Recently, someone asked me for a date. When I declined the invitation, the tone shifted, and a barrage of criticism ensued over the phone. In about five minutes, the caller questioned my intentions and choices, particularly regarding my website. He implied that my creation of tarot cards and sharing my life story was an attempt to portray myself as someone else.
In such moments, Stoic philosophy becomes a guiding light, offering principles to help me navigate criticism and stay true to my path.
1. Understanding the Source of Criticism
Instead of letting criticism fester, I took a moment to consider the source. Understanding that everyone has their perspective and biases allowed me to approach the criticism with a level-headed mindset.
2. Separating Opinions from Self-Worth
Stoicism encourages us to detach our self-worth from external opinions. Rather than internalizing the critique as a judgment of my value, I chose to separate my identity from the opinions of others.
3. Focusing on What’s Within My Control
Stoics emphasize directing energy toward factors within our control. I reflected on the aspects of my website that align with my vision and purpose, rather than dwelling on opinions beyond my influence.
4. Turning Criticism into an Opportunity for Growth
Stoicism encourages us to view challenges as opportunities for growth. Instead of seeing criticism as a setback, I considered it a chance to refine and clarify my intentions, making my website a more authentic representation of my journey.
5. Accepting Impermanence
Stoic philosophy teaches us to accept the impermanence of external circumstances. Realizing that criticism, – like praise, is temporary, helped me maintain a sense of tranquility amid the storm of opinions.
6. Choosing Virtue Over Reputation
Stoics prioritize virtue over reputation. In the face of criticism, I focused on upholding the values and principles that matter to me, recognizing that the opinions of others don’t define my character.
7. Continuing the Pursuit of Passion
Stoicism advocates for staying true to our passions despite external judgment. With renewed determination, As I planned, I am bringing back the original concept of my website, acknowledging that my journey is a unique and evolving process.
In embracing these Stoic principles, I found solace and strength to pursue my path with authenticity and resilience. Critics may come and go, but the steadfast commitment to my purpose and individuality remains unwavering. Stoicism, with its practical wisdom, provides a timeless guide to weathering the storms of criticism and staying true to oneself.