It’s not always easy to receive feedback. Whether it is a bunch of red marks scrawled across a paper you worked on for days, or someone telling you you need to follow through more on your jump shot, it’s easy to misconstrue someone’s constructive feedback as criticism. I know because I used to do it all of the time.

When I was younger I was terrible at receiving feedback. If someone gave me a small suggestion on how I could improve something I was doing, I often thought to myself, “Ugh, I don’t need your help, the way I was doing it was perfectly fine.” And in my head, I was sticking my tongue out at them. But that’s just it. The key word in that thought is fine. The way I was doing it was only fine, and if I remembered their feedback the next time I did it, it could be better.

I don’t remember the exact moment, but thankfully at some point, it occurred to me that when people give you feedback, they are only trying to help you improve. When someone gives you feedback you should happily accept it! Even if you got a bad grade on that paper, don’t just chalk it up to your professor not knowing what he’s talking about. And your basketball coach isn’t just picking on you. They are genuinely trying to help you. And if you let them, you will get much better at the things you set out to do.

So next time someone gives you feedback, whether it be positive or negative, be thankful. That person only wants to see you succeed.

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