Before burning out I was able to deal with criticism. I wanted feedback on everything I did because I wanted to improve myself constantly. Be it during my 30-year football career, at work or later as president of a sports club. Even as a father and husband, I asked people around me for feedback. I was not afraid of criticism. I saw it as a way to improve myself. To be able to accept criticism is very important, because nobody alone knows everything and always knows how to do it best. Obviously it’s also important how the criticism is addressed.

As I was burning out I took every criticism personally, no matter how small. Exactly what you should not do. The reason was that my self-confidence was very low. I was very vulnerable and thought the whole world was against me. So everyone who told me I wasn’t doing something well or suggested how I could do it better obviously didn’t like me and any criticism was unjustified in my eyes. What? I have to change? Why me and why is everyone against me? What have I done?

That was counterproductive, of course. Only when I looked at the criticism from a certain distance at the end of my recovery from burnout did I see any value in it. Only then did I realize that not everyone was against me. It was more a combination of poor communication and poor perception on my behalf. In other words, I couldn’t deal with criticism.  

Today I am glad that I can handle criticism very well again. Before I launched my website, I asked 5-6 people for feedback. Back came loads of criticism and suggestions for improvement. I should use another tool, I have too many pages, the texts are too long, etc. Of course I implemented some suggestions. But this is my website. My name is on it. I am satisfied how my website looks like and how it is structured. To accept criticism and to be able to handle it is a clear sign of healthy self-confidence. If you have trouble dealing with criticism you might suffer from burnout. I can support you in being better able to deal with criticism. Contact me to talk about it! Soon I’ll post a blog regarding self-confidence.