Receiving Feedback

One post on feedback led to another and now I find myself writing a third one. This piece by Tara Sophia Mohr showed up on my feed and it got me thinking about how hard it is to get feedback. It can be crippling. Few of us had perfect parents, and critical feedback can often send us back to our worst childhood wounds. One of Tara’s insights is that “the criticism that we most fear receiving and that we find the most wounding is criticism that matches up with what we believe about ourselves.”

It makes sense. We all carry these violent voices in our head. Some of them we picked up when we were very young. We hear anything that sounds like them - even if it is just one note in a whole symphony of otherwise positive feedback - and we spiral our way right back into our story of shame and worthlessness.

We must dedicate a fair amount of energy to developing the skills and resilience that allow us to receive critical feedback. Feedback is the only way we evolve, it is the only way we create and it is the only way we are able to thrive in community. I’m not inviting you to stay calm and cool every time you are faced with a wave of feedback. But I am inviting you to eventually notice what is happening. Once your very natural, very human, very social-animal emotions start to subside make sure you take the time to take your story back.

You are not the voices in your head. You are not someone else’s idea of who you are. You are much more complex than that. There is a fundamental goodness in your heart. And it is here to serve our evolution.