Thriving Through Scrutiny

file0001096464435“You can’t help but be scrutinized, so I might as well be doing something while I’m being scrutinized.” —Heather Locklear

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

You Can’t Help but be Scrutinized

As Heather Locklear points out in the above quote, you are going to be scrutinized. It happens to every single one of us every day. So, how do you thrive through the scrutiny?

Don’t react

First of all, don’t take it personally and don’t react impulsively. When you are being scrutinized it says more about the other person than it does about you. While you have no control over the thoughts and actions of others, you can control your own attitude, emotions, words, and actions. Stop your first reaction; don’t lash out and never argue; I promise it is pointless. Be mindful of your internal and external reactions. If you feel you must respond, reply with a simply say “thank you” if there is merit to the scrutiny or simply say “I disagree and there is nothing further to discuss”.

Choose your attitude

You are in control of your own attitude, choose it wisely. First, don’t play the victim. Show you are confident but not arrogant. When you feel that you are being scrutinized, it is important that you give yourself credit; what did you do right? What are you good at? While you don’t need to justify your behavior, you don’t want to become angry or defensive either. It’s good to acknowledge how the scrutiny makes you feel, but keep your attitude positive.

Don’t over think it

Consider ‘who’ is scrutinizing you. Is it someone you trust? Is it an advisor or a friend? Once you identify the role this person plays in your life, then you can seek to understand their intention. Is there any validity to it? Was it given to hurt or the help? But, don’t over think it. Listen to what is being said and what is not being said. Then, simply ask yourself “does it make sense?” If you aren’t sure how to answer that question, get a second opinion.

Is there a lesson

You can turn scrutiny into opportunity if you look for the lesson to be learned. Take responsibility for what is true; take what is helpful and discard the rest. Is there something you can learn? Is there an ongoing issue? Be open-minded and try to make it a learning moment; even if it’s only learning to control how you respond to scrutiny. Use scrutiny as an opportunity to invest time in yourself to become the best you can be.

It doesn’t define you

And, the most important way to thrive through scrutiny is by not letting it define you. Remember that no one is perfect. Don’t let the thoughts and actions of others determine the way you see yourself. You are of value regardless of what anyone else has to say.

You Might as Well be Doing Something

As Heather Locklear said in her quote, you might as well be doing something while you’re being scrutinized. So, what can you be doing? You can be exercising control over your attitude, emotions, words, and actions. You can be evaluating who is scrutinizing you and what the intentions are behind their scrutiny. You can be determining if there is a valid lesson to be learned. You can be defining yourself on your terms. And, here’s the biggest tip for thriving through scrutiny: everything outlined above should take all of 30 seconds of your time. Then, hold your head high and move on!!!

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at


Author: lizstincelli

I am Liz Stincelli and I am passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. I am the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where I specialize in helping management teams learn new ways of looking at problems and finding new approaches to discovering solutions. I hold a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. I offer 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. I serve on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. I have also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Westminster College. You can learn more about me by reading my blog here at: or Connect with me on Twitter @infinitestin, on Google+, and on LinkedIn. You can contact me by email at

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