Putting our ideas and work out into the world for feedback is a vulnerable place to be. Learn why it is imperative that we go through this process, and how best to protect ourselves when met with negative energy.
MM545- Be Open to Feedback, but not Too Open
Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!
It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.
Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.
Today’s focus is: Be Open to Feedback, but not Too Open
So hopefully, you have been taking a deep dive into yourself in order to reconnect with what excites you.
I’m wondering what you have you discovered? I’m wondering if you have shared your new ideas with anyone? If not, I recommend that you start thinking about with whom you can share these discoveries.
If you’ve been meditating and journaling, chances are your energy is shifting and your perspective is changing.
Are you gaining clarity on who you are, who you’ve always been, and what drives you? Have you gathered materials and begun to create? Are you starting to see that a new pathway could be opening up for you? Have you started a new project or business plan?
If you are making mental or emotional moves, or if you’ve begun to work on something tangible, it’s important to verbalize these new ideas. To learn how to articulate them. To see how they feel when they hit the air. Doing this will inspire even more clarity and even more ideas. It allows us to voice our excitement and build human connection.
By speaking these changes or new ideas, we claim this direction for ourselves. We start believing it for ourselves. We map our brain to achieve it. We put it out to the universe. We practice being vulnerable. We gain confidence.
And also in doing this, we open ourselves up to feedback from others. Being open to feedback is a big part of the creative process, the part that is not always easy to do, so it’s important to know how to protect ourselves after putting ourselves in such a vulnerable space.
We want to approach this feedback with an open-mind, we want to listen deeply to the ideas of others – not spend this time building a defense against what they’re saying while they’re speaking, we want to learn from them and their perspective. However, in the end, we need to make our own creative decisions.
This concept is easy to understand if you’ve ever seen the reality show Project Runway. Tim Gunn comes around and critiques the show’s contestants as they’re working. Well, he doesn’t always get it right, and sometimes the fashion designer sticks to their vision. This is not always the right call by the designer, but there have been many times where that look wins the episode. There is something to be said for sticking to our vision, but like in the show, sometimes we have to “edit” that vision to make it better than our initial idea.
We cannot distinguish between holding our ground or editing our initial idea if we’re busy being defensive. So we have to really take in what others have to say, consider their opinions, revisit what we want to accomplish and why we want to accomplish it, and then make the decision to either pivot from our original direction, tweak it, or stay rooted.
Now, what happens if the feedback we receive is not what we had hoped for or needed? What if it sucks the wind out of our sails? That moment where we were so excited about it until, for whatever reason, the person or people we shared our ideas with is not? I have three suggestions for this.
1. Sometimes we need to take a short break.
Whether it’s days or two weeks, create space between what you’re working on and where you want to take it. Maybe your aspirations are a little ambitious and you need to break your plans into smaller steps. Or maybe your plans are big but you know you are the person to make it happen. Take your time to consider what you want to accomplish from many angles, journal about it, meditate on it, let feelings about it surface.
2. Others sometimes respond to our ideas with their own insecurities.
This insecurity could be because they want to protect you, or they don’t want you to be more successful than them, or they don’t want to be left behind, or what you’re doing is outside of their own comfort zone.
For example: When I told someone I had an idea to travel the 50 states in 90 days to interview people about passion, their response was: “Aren’t you scared? I can’t believe your husband is going to let you do that.” I had to remind myself that their response wasn’t about me and my idea; their response was about them and how they would feel about doing my idea. They would be scared. Their husband wouldn’t “let” them do something like this.
3. We are prone to make up stories in our head about what other people are thinking or feeling.
Did you really get negative feedback, or could you be jumping to conclusions?
Here’s an example: We share an idea with someone, or a work of art with someone, or a personal goal with someone, and they either don’t respond, or it takes them forever to respond, or their response is weak.
What do we automatically assume? We automatically think our idea is stupid, our art is horrible, our goal is ridiculous. We jump to conclusions and make interpretations that are not real.
Even if their reaction does mean this and it IS real… go back to points #1 and #2 – either take a short break from what you’re working on, or understand that this person could be responding with their own insecurities.
If we pay attention, we can learn a lot about others when sharing of ourselves, it’s almost like being psychic, it’s so telling.
I’m going to leave you on this last note: What is the best way to know if you are headed down the right path? It’s easy: follow your feelings. If something intrigues and excites you, keep going. If something causes you stress, doubt, or anxiety, you’re not hitting the target, but that doesn’t mean you are far off base, either. So take the feedback of others with a brave ear, and then follow your heart.
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I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: Listen, it’s really hard to be vulnerable. But to me, putting ourselves out there or not is the difference between existing and living, the difference between just settling and thriving. Feedback is part of this journey we are on, and learning how to handle difficult feedback is part of our journey.
Remember, you Motivate Me!