How to Separate Constructive and Critical Feedback

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“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

— Mark Twain

Mark Twain was a smart guy. But what if we aren’t as smart as him? Is this still good advice?

What if we are a little deluded in our talent and if we follow this advice, is it possible that we will just surround ourselves with yes men who simply tell us what we want to hear?

Where is the line between believing in ourselves and our ambitions and realistically evaluating ourselves and our progress? 

I suppose the difference lies in learning to separate constructive feedback from petty or critical comments.

Maybe the answer is to seek out critical feedback from people who have achieved what we aspire to but ignore any from those that offer it freely with no expertise. 

I suppose it’s all about balance.

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