Challenge Day 8 – Enjoy & Request Constructive Criticism

by Dr. Rachael

by Dr. Rachael

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I will never forget the last bit of television feedback my sister Rebekkah gave me before she passed away.  I had just completed a segment on early morning Chicago TV, and as usual she set her alarm to make sure she caught it (essentially my biggest fan), I thought I had done pretty well, so when I made it into work later that morning, I swung by her office as I always did and plopped down in the chair.

We exchanged pleasantries about the day and afterwards, there was a little pause.  She always took pause before she delivered the blow of brutal honesty.  Then bam!  ‘Great Job Rachael!!  But it looked like you were missing half of your eyebrow…’

Little whisper thing at this point Factor

‘My eyebrow?!!?’  She started to do her little whisper thing at this point, ‘yeah, maybe you should fill it in next time…you know with a pencil?’ Well, apparently my version of 8th grade make-up application didn’t make the cut and I spent three minutes on one of the most watched morning show in Chicago with what looked to be half an eyebrow.

I gasped and ran to the bathroom, flipped the light switch, and WOW!!  She was right, the way the light hit my face, my left eyebrow looked like Hitler’s mustache.  She followed me in there lightly giggling, and after I recovered from my embarrassment and my shock over what she said, we were able to have a full-on laugh about it.  I’m not sure I recognized it that day, but I certainly do now, that when some cares about you, and they take the energy to be honest with you, instead of getting upset, you need to use the information to improve yourself and/or your performance.

When someone pulls you aside at work

When someone pulls you aside at work and gives you a little bit of hard-to-swallow feedback, it’s easy to get offended, but keep in mind that they didn’t have to tell you, and most don’t.  Oftentimes people just gossip about your performance behind your back, now that’s the real embarrassment.  If things aren’t right, you should want to know.  Successful people seek feedback from those around them so they can make those minor adjustments.  Make sure you do the same.

I have always felt as if God put me here, my parents put all this time and energy into molding me, my ancestors slaved away for me to be here, and that while I am here, I should be the best version of myself that I could possibly be (of course some days are better than others lol).  But I have grown so much from processing constructive criticism that was hard to stomach, but even harder to ignore.  I’ve appreciated the times my Dad told me I moved my hands too much on TV and I should practice sitting still, the creatively worded text messages from friends about my hair, when my sister Rebekkah told me I should ‘consider a different fragrance,’ because all of it came loaded with love.

Hurts your feelings and makes you a little mad

Of course it hurts your feelings and makes you a little mad when you first hear it, but fix your face, and consider that at least a portion of the criticism is true!  It really does take a village!  When you have people in your life care enough to take you aside and let you know that things are a little off, instead of getting upset, embrace it!!  Thank them for telling you, and then use that information to evolve.

Since that time, I’ve never had another media eye-brow incident, I have toned down my hand movements, aaaand tweaked my hairstyle.  So when loved one’s suggest you update your look or recommend that you get counseling, colleagues tell you that you should try harder to be on-time, and your boss points out all of the things wrong with your presentation, instead of getting an attitude, get motivated to be better and to do your best!

Today and everyday of the #30DaySuccessChallenge I challenge you to NOT get an attitude when you receive honest feedback, and to instead get happy because checking yourself is an important part of success!!

Article by

Rachael L. Ross
MD, PhDAs a family doctor and a sexologist.

Dr. Rachael Ross has been heralded as “The next Dr. Ruth, the nationally renowned sexual therapist who pioneered frank sex talk.” Chicago Tribune. Dr. Rachael earned her M.D. from Meharry Medical College and her Ph.D. from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists, along with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, where she studied anthropology.

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