Archive for the ‘feedback’ Category

Have you ever come across a quote or a picture, which you feel describes you perfectly? Well I came across this picture a few days ago, and it struck a chord with me – I know I have made mistakes in the past which I truly regret, and as I said Spotlight yesterday, I wish I could just delete some of these mistakes from my past, but I can’t.

I know there are those who do treat me in a way that suggests they still hold my past mistakes against me, even though some may have happened a number of years ago. In the last 15 years my life I have faced some life changing situations, and because of that my faith had become stronger than it’s ever been. And because of that I know I am a completely different person now than I was 15 years ago and most definitely a different person than I was 30 years ago. Maybe that’s why this picture struck a chord with me!

Time passes, people change, so forgive those who have hurt you or made mistakes that have affected you in the past. Have a look at yourself, I’m sure you’re not the same person today as you were 10 or 20 years ago, so I’m sure you wouldn’t want others to hold your past mistakes against you, so don’t hold other’s past mistakes against them, forgive and move on.

I shared some thoughts about how critical we are of ourselves a couple of week’s ago, in my blog post called Critic – please have a read of that too.

When you look in the mirror, who or what do you see? A loving caring person your love or someone you hardly recognise that you’re not particularly fond of?

We all have feeling and opinions about others, as well as about ourselves. Sadly for many of us, we are more likely to be harder on ourselves, or less positive about ourselves, than we are about other people. Why is that, when we know ourselves much better than we know others?

I know for myself as a perfectionist, I do set my expectations of myself higher, because if I can’t meet my  targets/expectations, how can I expect others to?

I came across this quote recently, and it is a great reminder that we really shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves, but instead be positive about what we do achieve, just as we would (or should do) with other’s achievements.

I recently had to pass on some information to someone, which in itself is not unusual. However I was unsure how they were going to respond to what I had to tell them – I expected them to be concerned or worried about what this would mean for them.

Well the reaction I got took me completely by surprise – They were surprised and excited by what I told them! How wrong was I about how they would feel about what I had to tell them!

That’s often the case though isn’t it – The things we stress and worry about can often turn out to be not nearly as bad we had imaged. Sometimes however they do turn out to be as difficult or as bad as we imagines. In all circumstances, that’s why we must take all our problems and our worries to God and leave them in His hands, as He will help you through.

How many times have you been on a training course or attended a conference, where at the end you are asked to complete a feedback form? These feedback forms often ask us to rate between 1 and 10, how useful we found the course/conference, or what part of the day we found most helpful, as well as what changes we think might improve the course for those who attend it in the future.

Image if we had to fill in a feedback form every time God did something for us, or he taught us something! We’d end up spending all our lives filling in feedback forms!

The point is not really the feedback forms, it’s about our reaction to what God does for us on a daily basis – Do we give him feedback? Do we pray? Do we thank him for all he does for us?

We may not fill in a feedback form each day for all God does for us, but we can pray daily and tell him how grateful we are, even when he doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we hoped – He always answers our prayers, and he answers them in the way he knows is best for us.

Do you remember when you were learning to ride a bike and it seemed so difficult you wondered if you’d ever master it? How about learning to read or write, do you remember struggling to read or write or spell words properly?

For most of us each of those tasks will have become second nature to us. I.e. We don’t even think about it when we jump on our bike, pick up a book or start writing a note. I was however reminded just recently that while I am able to read and write, there are still words that I come across which I don’t know what they mean or even how to pronounce them – My example is around an email I received from someone who simply indicated a meeting had been cancelled “due to an inquorate of people”.

Well the first thing I did was looked up “inquorate” as I had no idea what it meant or how it should be pronounced, but did assume it was to do with people and the meeting, but that was about all I could get from this email. It turns out all it meant was there were insufficient people available to attend the meeting – Why not just say that, why use a word that is not in the common vocabulary! It turned out that the other people due to attend the meeting also had to check what inquorate meant as they didn’t know either, so at least it wasn’t just me!

One part of my project we’re doing just now at work involves ensuring the system we are developing  is written in plain English. i.e. It is written with the reader in mind and with the right tone of voice, that is clear and concise. With this is mind, it really makes me wonder why some people feel it necessary to use uncommon or non standard words when there are simpler, every day words that would explain the situation or circumstance much better!

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Ever noticed how we are quick to accept praise from others but equally as quick to take offence when they criticise us?

I came across the following quote from Nicky Gumbel about this:

When people praise you, don’t let it go to your head. When they criticize you, don’t let it get to your heart.

It’s true isn’t it, we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground when we receive praise and when we receive criticism. If we manage that, we can

So accept praise and criticism equally, and make sure we learn and grow from our experiences – that may even mean we have to change in order to improve ourselves.

Are you looking for simple ways to encourage your heart and nourish your soul?

In the last while I’ve given you some ideas which will hopefully inspire you to implement them in your own life, and over the coming weeks I’ll share some others with you.

So here’s today’s suggestion:

Don’t fear failure

I’m guilty of fearing failure but I do try my best to stop myself from being scared of failing. It can be difficult fearing failure. That’s why it’s important that we redefine failure as feedback, and regard it was a natural part of having a successful life.

Michael Jordan once said:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

So this is why we must use every failure as a valuable lesson by asking ourselves each time we suffer failure, what can I learn from this?

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After many years of wondering why things always seemed to happen to me, I realised there was one common denominator in all the things that seemed to cause me problems or make me feel vulnerable, and that was me!

Just as the about photo says, I’ve found that recognition that many of the difficult situations I’ve found myself in have in fact been caused by me, because of things I’ve said or done.

This recognition has not meant everything has suddenly become perfect, far from it, it just means I have to work extra hard to try to avoid creating these situations now I know it’s me that causes them! That still doesn’t mean all is well, as I still fail miserably on many occasions, however I realise that acknowledgement of my failures and inadequacies has enabled me to seek help in overcoming these failures, by taking them to God, and asking Him to help me.

Have you recognised your failures, and taken them to God? If not I’d encourage you to do that today, as He can help you overcome your failures.

 

After the few weeks I’ve had recently, it was good to read the following quote from Joyce Meyer:

Be yourself and don’t let how other people treat you dictate your behaviour

We are only human, and as such we let ourselves be influenced and affected by what others say or do to us, or about us. I am as guilty as the next person of taking things that others say/do far too personally, so I know I have to take the above quote to heart, and learn not to take things too personally, or let them affect me adversely.

So let’s be who and what God wants us to be, and let’s not get side-tracked by what others say or do, because if we keep God at the centre of all we do, we will stay strong.

Each day there are thousands of words spoken by us, and by those around us. Thousands of words, each with different meanings.

How we’re feeling physically or emotionally, what’s going on in our lives, and how tired we are, all affects how we interact with others, what words we use, and the tone we use. That in turn affects how those we interact respond to us, and how we make them feel. i.e. Do we encourage, offers words to heal, or do we say things which can hurt and upset others.

I’m sure we can all think of times when we’ve done the latter, hurt someone, rather than encourage them, by our words.

Personally I pray each day that God will help me find the right words to use in every situation I find myself in, because I know He wants me to be a person who heals rather than hurts. I pray I will continue to trust God for His guidance in every situation, so that I heal and not hurt others by what I say.

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