I have many experts in my life. I have life coaches, pastors, stylists, business coaches, and more. I rely on them for their expertise. The stylists keep me from looking frumpy or inappropriate for my age. The business coaches keep me from becoming stagnant in my business. The life coaches help me to keep my life in balance and perspective.
Here’s the thing—I have to trust them to be honest with me. In order to do that, I have to be open to hearing uncomfortable things. It’s no fun to have someone say, “Sweetie, that top makes your butt look big.” Trust me; it’s no fun at all. Still, my friends have to be able to tell me that in order for me to benefit from their expertise.
When someone points out an area that could use some attention, the natural thing to do is defend ourselves. (The sales person said this top makes me look 10 years younger.) Or, maybe your defense mechanism is counter-attack. (Oh, yeah? Well you should talk. That sweater you wear makes you look like an old woman.) Both are wrong. The proper response is, “Thank you for letting me know.”
I can hear you. You’re thinking, “What if I don’t agree?” That could be. Still, it’s important to be open to and welcoming of critique. Once you have had a chance to get over the emotional response you can evaluate the critique. You might decide that you simply differ in opinion. You might decide they’re right. Either way, you owe it to yourself to give their advice careful consideration.
You must trust others to help you. You must trust yourself enough to welcome the truth.