Another small strategy that I came up with was asking people for feedback. I realized that instead of being paranoid all the time about what people are thinking about me and if people are thinking I’m a failure, it was just better to ask them and just see what I could do to improve. And I specifically used this strategy during an internship that wasn’t going too well for me. I mean, I remember thinking, oh, if I could get through this week without getting fired, I would have done a good job. It was– I– it was just the skill sets needed for that job were skills I didn’t have and it was– I was struggling a lot.
And so instead of taking that upon myself, I started asking my supervisor for feedback every week. And as he’d give me feedback– it’s definitely– you have to be in the right place to ask for feedback. It’s a very difficult process because you’re making yourself vulnerable, and you’re putting yourself out there, and you’re admitting that you’re not doing well to somebody on the outside. But once I started doing that, my supervisor really appreciated the fact that I was asking for feedback. And his attitude towards me changed too because, initially, he was not too happy, but he was at least happy that I was trying to make things better.
And, initially, I focused only on the negative feedback because that was what I could work on, that was things I could fix. But slowly I started paying attention to the positive feedback as well because that helped me recognize what my strengths were. And I realized I didn’t always have to worry so much about the weaknesses, I could also capitalize on my strengths and work more in the direction of where I’m good at and what I’m good at. And so that was definitely a great experience for me. And I understand that you can’t always ask for feedback, there have been situations where I’ve asked for feedback and I haven’t gotten any.
But I think the process of making yourself feel vulnerable– typing up that email saying thank you for the opportunity to– for letting me apply, but I really want to learn from this experience, is there any feedback you can give me? That itself is admitting to yourself that you’re willing to learn from this experience, you’re willing to grow from this experience. And even if you don’t really get the feedback, it’s putting yourself out there that helps you move on and forgive yourself for not getting the thing right the first time.