by Jeff Jones
The main teachings in Module Three are around asking for and receiving feedback. As I glanced over the lesson titles, I felt myself contract a little bit, as I am quite aware that I spend an undesirable amount of energy thinking about “looking good” or “looking bad”. I was especially nervous because I noticed in that moment that, while I spend a good amount of time thinking about how I’m perceived, I never really ask others for feedback. Needless to say I jumped in anyways and had a great boost in self-awareness in my initial triad call!
Admittedly, I was a little behind in the material, and, we transitioned into getting feedback about our Way of Being (WoBs) without me really knowing what was happening. My triad member first noted that when I’m speaking I play with my hair a lot, or if I’m wearing a hat, I play with my face. I was a little confused why she was telling me this, but laughed and admitted to my “nervous ticks”. Next she mentioned that I also tend to look up and away when speaking at times, as if I’m “trying to think of the right thing to say”. This one hit me a little harder. It was such an obvious indicator of my desire to look good.
After we clarified that she was following the assignment, I was able to soften and realize what a gift getting this feedback was. I realized that, whether it’s an idea, my feelings, or just a silly joke, I sometimes don’t fully share myself with others because I value appearing “polished” and “put-together”. As I thought about this more I began to see that I’m actually robbing myself and others of my full potential. I realized that it’s OK to be messy at times — that sometimes this is when my light shines through the strongest.