5 Things I have learnt about feedback

We all have opinions. I have plenty of my own. However I know when it may be ok to share them and when it wouldn’t be. 

One of the most common obstacles my clients face is ‘What will people think?’ It’s a fair comment. So many of us have a driver of ‘I want to make my friends and family proud’. 

From an early age, we can be labelled and pigeon holed… due to our physical appearance, our intelligence, our interests, our attitudes, where we fall in our family or other people’s expectations. 

From a young age, I had a great sense of self; however quite often I felt stifled as so many people around me had a different set of interests and values. 

As an actor, I learnt pretty quickly that feedback, ‘honesty’ (often without kindness) and rejection would be part of the job. I have found a way to dance with it but it still pokes you in the eye sometimes. 

As a ‘personal brand’ I have learnt how to manoeuvre the ‘being brave at putting myself because I know I can do a great job’ vs ‘What happens if they say no because there is someone better’. 

Ultimately my ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ mantra bellows loudly so for the most part I have to send the email :) Plus my skills, expertise, experience and testimonials speak for themselves. Sometimes you have you read your own testimonials you know… :)

Here are five things I know about feedback: 

1) It is always going to be there to a greater or lesser degree. Some is going to be said to your face. Some behind your back. You can’t control what comes out of people’s mouths. Only your own and your reaction going forward. 

2) Question the source of the feedback and are they the expert? Both pregnancies I have been told ‘I look huge’ and then five minutes later that ‘I don’t look pregnant at all.’ These are passing comments. Unless they are being said by a medical professional who knows me and my situation, I simply have to smile. 

3) Be discerning about when and how much you share. A few years back, I used to get really excited about ideas and throw them into the conversation. Sometimes they were just a seed of an idea. Much of the idea hasn’t been figured out yet. However I left myself open to questions, doubts from others, judgement and logistical queries. All of this got in the way of creation mode, which is such an important part of the process. I have to be in control of any potential leaks. I don't want an idea to dilute too quickly. 

4) Most people are not paying much attention, they have too much going on in their own lives. There will be a small proportion that are paying every attention. I read a quote recently which I am afraid I can’t remember accurately…it was something along the lines of ‘Those who judge you will always be doing less than you, those who are doing more will always encourage you’ Apologies for the hashed together version, but I hope you get my drift. 

5) Finally not everyone is going to get you and what you are doing. In fact, you changing your lifestyle, your habits, your hopes, your dreams and your boundaries may be very triggering and annoying for some people. This may show itself in less invitations, clicky behaviour where there is unsaid exclusion, or a passive aggressive comment or a loud disinterest in what you may hold very close to your heart. Please don’t let any of this slow you down, alter your path, question your abilities or ignore your instincts. The next chapter is waiting for you.