Constructive criticism is a great gift, but depending on where you are in your life, it can sometimes come across as a great pain. Recently someone was giving me feedback about something very dear to me. The feedback came packaged with both positive and negative comments. As the dialogue progressed, there was a moment where I felt that my character/ability was being challenged rather than the idea. Generally, its very difficult to “detach” yourself from your work but I was reminded during that moment that we have a continual responsibility to live life wide open for growth. In many ways when people take time to thoroughly apply themselves and give feedback about our “craft/s” it is because they are well meaning.
In my opinion, our traditional socialization is not geared towards growth. However, we have a continual responsibility to lean towards progress, and the greatest challenge is that it requires us to open yourselves up to “expert” voices that come in different forms. Sometimes it’s not easy to hear what you are not doing well because as people we often just want to feel good about what we do.
When someone takes time to be forensic with you, perhaps we need to begin to see that as a great compliment. I am learning that growth is not a destination but a part and parcel of my lifetime. So, for us not get emotionally scarred by some solid feedback we need to adopt certain practices;
- We need to understand that we have a continual responsibility to not default to the natural temptation of over focusing on the bad in the feedback loop.
- We have a continual responsibility to decide that despite the difficulties that come with growth, we are not going to quit.
- We have a continual responsibility to reprogram our minds so that we part with beliefs that hinder our progress and embrace those that propel us to be better versions of ourselves each day.
- We have a continual responsibility to be kind to ourselves in the days when we don’t do everything right, but to never stop trying our best each day.
- We have a continual responsibility to not always default to doing things because we “feel” like it. The great people we celebrate did not build great lives and accomplish amazing things because they always felt like it, but they pushed themselves beyond the emotional sphere. Someone wrote “your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel” The Idealist.
My dear friend, you have a continual responsibility to just be you. The you that is continuously evolving to be great.