“Distinctive work, innovative thinking and controversial decisions garner supporters and critics, especially for women. We need to retrain our minds to expect and accept this.” -Tara Mohr
Whether you find yourself seeking approval for any decision you make in your daily life – personal or career, or become distraught when given criticism or judgment, Tara Mohr has opined her thoughts on the issue of women and accepting criticism and why learning to accept criticism effectively is a shift we as women must make if we want to see a shift in society expectation.
In her article printed in The New York Times, “Learning to Love Criticism“, she shares a brief history lesson that is often forgotten regarding why women tend to rely so significantly on acceptance and praise – we had to in order to survive. At least in past centuries, but now, we have legal, financial and physical means to protect ourselves, provide for ourselves and thrive according to our own desired path. However, society hasn’t necessarily caught up.
And the shift we seek, to be honest and authentic and be able to successfully hold leadership positions without being internally distraught when criticism comes our way (because it always will) or to be shamed, begins with finding the courage to build a tool kit so perhaps the path can be a bit easier and less threatening to the women, or men, who follow, who may not be what society is used to, in any position of leadership or life.
Mohr points out:
Criticism stings for all of us, but women have been socialized to not rock the boat, to be, above all else, likable. By the time a girl reaches adolescence, she’ll most likely have watched hundreds of films, television shows and advertisements in which a woman’s destiny is determined not by her own choices but by how she is perceived by others. In those hundreds of stories, we get the message: What other people think and say about us matters, a lot.
Food for thought, certainly.
We can either continue to live in the social norms and be held to a standard that is unnecessary, impossible and a double standard, or we can create the change we seek. The opportunity is really in our hands. Something to consider.
~Tara Mohr’s upcoming book Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message