It’s natural to want to be liked. Everyone wants to think they are a pleasing, pleasant person to be around. However, we can’t and won’t please everyone all the time and we shouldn’t try to. What then, do we do with negative feedback?
I recently had the opportunity to take a 360Reach assessment, which is designed to help me identify my branding position based on how others see me. There were questions to establish both my perceived strengths and weaknesses. So what did I do? Among all the really good things said, I focused on the very small percentage of the not-so-good. Of course, don’t we always? I allowed them for a moment to take away from the positive reinforcement I had experienced. Does this sound familiar?
The "negative" appears for a reason—to offer you an opportunity to make a choice for change. You can take it or not. When I looked up the word "negative," it shows up as "off-putting, unconstructive, unhelpful, depressing." Actually, feedback or responses that "rock your boat" are actually good things. Truly.
The positive way for me to use this seemingly critical input is to see how true it feels to me. Then I look at what difference making or not making a change to accommodate it would make in my values. After that I examine what ensuing result a change would create. Then I make a decision. To do or not to do. To change or not to change. To ignore or to examine.
Negative feedback can be a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Examine it to see if it uncovers areas where you are being critical or judgmental of yourself. Put it in perspective with the overall scheme of your life. See how it fits into your goals and intentions. Make an informed choice to change or not change. Be certain the choice carries you forward and is true to who you are and what you choose to express.
Look at negativity as seasoning in your own personal serving of cosmic soup. Too much will ruin the flavor. Just the right amount will help you adjust in a manner that adds to the flavor of the total dish.
We get what we focus on, so use what seems to be "negative" feedback as an opportunity for adjustment—or not. But do look it over. Weigh it against the highest good for all. Then make your choice.
Negative feedback is an opportunity for growth—a true gift! It’s yours for the taking.