thoughts on receiving correction

How people (including myself) react to being corrected has been on my mind this week.

As some of you know, I am reading (and have finished!) Principles by Ray Dalio and it is just fantastic. There is so much useful knowledge about life in general and working in a team that each time I sit down to read, I feel like I come away with many useful insights. There is a decent sized section in the book that discusses how people respond with their “lower-level selves” when they receive constructive criticism or things are not done the way they think is correct. Essentially, you respond with your ego as your first line of defense. Which, naturally, makes you defensive. And you stop trying to take in the lesson. Taking correction and accepting it is so important for growth. (Also, to clarify, I am mainly talking about correction coming from someone that is more knowledgeable.)

This of course made me start to think about how I respond to correction or criticism. Are there times when I respond with my ego instead of simply listening and thinking about what the other person is saying? Are there particular situations like this that cause my ego to respond more?

First of all, I want to make this clear, that I want to be teachable and I do not always have to be right. I want to be able to do things the correct way, which could be running an experiment at work or doing a particular lift with a barbell. Though I do not always respond according to my core belief. I am human and make mistakes after all.

So upon reflection, I realized that I respond to correction differently according to the way it is presented to me. At the gym, I happily take correction and use it immediately because I perceive the correction to be to make me better. However. If I perceive the correction as condescending or rude, I immediately respond with my “lower-level self” because the correction came to simply demonstrate that I was doing something wrong and not to aid in my improvement. This type of correction drives me a bit crazy because it is not a comment made to engender personal growth but to make the corrector feel better. This is pretty common with arrogant people in my opinion.

In recognizing my reactions, I can greet the emotion when it is rising up and notice how I am responding, giving me enough time to stop my ego from taking the driver’s seat. I believe that using this as a tool will allow me to become more comfortable with my emotions and learn how to tune my reactions.

So what are your thoughts on correction? Do you find that you struggle with it or have you come up with methods to deal with it? I would love to hear your story!

the collection .4: june series

I find that I stumble upon interesting things through out the week and the best way to share them with you would be to make a little list! So here we go!

  1. Book I am working on: Principles by Ray Dalio. I am a little less than a quarter of the way through, but this book has been phenomenal so far. I love learning about what makes people tick and how to create teams so this has been great for me. I highly recommend this if you are interested in exploring your principles more.
  2. Article I have read recently: How Your Daily Routine Can Turn Into Your Biggest Enemy by Ryan Holiday. If you don’t already know, I really like Ryan Holiday and his books, especially Ego is the Enemy. If you need a little smack of humble, read it. Anyway, this article struck me as important because I am big into routines and usually if I get out of my routine I turn into a big grouch which isn’t pleasant for anyone. This was a little reminder that I should be more flexible in my day to day life and getting out of my routine shouldn’t throw me off the rails.
  3. New music that I found: Somebody to Love by Abhi The Nomad. I heard this once on a random Spotify playlist and loved it. It is so catchy and has such a nice feel to hit. Such a good sunny, summer day song!
  4. Fun exercises that I have been implementing: Ab’Asanas 2 created by Morgan Tyler. I have made it a point to work on core exercises daily since I recently realized that my weak core is the root of my back problems while lifting. This may seem like a ‘duh’ realization but I had thought for a long time that my back problems were caused by my form but after dedicating some time each day for core work, I have seen a reduction in my back pain and feel stronger! It is awesome! I just started practicing consistently this month and I am so happy.
  5. Self care that I am experimenting with: massages! I had my first massage at the beginning of the year and it was an eye opener. I had no idea that my back, in particular my shoulders, were so tight! I decided after I came back from Arizona that I would start to get massages monthly and it has been a great experience so far. After one massage, I already feel a difference in my muscles! I also had my weak core revelation at my first appointment so I would say it has been a win win! If you have never had a massage, do it!

What are some things that you have come across this past week? Please share them in the comments!

 Can't you see why I love Principles?
Can’t you see why I love Principles?