FEEDBACK

Learning to Listen to Others; Learning to Listen to Yourself…

[ Reading time ~ 5 minutes. ]

INTRODUCTION

Nobody’s perfect – obviously! – so why does ‘nobody’ seem to like being imperfect? (The very same ‘nobody’ that doesn’t like hearing about their imperfections from others.) Hmm.

Also, why are we so bad at listening to feedback? Why don’t we know how to trust ourselves, too? And why are we so harsh with ourselves when we make mistakes?

Let’s find out, shall we, let’s find out!…

You Frightened of Feedback, Too?

I’m sat at a table, and my eyes are closed. In my hands, there’s a crystal ball. And I’m thinking of you (based on my experience of me), and this is what I see…

You are a human being.

You are unique, like everyone else.

As such, you are cautious of criticism.

You are reactionary to response.

You are un-welcoming of uncertainty.

Or. Put more simply. You are frightened of feedback.

You are, quite literally, afraid of yourself. Of how you will feel when another responds to your offering. Of what you think it will mean about you.

Inspirational quotes abound. And, perhaps, I rely on them too much. But these words also seem relevant to share with you right now.

“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard

“If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.” – Marva Collins

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Ken Blanchard

FEEDBACK: Welcome It (as You Welcome Your Suffering?)

So obvious, really, that feedback should be welcomed, encouraged and almost yearned for.

And you do this, sometimes, you do.

But mostly you don’t.

Mostly, you avoid feedback like the plague.

  • You don’t show your hand
  • You don’t speak your mind
  • You don’t share your truth.

And all because you’re not sure. Not sure if they’d be interested. Not sure if you’re right. Not sure of what you’re not sure of.

And maybe you ARE wrong. Maybe your offering IS feeble. Maybe it’s YOU who needs to be listening now.

Maybe.

Who can tell.

Certainly not you. Not unless you dare to share. Not unless you can be you.

Is it really necessary for you to be praised all the time? For everything that you do. Must it always be the best, or at the very least ‘good enough’?

Must you always seek encouragement? Must you always be welcomed? Must you and your ideas always be ‘got’?

Is this all REALLY a must for you? Always? No exceptions? Ever?

You’re frightened of feedback.

You’re reactionary to response.

You’re cautious of comment.

(Sorry to repeat myself!)

How brightly does your light actually shine? How unique is its light? How useful is what it illumines.

You’re frightened of feedback, of the very thing that will help you grow. Grow as a contributor. Grow as a creator. Grow as a human being.

Feedback is food for the soul.

And you’re frightened of it.

Not always, but mostly.

FEEDBACK: Learning to Listen to Opinion

And the thing is, feedback isn’t fact. It is merely opinion. Educated, or otherwise.

Feedback isn’t fate. It is merely a turn in the road. And all roads lead home.

Feedback isn’t fatal. It is a chance to think again. Another chance to listen.

Yes, feedback is another chance to listen. To yourself. To that shady part of you that you’d rather ignore. (To that glorious part, too.)

Another chance to experience that ‘failure feeling’ inside of you.

Another chance too for that salutary sensation of ‘smallness’ to surge through you.

(Whoooo!)

Failure is a feeling, and you make that feeling wrong. But it’s just a feeling, it’s just a thought. Nothing is at stake here, it really isn’t, just hold your nerve.

Just hold your nerve. Say ‘thank you’. And then listen some more.

I’ll finish with these words from famed “fraud and shyster”, Wayne Dyer.

A “much-loved man and self-help guru” who encouraged people to take responsibility for their own lives, to understand what it really means to be human. A man who got plenty of feedback in his time, some of it positive.

And Wayne Dyer once wrote this, he did: “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Understand this feedback loop, and you won’t go far wrong.

(I stand down from my soabox. I put down my loudspeaker. I stop talking to myself.)

CONCLUSION

Feedback is just feedback. Just a response. In the moment. An opinion, wise or otherwise. A feeling you’d rather not feel.

So (please!) welcome feedback as best you can – listen to it, and learn from it – but most of all welcome your feeling of yourself. Feedback is encouragement. To feel all of you. That is all.

How About You?

But that’s what I think, how I see things. More importantly, I think that YOU need to see this for yourself, and not just take my word for it. And if you feel like sharing your feedback with me – your observations of your own imperfections – then that would be great, too. Otherwise…


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