about you, it’s like you are standing at a fork in the road. You can choose to listen and be bothered by it. Or not.

The late Muhammed Ali said, “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

What a great way to approach life.

It’s time to expect the best of ourselves and the universe.

If people throw negativity your way, hang onto the positive, wherever you can find it.

Let your light shine.

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  1. Great message about negative labels. On the flip side, we help build-up and elevate others when we apply positive labels. Excellent post!

  2. Good point, Sunny! What power we have to lift each other up when we take the time to do that!

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