Don't Take It Personal

Updated: May 22, 2020

I'm quite sure you have heard feedback is a gift.  I certainly agree feedback is a gift, but let's keep it real,  feedback can be hard to swallow.  Really hard to swallow.  Really, really hard.  Did I mention that feedback can be hard to swallow? 😊

Okay, enough of that, let's get down to how the "struggle is real".  As a child I took feedback really personally.  I believe I took it personally because of HOW it was given.  It felt, many times, more insulting than anything else.  I literally left the conversations sometimes feeling utterly stupid.😞  It's amazing how the environment in which you grow up can shape the way you interact with others for years, and years of your life.  Maybe even the rest of your life.  That was the case for me.  I literally dreaded performance reviews at work. I felt if disappointed anyone I would he a failure, or worse yet, stupid.  I don't like to fail, and I definitely don't like rejection.  

Over the last decade or so I've been reshaping my mind around feedback.  As a manager I have to give feedback. Based on past experiences I'm very thoughtful, and deliberate on how I provide it, and I have an open mind on how to receive it. However, I also realize I need to be able to accept it without taking it personal.  Over the years I have been forthright with my manager that feedback is something I have struggled with.  I have no problem being honest about that.  I ask them to  give me 24-48 hours to digest the feedback that is constructive (accepting the glowing comments about is easy of course 😊).  I need that time to digest it to work through the different emotions, and analysis, it takes me to understand the feedback, accept it, and determine how to apply it to make me better.  I position my mind in the world of positive intent and would truly hope that anyone providing the feedback has my best interest at heart.

What I find interesting is although feedback is a challenge for me, I decided to be a speaker. An area where receiving feedback is inevitable. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone, right? You see, when you speak at conferences, or events, the organizers definitely feedback on the speakers.  As they should.  However, this was really hard for me when I started out, and in some cases disappointing.  It was hard because I don't like disappointing anyone, or as I said, failing.  I also want to bring content that people can relate to every single time I speak.  I want to make sure that everyone leaves the room with at least 1 thing they can immediately use when