Monday, January 13, 2014

Every year we are prompted with a new book filled with 365 pages. We get ready to satiate it with what will be the best experiences of our lives. It will be thronged with chapters of new friendships, travelling to places we never knew existed, and best of all; it will be pages of change. Change from the last year in which some of the habits we created for ourselves weren’t exactly the ones we’d imagined. We are all guilty to have gone from day to day doing the same thing and getting the same frustrating results, but this is the year to look back on what didn’t positively boost our day or week and kick them right out of our lives. With new idiosyncrasies and the openness to change, it’s needless to say there is a very exciting 12 months ahead. Now, while eliminating Yogurt Land from my diet from every single day of the week to only once... or twice, there are a few other shifts I can't wait to put into play to create a successful next year. 

One of these shifts resorts to idea of criticism. While recently working with other people and trying to lead by example there are a few instances where I’ve felt stuck in how to approach giving feedback with close friends, co-workers, family members etc. I’ve noticed that it’s easy to critique someone, but then I also noticed how this critiquing is more along the lines of criticizing and far from adequately communicating an opinion. 

Dale Carnegie once said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” Ever since I came across this quote, it has pushed me to restructure the use of criticism in my life. In fact, it’s acted as a reminder to completely eliminate it. That’s right, flat out get rid of it. Which, I'm realizing is easier said than done.  Criticism and complaining transpires in each of our days and without much attention– we give feedback without even being asked, and we complain even when the sun is out. However, what truly allows someone to rise above is the ability to see the good in those not so good moments and let the complaining commence; even when we are bluntly asked for the cold hard truth.

I’ve recently realized that if feedback is necessary it needs to be done in a very delicate way because if not there can be an unnecessary stream of negativity unleashed. Not only can it create frustration and a dejecting outlook on any situation, but it can be threatening to ones performance and life as a whole. Whether you have to give feedback in the workplace or simply to a friend, take a second to think about the opinion you’re about to deliver. While someone may be asking for you to tear apart everything they may have done in hopes for 100% truth, remember it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find praise or laud about what you’re responding to. In any situation there is always a brightside and by noticing that you will also notice how much more hope and optimism you are capable of engraining within a person's life. 

While being fortunate enough to have this type of feedback come to me, I've become conscious to the idea that there is nothing more inspiring than when someone can be blunt and straightforward, yet in an extremely constructive and enlightening way. 

| O U T F I T DETAILS: Minimalist Overall Shorts + Child of Wild Upper Arm Bracelet + Black Booties |

So this week I dare you. If a person may have messed up at work, or a friend showed up late to meet you, give them your feedback and tell them how you feel. But remember to not criticize - instead, understand and forgive. Constructively critique and shine light on any positivity that, I guarantee, will 100% resides no matter what. 

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