“Randy does not accept constructive criticism”
“Randy does not accept constructive criticism” That is what it said in the comment section of my report card throughout my early education. Now, that may have been true but who was checking the integrity of the authority that was providing the criticism? How was it being spoken to elementary me? Was I being praised for my accomplishment, gently reminded of a possible improvement and encouraged to be my best? Or was I told to go back to my seat and stay in the lines next time?!?!
This is how foundations are built! Messages we are given accompanied by the emotions that follow. Send me back to my seat when I think praise is in order and I will stop looking for your praise. Recognize my accomplishments and I will learn to trust your critique.
So instead, I built a thick shell around myself. A sort of “You can’t tell me what to do” attitude. I know it stems from an emotional immaturity but that piece of me is often unstoppable. It is ingrained in me in a way that emotionally keeps me safe and is completely destructive at the same time. Now don’t get me wrong, doing things MY way hasn’t been all bad. Not being capable of working for someone else (who would be telling me what to do, what time to do it etc…) has led me to owning my own business. I call that a win. But… the rebellious attitude that comes with these feelings still gets me in trouble now and then. It is challenging for me to work in a group, accept help or take direction from someone else. This is to my detriment. Can you identify with any of this? Please don’t tell me I’m alone on this one!
I started this post with a question in my mind. The question was “Confidence OR Control Issue?”
I thought I would write a blog that sounded like this: My whole life, I’ve been told I had control issues. You call it control, I call it CONFIDENCE! Just because I confidently believe in myself and have strong ideas about how to do things doesn’t mean I’m a control freak… see where I was thinking I’d go with this? But once you start writing somehow the truth is what shows up on the screen (weird, right?) and so the truth is, the foundation of who we are is ingrained in us from childhood. What is said to us when we are children, followed by our own emotional reaction will mold who we become as adults. I guess this is not a new concept, but today it is hitting me like a ton of bricks.
So I will continue to praise and recognize my children for their accomplishments, make infrequent gentle suggestions to encourage their improvements and remind them often that they are the most amazing people I know. At the same time, I will open my heart to allow those who love me to praise my accomplishments, gently direct me to improve and inspire me to be my very best.