Accept the Challenge, Don’t Fight It

Accepting a challenge can be one of the easiest ways towards personal growth.  Challenging yourself daily to do something that makes you uncomfortable is a great way to learn and overcome.  When faced with a personal challenge, it’s easy to look inward and focus on what needs to be handled or fix.  So why is it so difficult when someone else challenges us to be better?  Why is it viewed as an insult, nagging or judgmental?

When I notice something about myself that I feel like I need to change, I accept it and try to work on being better.  I’ll do some research on the best way to handle the change and then implement the changes.  I’ve accepted my personal challenge to grow and change and I’m ready to get to work.

When someone else notices something that I could improve, my first reaction is to fight it.  I’ll take it as an insult, or nagging, or being judgmental.  “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

I look back over the years and when I have been critiqued or challenged by someone else, I’ve been slow to accept that challenge.  In the end, it was usually something I needed to change or improve and I would finally come around and work on an improvement.  Now I’m trying to do a better job of accepting criticism and using it to help me grow and improve.

Change Your Challenge into an Opportunity

The first step in accepting criticism is to change your mindset about it.  No matter how the critique came up, accept the fact that someone is noticing a weakness and you now have an opportunity to make a positive change.

Listen Completely

You’re first reaction is to ignore or fight back when being challenged.  After noticing the opportunity to improve, make sure you listen completely to what the person is saying.  Let them complete their thought and critique.

Ask Questions

After listening completely, digest the information and ask questions.  Get as much information as possible.  It may hurt, but the more you know, the more you will be able to understand the challenge.

Plan and Implement Changes

Using the feedback that you have received, start the change.  Make a plan.  Give yourself a time frame to start making the improvment.

Get Feedback

Revisit the critique with the person that challenged you.  Let them know what you’ve done and ask for feedback.  Have they noticed a difference?  What areas can be improved?

This Is Not Easy

I wish it were as easy as just following some simple tips.  It’s not.  Many times you’ll get feedback and critisism during stressful times.  You make a mistake and here comes the feedback.  Many times it will catch you off guard.  You think everything is great and then you hear a comment that gives you doubt.  That doubt turns into defiance.

If you find yourself getting defensive, it’s a sign that the critisism is on point and it’s something you need to change.  Stop, change your mindset and accept the challenge.  Put the simple steps in this post to use.  It’s another tool to help you become a better person and a better dad.