A friend recently asked me: “How do you grow a thicker skin? How do you keep the little things from bothering you?”
Often, when we get feedback we view it as criticism. It can come in many forms: a snide remark, negative emails or a questionable evaluation at work. Any one of these can bruise our ego and make us wonder “am I good enough…”
So how can we learn to adapt and roll with the punches? How do we bounce back and continue with our day?
Here are three simple steps that help me:
- Create a “Book About Me.” Now, don’t roll your eyes at this one. I know it may be hard to focus on yourself, but this helps immensely in the long run. Go out today and buy a notebook in your favorite style or color, then begin to fill it with anything and everything you have accomplished over the years. It could be a photo of your graduation, a certificate you won at the office bake-off or that medal you earned when you completed a marathon. In my “Book About Me,” pictured on this blog, I have anything relating to my Professional Speaking career. Then on those days when life gets a little complicated, I leaf through my book. It’s a great reminder of just how far I’ve come.
- Have an honest conversation with yourself and ask yourself what is really bothering you. Is it something from your past that has resurfaced? Is there a spark of truth in what the other person said and you just don’t want to face it? For me, if I can understand WHY I’m feeling hurt, then I can focus on resolving the problem. Many times, it’s the hurtful comments that have lead me to my greatest accomplishments.
- This one is the hardest for me – not everyone is going to like me. There are people that I will disappoint and I cannot be everything to everyone. At those times, I take a deep breath and ask: Have I satisfied the most important person in my life – am I happy with myself? If the answer is no, then I have to take a hard look at making some changes. If I can answer yes, then I can rest my head at night, knowing it was a good day.
Give these a tips a try and see if you’re able to let go of the small stuff. It takes practice. Just keep trying and know that you are doing the best that you can.