“The Fool is the precursor to the Saviour” — Carl Jung
If I wanted a tattoo I could see every day, it would be the Jungian quote above.
Yesterday I had a presentation with a key customer. Afterwards I got a message from a colleague, “hey can we catch up, I’d like to give you some pointers”. Man… the hairs went up on the back of my neck, as well as the tail between my leg. Immediately my ego came out and I get into a mental defence stance, ready to pounce, as well as fear of what I was about learn.
How incredibly immature and self harming of me. How could I grow without this feedback? Then I reminded myself of the Carl Jung quote — “the Fool is the precursor the Saviour”. To get good at anything you have to feel the pain of doing it badly, we can choose to do this consciously or asleep. If we do it asleep it’ll take us far longer and worse yet, we may never get good, and we’ll never know where we truly are, as what’s in our head is misaligned to reality.
Unless you’re experiencing the rare occasion of being asked to ‘please explain’ your actions, simply respond to feedback with ‘thank you for the feedback’. That’s it! Nothing else, that’s all you have to do, simply say ‘thank you’, gently. What I love about the Jung quote is that it gives us permission to learn, to be humble and to be a beginner. We need to embrace it! Yup of course I’m terrible at this thing right now, what did I expect? Tell yourself “it’s ok”.
Feedback is a buffet, you view all of it but you decide what you consume. Accept feedback from far and wide, but decide what you want to adopt, but do accept it. Don’t defend it, just say ‘thank you’ and assess it once the ego has settled.
I’ll be honest, my heart still races and I don’t like it. I preach this stuff but it’s still really uncomfortable, but like exercise, the growth comes from the discomfort. Pause for a moment in the discomfort, embrace it gently for a bit, and tell that tiny little being that is your ego crying for help, “it’s cool dude, you’re ok, this will make you better”.
Seek feedback. Be ok that you’re crap. Work towards getting better.