Growing Pains: How to Discern and Develop Through Constructive Feedback

A brief look into my journey with negative feedback and how you can reclaim your power when faced with it.

There is one main problem with opinions…everyone has one.⁣

When opinions are used for the purpose of developing identity instead of developing awareness, we will always find ourselves being a slave to criticism.⁣

Whether it’s social media comments or even a performance appraisal at work, it’s easy to get caught up in defining our value based on the validation from others.⁣

As a person who has undergone heavy scrutiny and allowed it to create limiting beliefs and self esteem issues, I endured quite a journey fighting to regain my sense of worth. Specifically, my corporate journey was filled with criticism that sparked self doubt and stagnation. 

I remember dreading e-mails and one on ones with managers because of the feedback I would possibly receive. No matter how hard I worked, there just seemed to always be something that “disqualified” me from progression. 

Instead of seeing the action as developmental opportunities, I saw it as a direct reflection of my character and capabilities. That was…until the approval of management no longer had much value to my long term goals.

All of a sudden, a light bulb sparked within to not give people so much power. I decided to reclaim my self worth with a few realizations:⁣

1. Don’t get caught up in the hype nor the hate you receive. We are never as bad as some portray, but we are never as untouchable as others may think as well. Embrace constant growth and reflection.⁣

2. Good feedback doesn’t attack…it addresses. Know the difference between feedback that is constructive versus that which is destructive. ⁣Tone, language, and delivery are all important factors in discernment. Does this person offer developmental approaches or does he/she just emphasize your weaknesses? Do you feel replenished and enlightened or do you feel drained and worthless? Intention will always expose itself in subtle ways/ 

3. People can say what you do, but they can’t tell you who you are. Let them focus on your behaviors. You reflect on your character. ⁣

Yes, growth will involve seeking counsel from trusted sources. Yes, we will need others to help us identify blind spots. Always remember that people can only provide insight at the level of their experience and the depth of their perspective. ⁣Know what to absorb and know what to reject.

Let the words of others challenge you, but never give them the power to change you.⁣

Take control of your narrative. Need help doing so? Book a session today while slots are still open!

Have a productive day!

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