Absorb Feedback Like a Black Hole

Praise and criticism are equally dangerous. When they first arrive, your emotions flare. Pride, anger, endearment, anxiety, euphoria, despair. None of them are to be trusted, because all those emotions can say is if the feedback confirms what you already believe or not. Confirm your self-confidence, and you’ll only limit your ability to grow in the future. Confirm your self-doubt, and you’ll only prevent yourself from trying.

The best thing you can do, in that first moment of feedback, is to breath deeply, to smile, and to swallow that missive like a black hole swallowing entire planets, stars, galaxies. Draw it down, without swaying you one way or the other. It has mass, but you are supermassive. It has importance, but only in the context of the galaxies you’ve absorbed already.

Don’t be swayed by praise or criticism, but wait. A black hole eventually emits all the mass it absorbs as energy, and you will too. Ideas for how to improve will come to you, and when they do, act! Without self-confidence or self-doubt to blind you. These will be the truly good ideas, the actionable ones, the ones that will help you to grow.