There are certain types of players in the balancing act. There are those who stand firmly planted in the ground, proudly rigid in their thinking, behavior, and lifestyle and have no desire for balance, change, growth, or personal evolution. Then you have those who are still forming, wide open and have a hard time balancing because they get carried away by every new idea, ideology, and dominant personality that blows across their path. Finally, you have those who are open-minded but have a solid idea of who they are and in what direction they want to steer their life. These are people who seek balance via daily growth while staying true to themselves. If you’re reading this, you may fall in this third category.
And you know how difficult it can be at times, especially when those in the first two categories do not understand the struggle and process of evolving daily. And what do people do when they don’t understand something different? They tend to misunderstand, criticize, and judge, don’t they? If you’re surrounded by individuals like this, perhaps in your family or at work, it can wear you down and throw you off balance.
If you can’t weed out these negative people in your life due to circumstances, then try ignoring them (not easy, but definitely doable). Fun fact: there’s nothing you can or can’t do to avoid judgment and criticism shy of spontaneously combusting into thin air.
Harsh truth: not everybody in your life is going to like you. Not everybody is going to get you. That won’t stop people from forming their own opinion about you (filtered through their own experiences, truths, and perceptions — and some have thick filters). And it’s a waste of time to lament over it and/or try to correct it. After all, what people think of you is really none of your business. Going on about your own business, whether they mind theirs or not, makes life exponentially more peaceful and easier to balance, right?
When you’re given criticism that’s constructive, it’s a good thing (may not always feel like it at the time). Receive it graciously, recognizing it comes from an honest place, and use it as a tool for self-improvement and progress. Yes, that includes other parents sharing parenting knowledge that’s helpful. Parents helping parents is a power cycle of support.
However, when you’re given criticism that’s not constructive, you don’t have to accept it. You don’t have to engage the person giving it or defend yourself against it or doubt yourself after it, either. Just ignore it and go on trusting yourself. For we all know devoting energy to outside negativity is inviting it inside. And that’s a fast way to lose balance.
Instead, when getting criticism that’s not meant to build you up, refuse to help the person break you down. Trust yourself as an individual and as a parent. Even if you’ve been broken down before and are in a rebuilding phase; feign trust till you gain trust. Your children’s sense of security and self-esteem will benefit from it along with your own; for our kids are watching how we balance our daily growth while staying true to ourselves.