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The fear of feedback


I love cheerleading clients through their life because often jealousy and envy can get in the way of friends and family seeing the sheer hard work and determination it takes to get to people to where they want to be.

Occasionally, I will give people constructive feedback on their work. People give me feedback too.

When I feel entitled to a level of 'feedback immunity' because of my status in the World as a well educated, white middle-class women, you can always guarantee something will come and knock me off my pedestal...always does. The opposite is also true, if I feel unworthy or not good enough, there will be plenty situations that arise which will make me feel 'less than' others too.

In order to receive feedback we need to have a solid practice of self-compassion and self-empathy. I studied with Dr Kristen Neff and Brene Brown last year, and their courses have been a game changer for me. If we have a harsh inner-critic, feedback will be used against us every time, so it is important that we hear the voice that reminds us we are out in the World trying.

For me, discerning good feedback is an art. If I get some mean-spirited and personal words thrown at me from someone who is in denial of their own 'mess', I just keep walking. However, If they I know they are on a similar path and own their 'mess' then I will stop and listen. As Brene Brown says "If you aren't in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback".

Let's be clear these are not easy conversations for any of us to have. If you are giving feedback make sure you include areas of their life/work they are excelling at, and then bring up the area you feel they could improve on. If you are receiving feedback, know that there maybe a 'processing' period where you might avoid that person while you try and make sense of it all. It is all totally normal and the kinder you are to yourself the better.

It takes a great deal of courage to give and listen to helpful feedback but in my experience the rewards are immense.

Sometimes we all need a good prune in order to blossom.


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© 2019 by Jennifer Winfield