As a kid whenever anyone gave me feedback about my work, my natural reaction was defensiveness.

My mind, body, and soul used to get tight. It was a war. That I had to win.

The goal was simple – 

To prove that I am right…

To prove that my work is not bad…

To prove that the one who is giving me feedback does not understand me…

There was zero curiosity to grow. The only intention here was to be “right”.

And that used to hold me back. I made little progress.

Then a few things changed.

I embraced practices like meditation. I read books that changed my life. I started interacting with people who made me see things differently.

I realized how the inability to take feedback is holding me back.

And slowly, I started making changes in the way I responded to feedback.

My curiosity became more powerful than my fear.

I started shifting my focus from “wanting to be right” to “improving my work”.

And then it happened.

Slowly, the quality of my work began to change.

It began to get better.

This is work in progress of course. Still, a long long way to go.

Why am I sharing this?

The amount of people who are defensive about their work and are resistant to feedback is staggering.

While I understand that the natural instinct of the mind is to protect us and hence we reject feedback, this tendency really really holds us back.

So all I ask from all of us is a little courage.

Just a little bit more openness.

Just a little bit more curiosity and less defensiveness.

The question to ask yourself is “Do I want to feel good all the time or do I want to make my work the best and change the world?”

Image credits: Jimmy Brown