How To Accept Feedback And Stay ConfidentMar 08, 2023
How do you stay confident in the face of receiving feedback?
Feedback is an interesting word, isn’t it?
Rarely does someone ever say, “I have some feedback for you. You are the most amazing, beautiful, intelligent, sexy human ever.”
Usually, the connotation of feedback is negative.
If you know you’re going to receive some feedback, you will probably think Okay, something bad is coming my way.
Sometimes people might not even preface it by saying, “Here’s some feedback.”
Instead, they might just tell you SOMETHING.
How do you handle that feedback?
How do you work with it?
How do you stay confident no matter what feedback comes your way?
How do you work with that if it’s negative, neutral, or positive?
You don’t need to believe all feedback.
I know as a nice person, as a reasonable person, you’re not an arrogant narcissist.
Here is what I used to think: I’m not going to be an arrogant narcissist; I’m going to be open to feedback;
I’m going to receive it all.
I curated the image of being a mature, spiritual person who could receive all manner of feedback.
However, what I did not realize, and this is important for nice people, is that not all feedback is true.
You do not have to agree with all the feedback.
You do not even have to take it in and really wrestle with it.
You can hear some feedback and think, Okay, no, it doesn’t apply and be done with it.
Originally, I did that, I would think, Oh no, I’m just dismissing it. I’m being defensive. I should sit with this.
But here’s the thing, ask yourself:
Who is this feedback coming from?
Say, for example, you’re getting relationship advice from a friend who is a mess when it comes to relationships.
That is not to say that that friend doesn’t have something of value to offer you.
What is the source of the feedback?
Here’s another example, say you got feedback from someone concerning your business idea, and they say, “I don’t know about this idea. It’s not very good.”
This person has never run a business.
Is that the best person to get the feedback from?
Therefore, ask yourself, who is it coming from?
People’s feedback is colored first and foremost by themselves.
See-through their lens, stories, doubts, fears, ideas of right and wrong, and good and bad.
Always be aware of that.
You don’t have to hear the feedback and think, oh, that’s good.
You do not always have to say, “Thank you so much. I agree. I appreciate your feedback.”
That is what I would do. And it’s false.
If that is really how you feel, you might say, “Wow, thank you for bringing that to my attention.”
Even if the feedback is negative, you might say, “Wow, I didn’t know that that’s what was happening with our customers. That doesn’t sound very good to me. I’m glad I know that now. Thank you for telling me that.”
If I am irritated, I have to tell my team member, “What’s going on with that?” However, if someone is giving me some feedback and it feels like it’s really about them, I might say, “Okay, I hear what you’re saying. It sounds like you’re concerned.”
I can think about it and feel that’s not how I see it. I see it differently than that.
I can tell them, “I’m glad you feel like we have an open-up relationship. You can tell me that, but I see it differently, or I see it differently.”
This was new for me because I thought You were supposed to be really open; however, I realized that was the same as pretending.
Do not say, “Thank you. Yes, I agree with all of what you’re saying. I’m going to sit with this”.
Because then what happens is that it can be more of a dialogue, and it’s not about agreeing with everybody. That’s what I used to do when I was a super nice guy.
Maybe you will receive it because you want to sit with it a bit more.
You don’t need to go back and forth with it, but then you can sit with it and then discard it because here’s the thing.
There may be a better way to do it according to what that person is saying.
At the same time, YOU GOT TO DO YOU.
Ask yourself, Is that authentically me, or is that just an old pattern I’m sticking with?
For example, I remember receiving this feedback: “You shouldn’t have a bad beard. It makes you untrustworthy!”
The truth is, I do not like maintaining the freaking thing. I have to trim it and stuff. But I love a beard, so I am not sorry to anyone who does not like a beard.
Similarly, one person told me something when I was in a professional meeting. As we were getting feedback on our presentation, she said, “You’re very engaging. It’s great. You move your eyebrows too much when you talk.”
I’ve never intentionally increased the movement of my eyebrows. I don’t think about my freaking eyebrows at all.
When I’m excited and talking, I am not thinking about my appearance or facial expressions.
When I am working at my desk or talking to a client, and I say, “I’m going to record this video,” I’m not thinking, Do I look great?
I do not know whatever affects my message or my impact on you.
I thought about it for a day and considered whether that is something I want to consciously change?
But now, I am focused on intentionally moving my eyebrows less. It’s almost like I have to blink less or something. It’s weird.
That will impair my ability to connect with you, serve you, and lead the groups I run.
So when I heard that feedback, I thought, NOT FOR ME.
Perhaps I am the kind of guy whose eyebrow movements are distracting to some people, and maybe now that I brought my attention to it. In that case, all you can see are these two beautiful, lush caterpillars right here.
And that is okay. I am not for everybody.
Someone might be repelled by my videos because my eyebrows move a lot. Some people might not like me because my name is Aziz. Some people might not like me because my skin is brown, etc.
This is an example of criticism I have received: One person once said, “You were leading a workshop, and you were wearing a t-shirt. I couldn’t even take you seriously.”
I said, “Okay, I’m not for everybody. I’m not going to wear a tie to work in my office. Are you kidding me? What am I, a judge? A lawyer? No way.”
You got to do you, and sometimes you’ve got to discard the feedback if it is not what you want to be and who you are.
Therefore, hopefully, these tips serve you, and you can receive feedback.
Use them, and also have total permission to stay confident no matter what comes your way. Thanks for being with me.
Until we speak again, may we have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that your eyebrows are awesome.
Reading blogs and watching videos online is a start...
When you are ready to radically transform your confidence so you speak up freely, boldly go after what you want, connect easily with others and be 100% unapologetically yourself, coaching is the answer.