As we approach a new year and begin to think about our goals for the year ahead, it can be helpful to reflect on the year that has passed. This reflection should highlight our successes, how we have grown, and what we have learned, but should also include considerations of areas where we could continue to seek positive change.
While we can all be critical of ourselves from time to time, we also can have blindspots and may struggle to be attuned to the flaws that others have even explicitly identified in us. Thus, it can be helpful to take the time to reflect on the feedback of others and to challenge ourselves to accept what others are saying.
Accepting constructive feedback can be tough. It may feel like rejection, because it reminds us that we are far from perfect. When someone else points out our flaws, even in the most constructive and sensitive way, it can still make us cringe and result in us reacting defensively.
We should recognize that it is natural to respond defensively and say “but what about all the times that I wasn’t like that”, but letting go of that initial response is necessary to facilitate growth. Indeed, it can be really difficult to fully hear another person’s critiques and see that they are giving us this information because they have not given up on us and think that this information can be invaluable in moving us forward as a person.
My resolution this year is to be more open to feedback, listen when it is given to me and try to take something away from it other than anger.
Why not ask yourself what feedback have you learned from in the past and how this allowed you to grow. Then, ask yourself if there is more recent feedback that you have been trying to discount that may help you grow even further.
Jessica is a member of the clinical wellness and learning support team at FLEX Psychology. Jessica started Wellness Wednesday out of a desire to provide further opportunities for her clients to extend their wellness journey to all avenues of their life. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here or by learning more about her and the clinical team at FLEX Psychology by clicking here.