I already love this post because it is a combo of sizzling hot and painfully personal.
Matter of fact, it just crystallized in my spirit less than 2 hours to when I am writing it.
Ok so last month, one of the books I read was “Thanks for the feedback, by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone”
I recommend the book please, so don’t let what I write here dissuade you. I own my mistake and errors. The writers did a damn good job.
Anyways, after we read and reviewed it in my leadership group, being the doer that your girl is, I started to apply to my life.
Feedback is GREAT for growth, but somehow, I conveniently ignored the many parts of the book where they tell you about positive feedback and how some kind of feedback should be TRASHED.
Eziaha decided that she would go for growth by chasing the negative feedback and shutting down all positive.
Let me let you into a little portion of my life.
DAILY and I do mean daily, I get amazing feedback from people who consume content I put out in the various online places I do. I shut it all down. At first it was a case of “I don’t want to let it get to my head and be proud” but then it morphed to, “I don’t want to be distracted”
If for instance, someone says ” I admire your consistency”, I immediately think of the not very many things I have quit on and magnify them so much it drowns that positive feedback.
I still recall one day after a meeting, someone I admire said to me “Thank God for your obedience” and the first thing that jumped at me was “Nope, I am not obedient. I am yet to do XYZ”
It didn’t matter that I had called a timely, strategic meeting that threw light on their paths, I just glorified the ones that were negative.
I wish it ended there, but it gets worse before it gets better.
If I sent a memo out to the world, satan got it in his PRIORITY inbox.
All of a sudden, I not only started to go after negative feedback (as in I would ask you for a review after say your program with CSL and I would only want to hear you tell me what I should do better. Keep the wins to yourself, thank you very much), unsolicited negative feedback started to find its way in torrents to me.
Some were flat out negative.
Some were not, but trust Satan to flip n’ twist.
The past one month or so have been a stretch on my emotions.
I would be personal here and cite stories of people who read my blog but I will leave off names. It drives home my message more than it is me coming at you.
There was this day I finished sending out the prayer points for the wild women that week and it took me ONE HOUR THIRTY MINUTES to draft.
That’s link for those who dont know about the wild women and yay, we will be expanding come June so stay close for details
I felt emptied in a good way when I did.
Then someone comes to my DM and basically just crushes my spirit with negative feedback on something I said.
I was shook.
Do you mean to tell me, girl, that I spent 1.30 hours trying to share the heart of God to my sisters and all you could come to me and say was XYZ on something that was frankly, unnecessary?
Instantly, I forget about all the people who said the prayer points were fire, they could not wait to pray, etx. And my focus is on the one person who highlighted XYZ.
Let me tell you, satan came for all my emotions that day. It took everything in me not to respond in the flesh, or just ignore completely but I did respond and unemotionally too. I even ran the entire thing by 5 people and wanted them to judge my response.
It was good, but she had sown a seed.
A negative feedback seed that satan twisted. I start to question a couple of things and then fight to even send another without wondering who will come and attack me next week. Lol
Oh btw, babe and I sorted things out so….
Couple days after, it was another. She said I was CRUCIFYING her for something I said.
Let me not get into the fine details of it, but I was so shocked I went silent. When I gathered my thoughts in a day, all I said was “SORRY” but then again, satan jumps in and starts to twist everything even more and I am thinking gosh, “Eziaha, you need to work on XYZ”
Let me tell you, I could have ignored all of this, BUT I want to be sure that if change is something within my power, I embrace it. I honestly always want to be a better version of myself.
Good thing, but it can quickly flip into something else, which I will get to later.
Many more stories but let me share two more.
Someone else came to me, on a Friday literally two seconds before I joined a prayer meeting and decided that was the best time for her feedback. And basically, she questions something I had done as DISTRACTING and DOUBLE STANDARDS.
I could go into the merits and demerits of what she said but the timing was off, misunderstanding was on and honestly, that feedback once again left seeds I didn’t care for.
Earlier that day, someone had come to accuse me of being uncaring about a situation that happened to her WHICH SHE NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT. Lol. Honestly this one was funny. It is like you have an accident and Eziaha is a bad person because she didn’t check up on you, meanwhile you didn’t tell her it happened. Somehow she was to know.
Two days earlier, and this was the biggest of them all, I had told someone in my circle as politely as I could to STOP sending me voice notes. Actually I said it would be easier for you to get a response faster from me if you typed, but hey, I would listen and revert later.
And the human went off on me, and among the vitriolic were the terms unnecessary, supercilious and stupid, and “you can block me if you want…”
And I was like “wait, that escalated real fast…”
It was REAL cause I had told this person earlier not to send me VNs and honestly, I was going to listen later so my point was to say expect a later response.
Again, feedback that made me wonder, do people I lead, pour out in service to, think I am supercilious and stupid?
Why would anybody be in a community with me, and have conversations yet have such evil thoughts about me, then vomits it and says I can block her if I want?
Good thing is I had suspected she was heavily pretending with me and had prayed for the Lord to show me her heart, so this was answered prayers, LITERALLY!!!
Now, all these I mentioned happened within 3 weeks and this is not all.
You can imagine how these have been for me and my emotions.
I started to focus on the negatives and of course, they assumed larger than life stance in my life, to the point where I ALMOST found myself starting to shrink, draw back, not say a word, so nobody comes at me BUT I can’t live that way.
So I woke up Sunday and decided I would call a personal fast and completely let the Lord help me make sense of these emotional battles.
Was I really a bad person?
Why was EVERY FEEDBACK quick to point out something they thought I could do better?
(Granted it was not EVERY FEEDBACK but I already mentioned how satan works)
Yawl. DAY ONE of my fast, the Lord delivered right into my kitchen the WHOLE ANSWER to my concerns from His daughter, my PDDK yay
I was cooking and I felt the HS lead me to listen to a PDDK message. I random searched on the ‘Tube and found one. In fact, my only pre-requisites were let the sound be high and let it be under an hour, so I would keep eliminating until I found one. It didn’t matter the topic, I just knew it was PDDK I needed
Among the many things she said, I heard
“You are NOT here to be liked… you are here to be obedient to the purposes of God for your life”
And then, the banger…
“Some of you have taken feedback from people, always asking them how you can do better, and then they will say things like “you talk too much, etc” and then you take it and now make that weakness the one thing in your life you must fix”
Phew, that hit me.
That was MY WHOLE LIFE right there and we were barely 10mins into the sermon.
And then she went on to talk about the Principle of the cutting edge… a secular one but she brought it into the kingdom
“You see, you don’t get better by putting all your energy into working on your weaknesses… You focus on strengthening your strengths, because NOBODY can strengthen their weaknesses with a strength that is WEAK”
Some of you need to read this SEVEN times until you get it.
So the problem is not that you have weaknesses, it is that your strength is weak.
Focus on strengthening your strength and watch the weaknesses fizzle out.
I was about to run around my estate seven times and CALL OFF MY FAST.
I was LIBERATED!!!
I sent her a seed, two emails, and one text. I had to let her know she had just freed her protégée.
Then the Lord started to remind me of the words He had told me first personally, next through the three mentors who speak directly into my life… PDDK, Rev Albert Oduwole and Pastor Mildred. It was like a movie, they all started to come together
I could not believe it.
I had lost track of my assignment and calling and was more interested in being LIKED so if a feedback came, I needed to make sure it never came again, even if it was feedback that should have gone with the day’s trash.
I, Eziaha, wanted to be liked.
I was losing friends, not really in number but in dynamics of our relationships, and it scared me because I am like “where will I get my emotional nutrient from if all I get to do is LEAD?”
Interestingly, that Sunday morning, clearly the HS told me to draw a line if I have to daily, and write the positive feedback on one side and the negative on the other side, which I receive daily, and I would see that I am being too hard on myself.
So when PDDK mentioned feedback and the cutting edge, I knew God had sent me a word and my fast focus changed.
I repented ooo.
I learned that to grow, I need a balance of the positive and negative. And by balance, I don’t mean equality, I mean an accurate discernment and assignment of emotional investment, all filtered through the perspective and lenses of purpose and my life’s assignments
Yup, a handful I know, but it is what it is.
Going forward, I am now more skillful, adept and careful with feedback.
I can no longer let satan use it against me, or the relationships in my life.
I take it to the Father and I say, “what do you want me to do with this?”
“Take it out with the day’s trash RIGHT NOW?”
“Or take it and prepare the day’s delicacy with it, and then enjoy a healthy strengthening meal?”
Hey girl, YOU ARE AMAZING. Take it!!!
No longer does satan have a place at the table of my heart and emotions.
Time’s up, he is OUT!!!
Daily, Eziaha is working on strengthening her strengths and being all that God has called her to be.
The weaknesses, I will let the Holy Spirit take care of it himself.
I love something I heard from PK years back. He said “if you are struggling with addictions, don’t just focus on winning those battles, instead focus on your walk with the spirit. Add more fire to your spiritual life… the big fire will burn out all the little fires and you find that those addictions are no longer a problem”
This scripture puts it perfectly…
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”Galatians 5:16 NKJV
It doesn’t say FIGHT THE FLESH.
In my devotional this morning, I love this line Levi Lusko said and it is a good way to end…
“Don’t focus on what you aren’t, focus on what you are…”
Cheers to a new me, and a new you
Walking in freedom
Some of us are not only self-sabotaging our mental and emotional health, we are self-sabotaging our fitness and healthy lifestyle. I shared a post on that on my CoachE’ blog here