Assess the Messenger

Posted on March 18, 2013



Feedback can be really useful.

In your work life, being able to graciously receive feedback and adjust one’s work accordingly is an essential  component of success. Feedback from the people you love can also help you to become a better partner and a better friend. So of course I’m not going to advise you to disregard all of the negative feedback and criticism you receive.

But it’s important to remember that just because someone else says it’s so doesn’t mean it’s true. 

Women have been taught to naively accept what others tell them about themselves and this is where they get into trouble. See, if you don’t learn to assess the messenger of feedback and criticism you receive, then you’re setting yourself up to naively assume everyone else knows what’s best for you.

This month, I’ve been providing you with examples and activities on how to challenge what others have told you in the past about yourself and your worth. Changing beliefs from the past is an important first step in personal transformation. But you’ve also got to learn how to challenge what people are telling you in the present, especially when you’re upsetting the status quo (and by changing, that is what you’re doing).  It’s not uncommon to be the recipient of negative feedback when one is rocking the boat by shifting one’s life. 

The next time someone tells you how to wear your hair or how to dress, whom you should and shouldn’t date, how to raise your children or any other piece of unsolicited advice, remember that, if you didn’t ask the messenger for her advice, she probably has a selfish reason or a hidden agenda for giving it to you.