How to Take Critical Feedback in Stride and Keep Going

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Critical or negative feedback is never fun. I don’t think anyone enjoys it, but it is a part of putting yourself, thoughts, research, and perspective out there for the world to see and comment on. The important thing is about critical feedback is not the feedback itself, but how you manage it and learn from it.
I recently got a fairly harsh criticism on a comment I wrote supporting a fellow entrepreneur. The entrepreneur explained in their post that they had so many ideas for their new blog and was trying to include them all into a single logo.
My advice to them was to stop and first figure out what the purpose of this blog will be, who it will serve, what it is promising to deliver on a consistent basis. Figuring this groundwork out will help to understand what the visuals may look like.
I approach branding very differently – from the inside out. Branding is not about the logo, color schemes or icons used, but rather about the strategy behind the brand. The elements that give those visual pieces real meaning.
My feedback was well received. I was tagged in another comment saying that it was spot on. Things were good. Then someone commented on the original post, providing extremely harsh criticism. They then quoted some of my comment and then went on to claim how it was total nonsense. I had struck a chord.
While shocked at first, it is what it is. I genuinely felt that the comment I provided would help the person who originally posted – and that was validated with other commenters as well. I share this with you to know that harsh criticism happens to everyone. The trick is to forget it and keep going.
Focus on the people you are helping. Focus on the positive. Take the criticism in, learn from it, then forget it. It is not worth your time in the long run.

Feedback is Feedback is Feedback

Look – not all feedback is going to be positive or even neutral. It is up to you to let it slide and to keep going. No one can stop you from your pursuits except you. If you stop your pursuits because of a comment someone makes about your work or opinion, you are stopping yourself. The person commenting has no power to truly affect your outcome, decisions, or choices.

Build a Network of Support

It is important to surround youself with people who support you, challenge you to do your best work, and to lift you up when needed. Finding groups, both on and off line can be very helpful. Just knowing that others around the world are facing the same issues and can help you manage your emotions and keep going is so critical.

Over time, you will then be able to support others and provide advice based on your own experiences, which can be a powerful motivational tool. Which leads me to my last point.

Keep Going

No matter how harsh the criticism, keep going. Great ideas will be harshly criticized, just look at Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, Facebook – you get the idea. Not all people may see what you see or understand what you are working so hard to bring to the world.
That is ok.
Keep going.

(Brand Strategist, Founder)

Benjamin Warsinske is a recognized thought leader on brand strategy and designing exceptional brand experiences. He is the founder and CEO of, Inc., a firm that strategically applies data and design principles to develop cohesive brand experiences. His new book, GroundWork: The Foundation for an Unshakable Brand is now available on Amazon.

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