One of the biggest things I’ve encountered in my life lately is dropping my ego. By that I mean not taking everything so personally. Most of us have a story we tell ourselves about who we are. For me I often tell myself “I’m not good enough.” Then when something happens that isn’t what I was hoping for, i.e. someone telling me I could do something better, I take it to heart. I go right to that place of “I’m not good enough” or “I’m a bad person.”
In reality, it either a. has nothing to do with who I am at my core and everything to do with whatever was done in that moment or b. is an opportunity to improve.
The thing is I have to let go of is the meaning that I’m attaching to the feedback or the comment. It doesn’t mean that I’m a bad person, a bad friend or a bad employee. It either is an observation someone else is having about situation, or perhaps reflects how they’re feeling, or there is an action I can improve upon.
Now, I’m not saying this is by any means easy. It is human nature to attach meaning to words and situations. However, we have the power to decide what that meaning is, if any. The best way to do this is to pause and check ourselves when someone is telling us something. For example, your boss tells you, “Great email and I would add in some more details about the project in the future.” Instead of assuming ‘CRAP’, they hated my email, I take it for what it is; a suggestion for next time or that’s how they would’ve done it but that’s not for me.
As humans we all have different suggestions and a variety of ways to do things. Think about the first time you lived with someone besides your parents and how people have different standards for cleaning or organization than you. Feedback often times can be the same, it’s how someone else perceives something can be done or improved on. Then we have the choice to take it all, take some of it or just straight up leave it.
Outside of the workplace this could be with a friend or roommate “they don’t like how you reacted to their promotion.” You can apologize or you can improve in the future or you can do nothing. At the end of the day be confident in who you are, your choices and remember even when you mess up it doesn’t make you a bad person.
In our twenties especially, it’s hard to find our footing between careers, friends, relationships/dating. That’s okay. I encourage you to work on dropping the attachment to other’s judgements and choosing what you want to take from the situation instead of always taking it personally. You’ve got this.