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Criticism is the Way: The Courage to be Disliked

If you are blaming yourself for uneventful life, you should know that most of the problems in life are due to interpersonal relationship issues. This relationship is formed over time with others and yourself. The good news is that you can start a new chapter of your life anytime, no matter what happened in the past. With this key takeaway of The Courage to be Disliked book, the impactful and long-lasting transformation spurs out to change the way of looking at things you might be stuck with. While not stressing about the traumas of the past, you ought to give meaning to your negative experiences, which is revolutionary thought to help you live in the present. The psychological findings of Alfred Adler are summarized in this book which lets you believe that by being courageous to accept yourself as who you are, your happiness is reflected in your changed behaviour.

Thomas Edison had a positive attitude about his thousand failures. He was asked in an interview about his reaction to his failed attempts before he successfully attempted to lighten up the bulb, for which he is still known today. He said he found those ways that wouldn’t lead to success. Therefore, a positive meaning can be attached to any negative experience which can change the entire course of life.

I could recall this famous example of calling a spade a spade while going through this expressive book.

Criticism is also one of the obstacles in your path which may block you from moving further if there was a haunting outcome in the past. However, what you make out of it is completely up to you as it is not your past but the present choices that decide the future. Contrary to the findings of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, who devised psychology framing the childhood incidents and gone days as the basis for the present, Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi, the authors of The Courage to be Disliked, researched the Adlerian psychology for a long time.

There must be solutions to every critical voice you hear about your life from others or from yourself. If you are getting bullied, your past still hurts you and you are soaked in the worry for the future, you should be mindful of the following steps:

Lifestyle Changes: We may avoid going out, which becomes a goal to punish ourselves purposefully for mistakes that result in a loss. The negative situations could be restored just by making small changes in the lifestyle. Adlerian psychology emphasizes the importance of the present moment rather than blaming the memory of the past. The change is inevitable.

1. Avoiding the change can make you lose more as your routine can shape this world into the best or worst state.

2. You might be the reason that other people are getting paid, the economy of the country is growing, or someone else is breathing words of positivity.

3. It is in the present moment whether you decide to live or complain.

Stay Proactive: Avoiding live tasks is a destructive consequence due to heated arguments, being unhappy for many reasons or losing common ground with others. Just because you view the world differently, you might be excluded from others’ worldviews. Not everyone is supposed to accept your ideas. But it does not mean that your idea is bad. Remember that criticism is the way as it has blossomed paths of many successful people despite they were facing challenges due to their own initiatives.

1. Planning the day in advance can help you eliminate the unhelpful thoughts and tasks to make you focus on the live tasks rather than wasting your time with people who do not value your time.

2. If things are not working out, perhaps you should try one more time which can end the problem from the root rather than giving up forever.

Making Career Choices: Before you become acquainted with this world, expectations are left for you to do friendship with them. You can not simply react to every word being spoken to you or in your surroundings. It might be just an opinion, not a fact. You do not have to become the target of false opinions.

1. If you want to discuss career choices, do speak to experts such as career counsellors who have helped many in making them realize who they are and what is their unrevealed potential.

2. Knowing the difference between opinion and advice can simply help you sort out your career choices.

Bravely Face Rejections: As sensitive beings, we might be mentally disturbed after one failure or rejection that would stop us from trying again. According to research by the Department of Work and Organizations at the University of Minnesota, the process of searching job can be an emotional journey for job seekers because they need to fight off the uncertainty and complexity of finding the right job position and hurtful rejection (Wanberg, Ali & Csillag, 2020). The process of searching for a job should be strategic. Job seekers need to have plans for every day in relation to job search-related tasks, how they can stay self-motivated and revise their goals according to the received feedback emerging from the surroundings. In the words of inspiring motivational speaker Anupam Kher, ‘The event fails, not the person.’ J.K. Rowling, who is the author of the prominent Harry Potter series, faced rejection 12 times before finally getting appreciated by the Publishing company known as Bloomsbury. You should continue your experiments as Thomas Edison did.

1. We have to become more resilient to be able to recover from the rejection and face another interview or meeting.

2. It is more likely due to criticism that we tend to think about giving up while we have all the energy to accomplish any difficult target. We may go through downtime. You need to remember that downtimes with systems occur temporarily. The only choice is to become stronger.

Continuous Training: If the Pilot does not complete the training, the flight can not take off or land. A doctor performs surgery successfully because of having been trained to do so. Every profession demands rigorous training. It is not a one-time process to complete a short-term course. Both pilots and doctors get a license that keeps on becoming valid if they complete the required number of training hours timely. If you can spend 10,000 hours practising a skill, you become a master at it, whether it is about playing the Guitar or learning to swim.

1. A lot of tasks that people are doing daily effortlessly, they have completed sufficient training.

2. There are life-long skills you need to learn to accomplish anything you desire internally.

Key Takeaway

Before winning, there is a certain probability of losing. However, not starting is certainly associated with zero probability of winning. It is up to you what you do about criticism, whether it is your critical inner voice or others whose conditions did not fulfil. According to The Courage to be Disliked, everyone sets out expectations that we are supposed to satisfy. However, the purpose of life is not to live according to the expectations of others, as you need to decide what is best for you. While some criticisms might make no sense, there is always scope to improve yourself. Getting criticized is the peak point of making a decision. The intention of a critic is a source of deriving positive or negative emotions that is clear in the way they are expressed or imposed on you. It is harsh feedback that led some of the best performers to commit suicide. However, getting criticized turned into anger which fueled many to follow the path of success.


Wanberg, C. R., Ali, A. A., & Csillag, B. (2020). Job seeking: The process and experience of looking for a job. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 7, 315-337.

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