Ever been sailing along, life smooth as silky summer water, and hit a sudden storm of insecurity?
Just happened to me.
Twin joy robbers – criticism and self-doubt – slapped me upside the head last week and it still stings. The criticism was swift, but unexpected, and knocked me to the ground. Self-doubt and disappointment soon followed. For a few days, everything I thought I knew about myself hovered like a question mark over my self-image.
Perhaps I shouldn’t allow the judgement of others to rob me of my joy, but it sometimes does.
Perhaps I shouldn’t allow a quick critical moment to steal days away from my self-confidence, but that’s sometimes how it feels to be me.
What to do?
How to slap a patch on your ego and sail on?
This time around I studied my response and recovery time. Here’s what I learned:
Sit with it a bit. While the initial fight or flight response is instinctive, resist the urge to go out and make it all better or run away and hide. Sit with it. Be patient.
Reflect. After the initial shock’s worn off, you’ll be better prepared to reflect both on the message and the messenger. I asked myself: What am I supposed to learn from this?
Allow time to heal. Stingers like these a sharp at first but eventually fade.
Remenber. You are not the sum of one person’s opinion. But consider the parts and pieces of you from their point of view. The eye of another beholder can be a powerful tool in your belt.