A Secret Source of Valuable Feedback

How to uncover great insights from the barriers raised by your ego.

Last Updated on Jan 2, 2022 · 2 min read
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Photo by Miguel Luis on Unsplash

Feedback is one of the best tools at our disposal for personal growth and I’ve been chewing on this theory about it.

Why feedback

The best feedback helps us recognize our mistakes and weaknesses plus, if we are lucky, how to improve on them. There's a small issue though: usually is not entirely dependent on us to obtain it.

I'm willing to bet that the most common picture in our minds about feedback involves one person reaching out to another to offer a perspective on a certain event. It might even include some tips on how to achieve better outcomes next for the next time. And there are exactly zero things wrong with that.

The thing is, this approach to feedback is entirely dependent on the other person having the will, and dare I say talent, to come up with it.

As a growing tool, if you are reliant on having others coming to you with it, you might be waiting forever, or at a minimum, you might be missing important blind spots because they were also invisible to the people working with you.

There might be an alternative to keep us busy though. But it’s not going to be comfortable.

Good feedback as an inside job

My theory is that we should pay our best attention to what makes us uncomfortable about what others are doing and saying because more often than not, it’s our ego raising its defenses against what it knows we are lacking.

Our ego loves us, probably more than our mothers when breastfeeding us, and it will do everything in its power to keep us from making mistakes and expose our weaknesses.

Every time I feel discomfort about someone’s behavior and start asking questions, digging deep, more often than not, I discover my ego coming up with a lot of excuses as to why we should never do what that person is doing because that must be wrong, or insane since we are not like that.

This is not a campaign for you to copy others, or worse, start with unacceptable behaviors. I’m trying to demonstrate that experiencing others doing something we don’t do or are doing it better than us, will feel very similar to the same person doing something worse than us, or plain wrong. It will be uncomfortable.

Next time that happens, investigate a little further and see if you find your ego coming up with excuses. I’m willing to bet that, sometimes, the feedback someone is not giving you, the feedback you need, is being covered up by the little guy telling you to feel weird.

If you enjoyed this, there are many others to come.

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