November 13, 2012

This worst thing you can ever do when you get a creative idea – an idea that is different – and steps out of the norm is to ask someone what they think.

Actually let me clarify this… it’s only okay to ask someone what they think who has done a tremendous amount of healing work, like a spiritual teacher or healer.  Well, at least this is how I see this and this is how I keep making mental notes to myself to proceed.

But yesterday I forgot that this was my “new rule” – and I made a mistake.

A mistake I knew not to do… but I felt so excited to share my new idea with someone.

I shared it with someone who was not my spiritual teacher or healer and instead someone who I was hanging out with…

Now I don’t regret sharing the idea cause I was reminded of this lesson and also I’m not going to go into victim thinking – I actually learned from the situation a new way to seek feedback and a new way how to phrase questions.  This is me taking responsibility for the part I played in this scenario 🙂  you see, lessons abound 🙂

Anyway, let me explain…

Yesterday I was super pumped about this new idea and event copy I had just written and was beaming with excitement.  Without consciously thinking about it, decided to send the invite to someone to get their feedback.

But you know, I didn’t think about or clarify what kind of feedback I wanted from them… and this was the problem.

You see I really didn’t want their GENERAL feedback, I just wanted them to encourage me.  I wanted them to celebrate my idea.  I wanted them to simply say, “It’s hilarious.”

But they didn’t.  (Again, this is good, cause this brought me those insights I just shared above, as to a new way to ask for feedback and a new way to phrase questions, so I don’t go into victim mode and feel saddened by what they say..)

So being the nice person that they are and wanting to help, this person emailed me back a long email with suggestions on how to make my event invite “not so extreme.”  They said it was funny, but a bit much.  They worried that I might offend some people and turn them off.  So they proceeded to write out all the reasons or the thoughts on how to improve the invite.  They even offered to re-write it for me.

But hell no.  If you are a creative person, you don’t want someone re-writing or re-working your creation.  You want it in its original beautiful form, otherwise the passion and energy and uniqueness gets pulled from it.

But I knew what was going on.  This person is filled with fear.  In their own life, they have fears of offending someone.   In their own life, they have fears and feelings that it’s not ok for them to be themselves.  In their own life, they have fear of expressing themselves.  And this person has healing to do.  I knew this.  Heck, we all have healing to do.  But I already knew this person had fears with this, so how could I expect or even think that “congrats” would come from them and that the email would be 100% of love and life – it’s not possible, because they can’t do this for themselves.  They shut themselves down, so therefore they shut down others.  Without even knowing it.  Because if this person knew they were doing, I know they wouldn’t… I also know this person would feel bad about it.

But this isn’t about shunning someone and it’s not about making someone wrong or feel bad.  It’s about awareness.  Awareness of how I am playing the victim.  The victim of getting hurt by someone’s feedback which I knew not to ask for feedback or again, to ask for feedback in a very specific way… I’m not going into blame, cause again this is victim mentality… instead I’m clearing all of this out of my life.  This was actually a beautiful teaching for me.  A new awareness – or actually a reminder of an awareness for me – but now I got the lesson and the no-how of how to proceed.

In this situation, rather than victim mentality of “this person hurt my feelings” or “this person is not supportive” – I will look at my responsibility in this equation.

I could have asked the question differently.  I could have written the email like this…   “Hey, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being funny and 10 being super hilarious – how would you rank this event invite I just put together”

And should have left it like that.  End of story.  Quick and simple.

Again, in the end, if I had taken the time to really tap into what kind of feedback I wanted – that’s all what I wanted to hear…. yes, it’s very funny and yes, the overall feeling of support and appreciation.  An honoring of my creativity and uniqueness.

But instead, I did some “unconscious email writing” (I just made that up):) and wrote, “Hey, what do you think..?  Do you think it’s funny?”  Damn, how insecure on my behalf and that wasn’t even what I was thinking.  I thought it was fucking hilarious.

So wrong way to phrase a question and it’s not even what I was seeking.  All I wanted him to do was appreciate.

Okay, so now before each email or communication I’m going to be more conscious.  Be more conscious of how I am asking for support.  How I am asking for questions.  How I am calling on other people.

If I wanted appreciation, then I should have asked for such.

End of story.

So good lesson to learn.  Nice.  I’m appreciating it.  Very valuable.  Big lesson!  Rephrase the question and be discerning of who you are asking what questions.  Classic.