Think about the last criticism you received that really hurt you. You know, the one that felt like a punch to the gut, sucking all the air out of the room. The one that made all of your walls go up and the alarms start ringing.
Mine was this past week. I was told "You are disgusting," because I make a living as a spiritual coach and sell assorted products that are within that same umbrella. It might be hard to believe, but that one sentence put me out of commission for a few hours.
I think I went through an entire spectrum of emotions -- First, I was flabbergasted, then angry, followed by being upset, sad and defeated. It wasn't until I took a second to separate from the thoughts racing through my head that I heard a familiar voice saying, "Every critic is a messenger."
BAM! It was no longer about this random Instagram commenter. This was about me and my own thoughts and beliefs. If the comment didn't hold any type of "truth" for me, it wouldn't have had such an enormous impact on my day. I put the word truth in quotation marks because it's more my own perception (based on my internal dialogue) than it is an actual truth.
I knew that deep down there was an old way of thinking trying to creep back in, and that I needed to acknowledge it and let it go. I reread the comment again realizing that, in essence, what made me feel so awful was being told I was disgusting for making money doing what I do.
I've been working through my abundance blocks for many years. I've uncovered quite a bit of shame and guilt around money that I've carried around for a while, and I'm learning to let go of it. It's a daily process and some days are more difficult than others, but I've been making good headway in removing those blocks and being open to abundance and prosperity. It seems my message from this critic was that there's still work to be done in this area.
When I examined the actual truth around this situation all of that mental anguish melted away. Am I disgusting for making a living helping to empower people to create a kick-ass life? No, definitely not. Am I disgusting for creating and selling products that I've used to deepen my spiritual practice and improve my own life? Nope. Am I disgusting for making money doing something that I love and that lights me up? No. Suddenly, this "truth" didn't hold up. It was an old abundance block (aka guilt) popping back up, but by acknowledging it I was able to easily let it go.
Every critic gives you an incredible gift because you're being shown where it is you have room to grow. Next time someone criticizes you, take the time to dive into the criticism. What is it that they said that affects you so much and where do you see that in your own mindset? By acknowledging it and working through it, you'll finally be able to let it go.