The hardest and most demanding response to feedback is to say nothing.
To sit into the silence of empty space. To let what people say have an impact on us. Even if we don’t agree with it.
As my therapist used to say
Let the pearl sink. Allow things to profoundly penetrate you.
It’s harder than it sounds. Sitting in silent acceptance of other people’s experience of our behavior? Without deflecting or defending? That requires deep presence, patience, vulnerability and openness. But when practiced, it’s a skill that can serve us well in life.
Here’s a helpful first step. Next time your spouse mirrors your reality back to you, instead of getting touchy and growing combative, take a breath and listen to your body. Next time your coworker offers you candid feedback about your attitude, instead of reflexively ignoring honest critiques and deflecting it back as quickly and snidely as possible, see if any of their points truly land with you.
It will feel very uncomfortable at first. The urge to break the silence will be strong. It might even make your eyelids twitch. But if you can learn to soften your heart, energetically reposition your being and relate to people’s feedback rather than identifying with it, you have a real shot at authentic living.
We cannot absorb feedback when we’re caught in the fangs of fear.
Ground yourself in the fertile soil of love and acceptance, and see what sprouts to the surface.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is your feedback system? * * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
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