Dr. Robin recently received an email from a listener named Calvin: "I've heard you say several times regarding the importance of the present, that tomorrow is not promised and that all we have is today. Yet when you sign off your program, you say, 'I'll be right here tomorrow, I promise.' I always think, 'Well, if she knows that tomorrow is not promised, how can she promise she'll be here tomorrow?' And I hope you are here tomorrow, but I wonder if you'd consider changing that to being truly consistent."
Dr. Robin says she's so grateful for Calvin's feedback. Looking back at her sign-offs, Dr. Robin agrees it's absurd and wonders why she ever contradicted herself, since she really does live every day as if tomorrow is not hers to own. "So if that's true, and it is how I live, then what in the world would make me speak a word of promise?" she asks. "Not being connected with what I said and not hearing the word 'promise.'"
Dr. Robin says Calvin's email is a gift because now she'll take the information and not only sign off the show differently, but she'll start paying even greater attention to what she's saying, what she means and how it's being heard. And although he calls it a criticism, Dr. Robin says she doesn't believe in "constructive criticism." "I think that criticism is never constructive," she says. "But what I do really believe in, which is what Calvin gave me in this email, is in feedback. I believe in information that turns my light bulb on."
Is it difficult for you to take criticism? How often do you receive feedback and hear it as criticism? Dr. Robin says if you call it "feedback" instead, you might find that it's more constructive than you know! "Re-label what you used to call 'constructive criticism' and begin to see your whole universe as a way that it's gifting you with feedback so that you can grow and live your best, fullest, most brilliant life."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014