900 Days Sober: On what to do with feedback
As someone who spent most of my life trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be, understanding my motivations for change is vital.
You're unlikely to question a need for change until new information brings awareness.
Your current core philosophies may initially prevent you from examining the very things you might address.
We receive input constantly: consciously / unconsciously, solicited / unsolicited, and internally / externally. This can come in many forms like disease, a recommended book, or from another person.
Feedback from another person may be the hardest to decipher.
A person’s feedback is subject to the law of small numbers; yet this one person may be the only person willing to tell you the truth. Be mindful their truth is based on their experiences, preferences and state of mind which influences how they've experienced you.
Just think back to the number of times you’ve asked advice from several people you trust. It is likely they all gave different suggestions.
You may experience a person giving you feedback being contradictory or even hypocritical, that doesn't mean their feedback is wrong. It simply means they are human. Any examined life is full of contradictions.
It's valid to ask, "who are they to give me feedback anyway? Why does their opinion about my life matter?" I can say the times I have surrendered the guidance of a trusted teacher, I experienced change I didn't know was possible.
Determining if you "need to change" should be a unilateral decision rooted in a sense of who YOU want to be.. And change might not be necessary at all. The situations you are in might not be a fit for the life you want to live. Maybe you are just unwilling to admit it.
Here some things I've learned so far:
Be open to change.
Love yourself and others how they are. We will all change over time anyway.
Be selective in the information you "listen to". Realize all, even "positive" change, has tradeoffs.
Understand that something not being a fit for you is not the same as something is wrong with you.
Question if your behaviors are harming or hindering yourself or others.