Thursday, May 20, 2010

lessons learned

i've been thinking lately of lessons learned.  and i've also been thinking about the idea of constructive criticism.  a couple of weeks ago i had a really negative experience in a class i subbed and the situation has been mulling around in my mind since.  and as much as i try to let it go, i find thoughts of it still haunting me. 

at first i beat myself up.  i always try to make everyone happy in my classes - and you know what? it ain't always gonna happen!  but then i really broke the situation down and realized that what really bothered me wasn't exactly the experience, but the fact that i felt a person really took the time to be cruel and hurtful towards me for no other reason than they thought they could.  maybe this person felt bigger or better than me, or perhaps this person just treats everyone this way, but i became really hung up on the fact that this person spoke to me the way that they had. 

i'm very big into respect.  and i saw just how much i shut down when i feel attacked.  and it got me thinking... how often do we hurt people when we think we're giving constructive criticism?  (for the record, i don't think this person was trying to be constructive with their "advice", but it got me thinking anyway) 

offering constructive criticism can be very helpful for someone and when i'm off on a new venture i'm always seeking it out.  but if the delivery of the info is hurtful, the message may as well not even matter.  people won't hear it.  have you ever had this kind of situation happen to you?  has anyone tried to be helpeful but wound up hurting you or making things worse?

there's an instructor (chalene johnson) who always says "if its something i can change or helpful than tell me, but if i can't change it or its hurtful, save it!"  now those are words to live by! 

i have since (mostly!) been able to let go of what happened during that negative experience and i've grown.  i think it toughened my skin a bit!  and i can always use a little of that :) 

so if you're dealing with something similar, let's let go of it a little more each day.  holding onto these things only causes us more pain and keeps us living IN THE PAST

stay present.  stay strong.  and always remember that how you say something has just as much impact as what you say.

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