The people who care about you may not tell you your blind spots fearing to offend/hurt you. Open up and ask their feedback and get enlightened.”
- Assegid Habtewold
How common is it to not ask others what they really think and feel about us! As a rule, we are afraid to hear what people have to say about us. When they make positive comments, we tend to think that they are just being nice and not really telling the truth. We usually don't let these positive comments sink in. What a missed opportunity.
We want the positive feedback, but then, when it comes, we deflect it. Also as a rule, we don't want to hear negative feedback. We fear that it will validate our own perceptions of ourselves.
So we ask nothing. We would rather sit in the dark than shed light on our warts. How sad is this. One of my favorite quotes from Rilke addresses this: “For if we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and down. Thus they have a certain security. And yet that dangerous insecurity is so much more human which drives the prisoners in Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their abode.”
Though difficult at times, how much better it is to get feedback that can inform a personal development plan. But that assumes that we make a personal development plan. What I've seen more than not are people who do strategic planning in their professional life at work and regarding their careers but have never considered doing the same regarding themselves and their own personal development.
Learning to accept yourself as you are and even appreciate yourself as you are is part of a personal development plan. A development plan does NOT mean that you are broken and need fixing. Just like at work, it is looking at where you are now, where you want to be in one year, two years, five years, or even longer, and then setting up a plan to help you get there.
The practice for this month focuses on getting feedback that can feed and inform your personal and professional development.