A Recipe for Success: Get Constructive Criticism
August 11, 2022 8:00 AM EST | 5 min read
Ever wondered if there’s a recipe for success?
I’ve always been strongly motivated.
I attribute most of my success and accomplishments to constructive criticism.
It’s part of the learning process.
When I look at all the positive influences in my life – men and women who reached astronomical heights that most mortals only dream of, I realize they all had several things in common.
The Key Ingredient to the Recipe for Success
They were motivated, believed in themselves, and worked diligently to make sure that they would reach their goals.
But the key ingredient that propelled them to grow and become great as opposed to good, was constructive criticism.
Bruce Lee was the master of the martial arts.
He didn’t get there instantly though.
There was much trial and error involved.
Lee was obsessed with perfection.
So with an open mind, he studied all martial arts.
He kept the best aspects of the arts and discarded what he considered useless.
In doing so, Lee created his own art of Jeet Kune Do.
It’s astonishing to think his revolutionary martial art was the sum result of criticism.
He wasn’t very popular for being so critical.
But if he hadn’t been, he never would have achieved the immortal greatness he’s now synonymous with.
Constructive Criticism: Way to Grow
As a martial artist, if my techniques, the way I trained, and my physical conditioning were not criticized, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did.
Looking back, if I had paid more attention to the criticism, I would have gone a lot farther a lot faster.
Receiving Criticism: Let Go of Ego
It’s natural to be defensive at first.
Ego can get in the way and it’s tough to let it go.
I always think of the “go” in ego as a reminder to let go.
Tripping over our own ego hinders progress.
Ego is not a recipe for success.
When we let go of our ego, magic unfolds because we allow criticism to come in and fix whatever it is that’s preventing our progress.
The sense of liberation and realization you feel once you’ve corrected your mistakes is an exceptionally blissful feeling.
(Learn more from these ego quotes.)
Without Criticism, You’ll Get Stuck
Criticism may be tough to take, but to avoid it in any endeavor is detrimental.
Those who don’t grow are ultimately those who are stuck in their ways because they refuse to acknowledge their weaknesses.
Weakness can only be turned into strength once it’s realized.
This is why some people progress faster than others.
People don’t become champions just by thinking about it.
They know they have weaknesses.
Once they welcome criticism from themselves and from others who are better in their field than they are, only then do they grow and become better.
Actively Seek Professional Criticism
Creatively, as self-critical as one can be, it’s nowhere near enough.
It’s because you need another set of respectful critical eyes to help you make whatever masterpiece you have even better.
Using martial arts again as an example, I remember whenever we were graded and received our next belt it was always an ego boost.
We all felt a sense of achievement.
It felt magnificent to spar with students who were yellow belts and green belts to help them get better.
Now in order for us to become better, we were encouraged to spar with experienced black belts who would definitely put us in our place.
It was brutal and we were constantly criticized.
There’s nothing quite like acknowledging criticism if it means not getting hit!
Actively seek professional criticism.
Whether you’re a dancer, singer, comedian, artist, Formula 1 driver, or athlete – always ask advice from those who are successful in their field.
Know they got there because they welcomed criticism.
They understand that this is an essential recipe for success.
Learn More about Yourself
I wrote a screenplay I believed was my “masterpiece” and felt as though it was ready to be shown to the masses.
Boy, was I wrong!
It wasn’t until I experienced how successful writers cast their magical spell of criticism upon it that it got better and resembled nothing like the “masterpiece” I thought it was in the beginning.
Indeed, one does not write – one rewrites.
I landed a distribution deal from a reputable company based on what they said was “the strength of the script.”
This would not have been possible without all of those who helped criticize my work constructively from the beginning.
Constructive Criticism: It’s the Only Recipe for Success
Constructive criticism has always been – and will continue – to be necessary for the process of evolution.
Learning to accept it from people whom you respect, you will be on your way to success.