We all welcome feedback because it helps us grow.
Really, though, do you actually welcome it? Inside, I think we all feel our heartbeat pick up, our stomachs turn a bit, all kinds of physical reactions when we get big feedback. Not to mention the tape that starts playing over and over in our heads once we hear it: “Was it that bad? Why didn’t I get her input earlier? Boy, how stupid could I have been? Or, “The nerve” “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
I just got that kind of feedback on the very first edition of an email newsletter I recently published. I worked hours and hours on it, futzing around in HTML (where I don’t belong), messing with templates, color, wording, images, on and on. I even asked for feedback from trusted colleagues. But I didn’t ask for feedback from my dear artistic friend Janis, who understands color and design way better than I do. And I got those famous words, “I love the ideas, BUT…”
My heart went clunk. I really wanted her to like it! I thought it was a pretty good beginning, as did the folks giving me feedback. But clearly, I could have used her feedback too.
And you know why I didn’t ask? I knew she was busy, had been away a lot, and I thought I’d be bothering her. We’ve been talking about this here. I know better. But as I constantly remind myself and members of my workshops, what I know is not necessarily what I do.
I think this hits us especially hard when we have worked like dogs to succeed at something new. We want to shout to the world, “But you don’t know how hard I worked to get it to this place!!!!” And know what? Nobody cares. I invested the time because I wanted to, because it’s what it took for me to learn, to feel confident enough to try something new.
Now it’s time to take the feedback. I know that, but I’m still disappointed. I hoped I could get it right on the first try. But alas, this learning curve thing is really a curve.
I’m proud of the fact that we got this newsletter thing started. We want to be helpful to people, and we want it to look as pretty as it can. So off to hear my artist friend’s input. She is brilliant, and I will learn much from her. And the newsletter will look a little different, a little better, the next go-round.