The right kind of self-feedback is so important.
Giving yourself CONSTRUCTIVE feedback creates an opportunity to reflect on your efforts. With that reflection, you are able to celebrate your successes & make tweaks so you can improve next time.
However, CONSTRUCTIVE is the operative word here. What I’ve seen with clients and myself is that we are way too hard on ourselves. And that’s because of a common thinking error called “Negative Filtering.”
Negative Filtering is when you focus on negative or upsetting aspects of something while ignoring the positives. So when we try to give ourselves feedback, often it’s not accurate or constructive because of this Negative Filtering thinking error.
The GOOD NEWS is now that you know your mind will automatically want to put a negative filter on your self-feedback, you can fix it!
PS: I wrote this WOW for a very personal reason. I recently did a big presentation and no matter how much everyone loved & raved about the presentation, I could only focus on the negative. Luckily, I identified my Negative Filtering thinking error and used the 3 steps below to give myself more accurate, balanced, and constructive feedback…
3 Steps for Constructive Self-Feedback
Use the acronym W.I.N. to give yourself more fair, kind, and constructive feedback.
Use the acronym W.I.N. for self-feedback in your work life, in your personal life, or when it comes to your lifestyle habits like healthy eating & exercise.
STEP 1: WORKED.
Negative Filtering can make you forget that you did anything right. Slow down, ask yourself to suspend the negative filter for at least a moment, and write down all the big and small things that worked well. PS: Right at the point you think you are done with your list, try to add a few more points.
STEP 2: IMPROVE.
This step is not about self-bashing. The goal is to write down objective thoughts and suggestions on areas to improve. Give yourself honest feedback, but in a tone that you would for a close friend.
STEP 3: NEXT TIME PLAN.
Review Steps 1 & 2 and then write down what you want to keep and what you want to tweak for future situations similar to this one. Then, congratulate yourself on a job well done, get excited about the constructive feedback that will help you have an even better experience next time, and… MOVE ON.
Once you do the W.I.N. reflection, you’ll have all the feedback you need so you can stop replaying this situation in your head, stop ruminating on all the details, and get on with your beautiful life.
Anytime you can give yourself more fair, balanced, and constructive feedback you W.I.N. 🙌