Ever hear someone talk and feel like they are just full of it? Yeah, well, I am glad you know the sound of my voice.
In the last few months, I have blogged, shared with friends and discussed the significant value of feedback. I said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” I told a coworker that she could Gibbs-slap be in the back of the head if/when I bristled at feedback. I was the feedback cheerleader for a while there (sans pom-poms and ruffled skirt, thank you Jesus!).
Then, today, I got some feedback that was a “jagged pill to swallow” (to quote a friend). At first, the feedback was something I had a hard time understanding what to do with. So, I shared that with my friend. After a larger discussion, his feedback was clarified. And I was crushed. Honestly. Crushed. The feedback shot straight to an area where I intentionally never want to find myself. Yet, here I am.
Later in the day, I received feedback from another source that was hard to swallow as well. I realized an area where I have really dropped the ball and missed opportunities.
As I struggled to come to terms with this new clarity, I found myself thinking, “this breakfast is gross!” I realized I like certain kinds of feedback and didn’t like it when others resisted feedback, triggering my little “we all need feedback” cheer. But listening, really trying to hear the people who were close to me share from their perpective, that was not as delicious as a bowl of Lucky Charms or Eggs Benedict or French Toast or even my friend Adam’s Diggby Sandwich.
In 2012, you and I have something in common. We are going to face some stuff that is gonna be tough and we will want to run away. Or hide. Or deny it and live in fantasy land. Often what we need though is what scares us or threatens us the most. What we do in that moment changes everything about our future.
What am I doing with my feedback? I am trying to focus on what I can control and what I can change. I am looking for one thing I can do in each area to get the ball rolling in a positive direction. Dani talked me down off the proverbial ledge last night and I’m deciding to treat these areas as opportunities, not crises. I am doing my best to turn the hope knob, not the fear one (for some friends who remember that image).
Just because something sucks doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Sometimes the pain has a purpose. Sometimes the words that are hardest to hear are the ones we need to heed the most.
(I do my best to not make this blog “Scott’s personal journal on his life experiences” but I believe I’m not alone here. And if I have company, I would love to hear about your story in the comment section).