Life Lesson #33: Seek out and embrace feedback.
Early in my career I was nervous – and in all reality at times – fearful of receiving feedback. Part of it was my lack of confidence in myself, while the rest of it was my fear of rejection. Anyone else ever deal with that? 🙂
What I came to find out was that being defensive or “protecting” myself from the feedback was only stopping me from truly growing.
The thing about feedback is this: it’s only feedback. You are the one attaching a meaning/definition to that feedback – so just choose to put an empowering meaning (how you can use it to move your life forward) to the feedback versus attaching a disempowering/I’m not good enough meaning to it.
The best image that I now use to remind myself and encourage others to receive feedback is to think about how a tree grows. A tree needs both the sun and the rain in order to grow to its fullest potential.
If the tree only gets rain, rain, rain – it drowns and dies.
If the tree only gets sun, sun, sun – it dries up and dies.
The same is true for you my friends – you need both the sun (strengths/what you are doing well) and the rain (opportunities/things you can work on) in order to become the person you are capable of becoming. If you only receive one or the other, you will never achieve the amazing things you are capable of.
Now, there are a lot of other factors involved – including the relationship you have with the person giving you the feedback and how it is delivered – however, the goal here is to be more open and willing to receive the feedback, reflect on it, apply an empowering meaning to it, and then apply the lessons to move your life forward.
One of the greatest gifts you will ever give yourself is to seek out and embrace feedback.