Receiving feedback is hard. We need to open ourselves up to the potential of being hurt and of facing things we’d rather ignore. But I also think it’s essential. If you’re struggling with how to receive feedback without shutting down, lashing out, or feeling like a piece of garbage, here are my suggestions based on things I’ve read and my own experience.
We all have times in our lives when our commitments outweigh our energy. When we've said yes to way to many things and can't see how it will all get done. When even the things we love start to feel like a burden and we long for a bottle of wine, our couch, and all the Netflix we can handle (it’s not just me, is it?). I’m coming to the end of one of those seasons and though I am deeply tired and quite achy, I am still standing, with a much lower meltdown factor than I expected. Here are six things that have helped me survive the last month with my joy and creativity (mostly) intact.
“How do you take a big idea and break it down so you know what to do for 15 minutes or an hour, in the time that you have? Anything I could do today seems too small to make a difference.”
This all-or-nothing thinking trap is a particularly sticky one. It can be so hard to start a project that you’ve been thinking about for a long time because it tends to build up in your mind to the point where getting started feels hopeless. And things get especially tough when you have tried to work on it but haven’t seen the results you want. The answer? Put a stop to the mind games and sit down and do the work - no matter how much or little time, money, or energy you have.
To keep this blog happening every week, I usually plan topics a month or two ahead of time so that I’m not scrambling on Monday to decide what to write. Usually it works quite well. But every now and then I look at the calendar and I despise every single thing in it. No I do not want to write about my feelings today. Who could possibly care about that time I went on that trip. Everything on the list is boring, stupid, lame, boring, dumb, stupid. So what do I do? Scroll Facebook, scroll Instagram, look at the calendar, scroll some more. And then, eventually, I sit down and write a post.
In the first part of this series, I talked about how social anxiety has impacted my life, and the things I did that made it worse. The second post was about all the ways that I've been working on changing my mindset from fear to openness, and the last post was about the things I've done to push my boundaries and leave my comfort zone. Today is the final post in the series and I'm going to share where I'm at with the process right now and where I see myself going.
This week I'm covering some of the actions, behaviors and situations that have pushed me outside my comfort zone, and helped me become stronger and less fearful. If you haven't already, make sure you read last week's post on mindset shifts, since I've found that pushing myself to do scary things without bringing a ton of mindfulness, softness, and self-care to the table just makes me feel worse about myself.
In my last post I wrote about my struggles with social anxiety and all the things I did that made it worse: obsessing over what was wrong with me, trying to fix myself, reading endless books about communication and social skills, putting my tale of woe on repeat, and letting other people define me. In this post and the next one, I want to share what I've done that has helped, and how you can apply what I've learned to your own life.
When I realize I've made a mistake I can feel my stomach drop, like the floor just fell out from under me. Depending on the severity, a slow burning panic might start to spread across my body and I feel like I'm flailing - attempting to grab at the edges of reality like it's a page I can turn back to when I was doing things right, or a sheet I can pull over my head. And then the stories start spinning, telling me that I'm stupid or selfish or a terrible driver who doesn't deserve to be on the road.
With the holiday season descending, it's easy to start feeling overwhelmed by everything going on. With the sparse daylight at this time of year, it often seems like my days are compressing and I feel tight and rigid rather than open and free. I start to feel ruled by the calendar, thinking constantly about what needs to be done and what event is coming up, rather than appreciating the moments as they come and go. I've since realized that space is a mindset, and a choice. All the pressure, heaviness and constriction is in my head. I get to decide how I feel and I've decided I want to live a life that's full to bursting, while still staying open and finding ways to expand.
often wish I could spend my summers in a cabin in the woods, or by a beach with nothing to do besides walk, write, make stuff and stare at the sky. Instead, I'm slowly learning to slow down and make space for the small wonders that summer brings. At the same time, I'm learning to appreciate all the seasons in their own right, so that summer doesn't bear the full weight of my desires and expectations.