I was thinking this morning how ironic it is that I decided during undergrad not to go into the theater (my major) because of all the rejection and criticism inherent in that field. Instead, I am becoming a researcher - which is rife with rejection (grant funds) and criticism (grant apps, reviewer comments, etc.). Glad I dodged that bullet!

I struggle with critical feedback on a good day. Currently, I am feeling an abundance of it. All of it is super well-intentioned (to make my work better), but it is taking its toll.

Tomorrow, I will have my work critiqued in a group setting. I requested this because I want that work to be really really good before I give it to my mentor. But, I am just dreading it.

I keep telling myself that:

a) I requested it

b) I want the feedback to improve the product

c) I should not attend to any tone or harshness by the critiquers - they are only trying to help me.

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d) they are all from a completely different field than me - so not everything applies - AND, if they act like I should have known something or should have done something, it’s not necessarily true for my field.

But, I know I’m still going to feel a little crappy afterwards, and I know I am going to overpersonalize because I am so worn out from working non-stop lately that my defenses are low and my self-confidence is low. I also got rejected for a little grant this week -had I gotten it, it would have been a huge boost to my confidence.

How have you coped with critical feedback internally and externally so that you don’t get defensive, mired in self-doubt, and don’t spin off into a frenzy of self-flagellation?