Avoid the Buzzkill. Have you ever regretted asking for feedback? I have. And, I’ve now learned when I shouldn’t.
When I’ve been excited about an idea and it’s gotten legs, sometimes when I share it with even a loved one, I might get a response that’s not what I expect.
Instead of interest and a back and forth that feels expansive, I might immediately get “helpful” advice or worse, skepticism.
There’s nothing more disappointing.
That’s straight up buzzkill.
And, I brought it on myself.
See, maybe it wasn’t feedback in the “constructive criticism” category that I was looking for.
Maybe it was feedback in the “Give me positive energy to keep me going …” or the “You know what you’re doing. You’ll figure it out …” variety to soothe my doubts that I most needed.
Instead of “Sounds great!”—a confidence pick-me-up, I got the “What? I’m not sure I understand where you’re going with this …”
Or the, “But you don’t know how to do X, Y, or Z.”
Or the, “I hope this isn’t one of the millions of other ideas that you’ve had that’s gone nowhere! (ha, ha)”
Or the winner, “This is going to take a long time to do. Are you sure you’re up for the task?”
Skip the Feedback. I say skip the feedback when your idea or project is in its infancy.
It’s the most delicate of times.
Any less than enthusiastic comment or a furrowed brow could be mistaken for harsh judgment.
It could derail you and allow the doubts that lurk in the back of your mind to make a full on appearance and sabotage you.
If you need help, be very clear in your ask so that you get a response that is not indelicate, off the mark, or annoying.
It’s on us to be clear.
Are you really asking for feedback?
Or, are you checking in to make sure you can do it, that you’re okay, that you will still be loved, if you embark on this idea, this project, this mission of yours?
Skip the feedback when what you want is support.
And, if you’re asked to share your idea, decide if it’s the best time.
They can wait.
Let’s ask for what we want, let’s pick the right people, let’s get closer to getting it.
Our ideas are too precious and our egos too tender to not coddle them for a little longer.
It’s on us.
I want to chase down my best ideas and make them happen. I want to ask for what I need and get a positive response. And, I wish that for you.
What ideas are you nurturing? What support do you need? Who can you ask? How can you get it?
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