Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
— Marcus Aurelius
You’re cautious of criticism.
Reactionary to response.
And unwelcoming of uncertainty.
Or. Put more simply. You’re frightened of feedback.
You’re, 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 you rely on them too much. But these words also seem relevant to share 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
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 it 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.
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.
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.
Feedback is food for the soul.
And you’re frightened of it.
Not always, but mostly.
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 to for that salutary sensation of ‘smallness’ to surge through you.
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’. An 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.
Feedback is just feedback. Just a response. In the moment. So welcome it 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.
Agree with what I’ve shared here? Disagree? Still got questions? Then please leave a comment. 🙂