Posted on October 27, 2014
Posted on October 27, 2014
This is a 31 day challenge. I’m about at the end, and I’ve kept up pretty well. I’ve only missed a couple of days, and honestly, that’s dang good given all that we’ve been through over the past two weeks.
I’ve been mulling over what I have learned in the process of writing every day for a whole month. (Why couldn’t it be February with only 28 days anyway?) I’ll write about that later this week I suppose. Except that I’m off to Seattle for some cousin time on the 31st, so maybe it will have to wait a week. Don’t hold your breath people!
What I want to do is write meaningful, deep, thought-provoking pieces. Instead, I find that I’m scrambling at the end of the day to come up with something of value to serve up to you here. That feels just a tad lame. So instead, here are my thoughts, raw and unedited, today.
Sometimes when I receive constructive criticism I am tempted to just give up. A perfectionist by nature, my default response is to label myself a failure, unable to make it (whatever “it” is anyway!).
Instead, I am trying to rewire my default response so that I stop, take a breath, and approach it as a teachable moment. Meaning, I accept constructive criticism, give it thought and ask for understanding, and then learn from it. That’s a much more difficult response in my opinion, because it requires a whole lot of humility. And given the nature of Corporate America where I spend a good portion of my life, I think humility is rare, teachability (is that a word?) is rare. Yet, that’s what I believe God wants me to be.
Another word that goes along with that is
Both words require thoughtful action. Both require thinking before acting… something I am not always so good at. Impulsive by nature (which sometimes feels the opposite of perfectionism), I tend to throw some things out to the universe and forget that thoughtful intention is really more productive.
Perhaps, before opening my mouth, or setting my hands to keys on a computer, I should think first about what I have learned, want to learn or how I want others to perceive what I say or write.
On the other hand, perhaps teachability means that I give myself some grace. I recognize that I do not know it all. Others have constructive criticism to offer me and I get to choose between accepting it or rejecting it. Instead of taking it in as something negative, I can choose to take it in as intentional teaching. Someone is taking the time to help me be a better me. And after all, isn’t that a really good thing? I can accept it, and as Brennan Manning says, “Laugh at my humanity.” I am human. I am faulty by nature. And perhaps, I get the opportunity to not only be teachable, but to teach.
How do you handle criticism, constructive or otherwise? Next time you’re tempted to label yourself a failure, or label your critic a jerk, take a step back and see if you can be intentionally teachable. It might make a world of difference.
This post is installment #27 of a 31 day writing challenge. You can read the rest of my posts here:
Day one, Day two, Day three, Day four, Day five, Day six, Day seven, Day eight, Day nine, Day ten, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Days 16/17, Days 18/19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24, (I skipped day 25), Day 25