Rejection, any kind of criticism, gives me heart palpitations and I immediately turn into that toddler who is being scolded for spilling grape juice on the white carpet.
The perfectionist in me hates the idea that I am not perfect. Which, of course, I am not, but I would like to be perfect. Still, isn’t a perfectionist simply a procrastinator in disguise (another thought for another day)?
Criticism in all its benevolent/malevolent forms, brings me to my knees. I immediately want to disappear while tears threaten to gang up on the corners of my eyes.
I hate the impotence of imperfection and I have never learned how to gracefully embrace criticism, even when its intent is really for my good.
A few weeks ago, I unexpectedly had to present a new concept/curriculum to a group of professionals who work with children and youth. I knew the material, had even assisted in a previous workshop, but I had never presented the subject matter on my own.
I was not nervous about the presenting part. I am a good teacher/trainer, even if I do say so myself. I was worried about my familiarity with the presentation materials, especially the “Prezi,” which I did not put together (I am more a “PowerPoint” person). My mission, from my perspective, was simply to present the information provided, doing my best to inform and to equip the attendees.
My presentation was well received in spite of my trepidations about how well prepared I was to stand and deliver as the expert in the room. The group, for the most part, was open and responsive. I left the conference feeling fairly confident about all that had transpired.
But, I did not receive the evaluations that day
Sighhhh. . .
The evaluations arrived today (a big GULP goes here and I don’t mean that 7-11 drink).
Why is it that we automatically look for the naysayers rather than embrace the positive (reminds me of that old song, “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”). Except I know, especially in this forum, if I want the information I share to be even better, I will seriously have to consider and reflect on the negative feedback.
I DON’T WANT TO LOOK AT THE STUFF THOSE MEANIES WROTE.
I ONLY WANT TO READ THE GOOD STUFF!!!
But I must blink back my tears and lift up my head to ruminate over the constructive criticism (see, no longer negative feedback) in order to incorporate those “suggestions” into my next presentation.
I am learning, even at this late stage of the game, that failure really is the foundation upon which success is constructed (see what I did there from constructive criticism to construction).
I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, or in my case, a mature woman new concepts.