Sweet one. I was reminded of something this morning, and so I wonder if it something you need reminded of as well.
You’re ok. You’re human – we all make mistakes. You will drop the ball sometimes. You’re not in this alone.
I am a bit of a creator kind. Not in an artist kind of way. But a just put stuff together kind of way. Stuff that I love and am passionate about.
And I create when I feel inspired. Groups. Books. Content. Gatherings. Blogs. Instagram posts.
Not much more than most people I guess. But I love it.
A while back I created this little group, filled with creators as well. Motivated and inspired.
Recently with some illness in my life, and illness in one of my little kid-lets life, some of my creations..well, I am sad to say had to take a back seat.
And not everyone gets that. And it isn’t fair to expect them to.
Today, I was reminded of my absence. I was reminded of where I was hard on myself for ‘dropping the ball’. I got a message today from someone who isn’t enjoying a group that I have created.
When I received it, I gotta say, it stung a little. I mean, feedback can sting when it isn’t glowing, right? Something you have created someone doesn’t like. Their expectations aren’t met. That can suck arse!
I have an old pattern of wanting to include everyone and make sure everyone is ok.
I have an old belief system that says, “everyone before you”.
And when I got ill, I had to really challenge this. Like really!
Making sure I try to keep everyone is happy is an old pattern. Making sure everyone is doing ok and if they aren’t, I would try to move heaven and earth to make sure they were ok.
People placating. People pleasing.
I would have never have thought that I was a people pleaser once upon a time. But it is years of paying attention to how I feel in certain interactions that I have become aware of it.
Making sure everyone else was looked after first. Then attend to my needs.
Can I life hack this for you? Let give you the tip first hand, that this will end up in exhaustion and depletion!
So, I get this message telling me they love the group…..BUT……and then of course, tells me their truth.
When I used to manage people for work, I would never take too kindly to someone coming to me with ‘problems without potential solutions’. You know..no ownership in the problem and or potential solutions for said problems.
This message didn’t have much in the solution department.
I read the message.
And my body reacts as it usually does when I feel like I have let someone down, or am being criticised or that someone isn’t ok with something I have done. And I have come to see that my body wants to react in one of two ways.
- It wants to defend. Stand up straight and get ready to use that razor sharp tongue to shut it down.
- It wants to hide. Get the hell away from it as fast as it can and pretend nothing is wrong.
And these are completely acceptable human responses.
But they aren’t responses that I am vining with much these days. They are like so 2015 😉
I have come to experience a 3rd way though. After a lot of ‘growing up’ and uprooting a lot of old beliefs.
I really like this third way and works so well for me most of the time. I have become really great mates with it. It has room for tweeks and improvements I am sure, but for now, I am in the groove with it.
It is a 4 step way. In REALLY big deals, I use 5…but I’ll fill you in on that if I need to use it going forward.
For now, this little thing needed my 4 little steps.
And it is this.
- Do not do anything….except breathe. Just notice all the human stuff that happens when we feel threatened. Afraid. Attacked….And just breathe. Deep. Feel the feelings that the scared little body is feeling. And breathe.
In really, really brutal attacks..I would reach out to my support crew.
Not call someone up and bitch about it. Not send a message to someone and tell them all about the horror and terror. Not spreading the issue.
Just breathe. To calm the system. To remind the body that there is in fact nothing to fear.
We have come to see that a modern day ‘feedback’ note can have what might be described as an ancestral reaction.
A modern day perceived threat triggers our oldest survival centres in our brain and we prepare to fight the perceived attack or run from the thing. But when we look, there is nothing there. Only an image we have in our heads of what it means to receive this ‘feedback’.
And with some breath, we can see, there is nothing there except a bunch of words and someone’s perception.
The second thing I do is a good old trick I learnt from my old mate Brene Brown. The flight and fight response is very similar to a shame attack. A feeling that we are bad in some way, and a ‘feedback’ note could in fact trigger old wounds around not being good enough, letting people down and being shit. But they are just my old wounds.
2. Own your story and ‘First draft’ it. This is a #truthbomb on steroids. The first draft is a letter written, usually by hand, to the dealer of the perceived threat. All your true feelings. How it feels in your body. Why you are feeling the way you are.
Some folks think that they will manifest something bad for the person they are writing about if they write it. But that isn’t your intention right. The INTENTION is to tell the truth about how you feel.
YOU OWN the feelings. No suppression. No hiding. No trying to be all ‘nice’ and ‘perfect’. Just telling the truth. When we bury the story, we stay forever in the subject of the story.
Once you tell the truth…you BURN THAT THING or run it under water and scrunch it up! No one except you needs to see it. Sometimes, if you are really hot and bothered, you might need 2 or 3 drafts….for your eyes only!
Phew. That feels better right? Telling the truth? And interestingly as you go through it, you see that it has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with how you received it!
The third thing is vital.
3. Inject compassion. Self compassion. Self kindness. Speak to yourself (out-loud if you need to like me) like you would to your best mate who is having a tough time.
“Jen, it’s ok. You haven’t done anything wrong. You are doing your best and not everyone is going to see that. Be kind to yourself Jen. This isn’t a big deal”.
OH AND THIS FEEDBACK EXPERIENCE NEEDS A 3a..
3a is UBER important when it comes to feedback. If you receive feedback from anyone, anyone at all…if they are not in the arena that you are in and not getting their but kicked..then their feedback needs scaled down ya’ll. I learnt that off my old mate Brene as well. Boom!
And finally, number 4. Act in a way that is in alignment with who you want to be. Me, I want to be brave and I want to be real. So, for me, in this case, after I did all my steps, I responded. Like a grown up. Without the tantrum of my first draft. I didn’t try to fix anything.
I commended them on their bravery to provide feedback in the first place. And I meant it. I know it takes courage to speak up. To speak out. And I am totally in awe of that!
Then, I gave 3 possible options they could consider taking themselves. Often we look to others to ‘fix’ perceived problems without really wanting to be part of the solution. It is certainly easier to point the finger at someone and tell them what they are doing wrong, instead of acting in a way that you would like to see.
Remember that good old quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Thanks Ghandi wise person!
Waiting around for others to make your like the way you want it will 100% of the time end in disappointment.
Thank god for the feedback, or what would I have written about today I wonder??
AND I can look to improve the experience, because if they are feeling it, it is quite possible others are as well. What a winning kind of day! x