Here's why what we see, think, and say about ourselves must mean more to us than the thoughts and opinions of others.
A few years ago I broke out with a severe case of adult acne. For nearly four months, I tried desperately to get it under control. I used different products and treatments and even changed my diet. Despite my efforts, nothing helped.
I became self-conscious about my looks. Friends—and even some strangers—offered unsolicited advice. Once, at a book signing during that time, a gentleman asked to meet the author. When pointed in my direction, he froze. He looked at my airbrushed photo and rudely proclaimed, “What happened to her skin? She does not look like this!”
I tried dismissing it, but the next morning the effects of his words became evident when my manager recommended that I walk around to network and mingle. Before she could finish, I launched into a tirade. My bruised and sensitive ego only heard, “You’re not pretty enough to sit at the booth!” As she—and everyone else—tried to clear up my confusion…I simply couldn’t hear them. Though they were giving me good business counsel, I wasn’t in the place to receive it because of my insecurities.
During that book signing, I didn’t understand how important it was to guard my heart. I’ve learned over time that while feedback is critical for growth; both the sender and receiver need to understand these important guidelines:
1. Think First!
I live by the statement, “Never let anyone’s you are, be greater than your I am.” What we see, think and say about ourselves must mean more to us than the thoughts and opinions of others. This requires that we have a healthy self-perspective and consequently fully accept and embrace ourselves. Just as we look at our physical reflection every day, we must check our hearts daily to locate our mental states. There is no shame celebrating our strengths and admitting our weaknesses. When you can find that balance, you can give others’ words the proper weight. Know what you think before you ask others. This will enable you to bring something to the conversation about your own life.
2. Understand the Messenger
People do not see us as we are…they see us through who they are! Our backgrounds, attitudes, beliefs and issues affect the way we view everything in life! It is critical that we evaluate and qualify the feedback source before we open our hearts to be influenced. If we don’t, we become susceptible to making someone else’s issues our own. For instance, we shouldn’t take relationship advice from cynical friends, because they won’t see the possibility in ours. And, we shouldn’t seek financial counsel from broke friends, they don’t have the mindset that will enable us to prosper.
3. Get a Second Opinion
A general rule of thumb when dealing with our physical health is to get a second opinion if we’re being advised to undergo a serious procedure. A different perspective could result in exposure to new options. Similarly, we can come to a more balanced self-view and make better decisions when we talk to the right people and allow them to share their thoughts on how they experience us. As we talk to people it will help to operate in balance.
Do Your Work: Spend time this week acting on the above steps to gain clarity. Schedule your 20-minute laser coaching session to expand your feedback circle.
Define Your Wealth: “The wisdom I need to change my life is readily available. I open my heart and mind to receive direction.”
Named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.