The Positive Attitude Challenge – Break Down the Wall

As a best practice, drivers are told to always check their blind spot before changing lanes, otherwise, they run the risk of colliding with another vehicle that was “hiding” in that spot.

Sometimes, when I’m driving and my wife is sitting next to me, she says, “Watch out; there’s a car in your blind spot.” I appreciate her feedback because sometimes, I hadn’t noticed that a car had furtively slid in my blind spot.

Turns out that, in life, we have many blind spots. These are areas of our lives that we’re unaware need to improve. They’re hidden to us, but often very noticeable to others, in particular to those who live and work with us.

Ideally, we would want to become aware of these blind spots so that we can address them. Since these are hidden to us, it means that we need to hear it pointed out by others, i.e. we must receive feedback from someone else.

Here’s where it gets hard. Receiving that kind of feedback isn’t always easy. We must be willing to break the wall of defensiveness and take heed to the someone’s else observations about us.

In my journey as a leader, I have met a few people who weren’t receptive to constructive feedback. Attempts to give them feedback were met by a wall of defensiveness, and they would create a fight where there wasn’t a need for one. Without fail, until they accepted the feedback, these people remained stagnant in that area of their work or lives.

Often, defensiveness to feedback is rooted in personal insecurities, as if revealing that they’re not perfect compromises them in any way: “If I admit to this blind spot, people will think less of me.” Perhaps, they failed to recognize that their “secret” was already out: they’re not perfect. Everyone is a work in progress. Everyone has areas for improvement. Everyone needs constructive feedback.

Everyone is a work in progress. Everyone has areas for improvement. Everyone needs constructive feedback.

I’ve seen the amazing transformation that happens when the wall of defensiveness is brought down and people open up to constructive feedback.

When someone who genuinely cares for you points out an area where you can improve, it’s tempting to become defensive, but this attitude won’t help you grow and become a better version of you. Be open to their constructive criticism and seek to understand their message. You don’t have to agree with their feedback and act on it, but you would be wise to consider it and reflect on it.

To take it a step further, you don’t have to wait passively for people to provide you with feedback; you can proactively seek it. If you’re blessed to have trusted allies in your life, people who will tell you the truth, one of the best benefits you can gain from that relationship is receiving their honest feedback.

He who rejects feedback will remain in the dark. Constructive feedback is beneficial, and, to cultivate a positive attitude, you must be willing to listen to the voice of trusted advisors, be receptive to their constructive feedback, and break your wall of defensiveness.

Daily Decision

Decide that you’re going to be receptive to others feedback and not automatically go into “defensive mode” when they help you pinpoint areas for improvement.

Daily Challenge

Today, you challenge is seek out the feedback of someone you trust and ask for their assessment of an area of your life where you have stagnated. When they provide you with their honest feedback, be receptive to it, even if hurts a little, knowing that it will help you grow and become a better you.

Daily Affirmation

I’m committed to personal growth, and thus, am open to other people’s feedback.