“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
~Kahlil Gibran

Recently I’ve had to deliver very tough feedback to a number of clients. It’s never easy to do, and one of the ways that I manage my own emotions and reactions is by focusing on the thought that “feedback is a gift.” I remind myself that my clients may not be aware of the impact of their behaviors, and that by my offering them other’s perspectives, I’m helping increase their awareness…and therefore their ability to change.

One of the things I’ve noticed through the process is the different ways that my clients react to their very similar tough feedback. Some are left reeling. Some step hugely into denial and justification. Some don’t know how to take it in and where to begin. And some find a way to work with what I’ve told them.

Now tough feedback is very difficult to hear. And the feedback I’ve been giving lately has been very tough. But watching my clients approach this process with very different attitudes has helped me even more closely see the effect we can have, the control we can take, simply by the way our minds choose to look at what happens to us.

When my clients choose to see the gift in what they’ve heard – perhaps after they’ve reeled for a little while – they’re more able to dig into the feedback, get the essence of what people have noticed or commented on, and figure out ways to shift their own behavior. And they’re more able to move on and succeed.

Things happen. To all of us. Life throws us curve balls, whether it’s situations we don’t want to be in, people we don’t want to be with, or feedback we don’t want to hear. But when we can choose the way our minds look at what happens to us, we have more power to determine our own living.

How have you learned to look at things differently, and how has it helped you?
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If you want more choice in how you look at things, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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