If constructive criticism and critique send you into a negative spiral, then it’s time to reframe how you see feedback. Whether you are a manager, an entrepreneur or early on in your career, feedback is necessary and inevitable. Constructive criticism can help you uncover your blind spots, improve your efficiency and refine your technique. It’s essential to learn to receive feedback gracefully, instead of taking it personally. 

Here’s how to receive constructive feedback in the workplace well and allow it to catapult your career forward.

Take a Moment to Process 

The moment you receive a critique from your manager at work can be daunting. Your heart might race, your eyes might water or your voice might shake. At first, it can feel overwhelming and personal. Take time to catch your breath and gather your thoughts. You might step outside and take a break to assess how the feedback makes you feel, do a body scan and take inventory of what thoughts come up.

Acknowledge Worst-Case Scenario Thinking

Your mind might spiral out of control when you receive criticism. Take time to call out any worst-case scenarios you are contemplating and weigh them against reality. For example, maybe your manager says she noticed a lack of efficiency in your work. Your inner critic might hear this feedback as your slow and you’re a failure. 

Challenge the fears and glass-half-empty mentalities by focusing on reality. Do your best to remove the emotion and frame the feedback rationally. 

Get a Second Opinion

When you receive feedback on the job, it always helps to get a second opinion from someone you trust. Ask a colleague you work closely with, another manager or a mentor for their perspective. They’ll be able to provide objective input and help you reframe your thought process from judgment and self-deprecation. They also can provide advice on how to productively implement the feedback.

Focus on Bite-Size Next Steps

As the saying goes, “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” When you receive feedback, it can feel as if change must happen overnight. The best way to approach feedback in the workplace is through small steps. Ask yourself: What is one step I can implement this week or this month to make progress? What is my professional goal to improve in this area for the quarter? Think about how you can improve and what you can do better going forward. 

Remember Your Strengths

Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments in your career. You might keep a list of progress you have made on the job. One pro-tip is to create a folder in your inbox for positive feedback. On hard days, it always helps to come back to positive feedback to lift your spirits.