Feedback Phobia

What if everyone hate what I am doing?

A scribble book full of ideas that never made it.

When I was in 8th grade, which happened to be 7 years ago, I thought that I am not bad at singing. And what do people do who think that? Right, starting a YouTube-channel. So did I. In the first day, I uploaded 6 videos of me singing in the webcam of my notebook. A few days later, I deleted the account and therefore every video on it. What happened?

Whilst frequently checking the amount of views of the videos, I noticed that one got a comment on it. “You’re a freak” was written inside of the first comment I ever got. It hit my young, naive personality so bad, that I instantly deleted the whole content. I thought that when that person thinks like that, every person has to have this opinion and more people will harm me s00ner or later. I believe that this occasion made me sensitive to feedback. That included not only the bad, but also any other kind of feedback.

Rather than sharing something I have been working on with the people I knew, I rather shared it anywhere unknown or not at all. With the thought in my mind, that somebody would write bad about what I did, I sometimes not even checked the feedback I got.

When I finished working on something, for example a logo design, I always thought confidently that the outcome was pretty good. When showing it to the customer or posting it online, I was scared of receiving not only positive feedback. Even when there was constructive feedback about how I could improve it, I easily felt injured and my confidence sunk.

Eventually, this led to the moment where I tried to evade any kind of feedback. Surely impossible, but I tried my best. Looking back, I find myself being stuck on my level.

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. — Bill Gates

Using what Bill Gates said once, without feedback, I was not able to improve my skills anymore. Not seeing any progress led to an nearly endless loop of procrastination. Furthermore, I then stopped doing those things, even though in the back of my mind, I loved doing them.

Long story short: Feedback is crucial, we will hardly be able to progress in life without it. When we get tons of good feedback and just one bad comment, we will most likely focus on that single negative text. And with negative texts I do not mean constructive, helpful replies. I think of the kind of feedback I got on my YouTube video back then.

The key is not to ignore it. Always keep in mind that you were the one that uploaded that picture, wrote that text, filmed that video, not them. You did all of the work and went through all the good and bad moments. People who write bad feedback might not have done any of that and just want to encase the world with negativity. Therefore, deal with the fact that bad feedback will happen, but try to not get emotional. Celebrate the good, carefully use the constructive and accept the bad feedback. Most importantly, stay positive, your future self will thank you for that.

Thank you for reading!

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I’m Yannick Pulver, 21 years old. I’m currently living in Bern, Switzerland. You can follow me by visiting my website, looking at my pictures on Instagram, or read about my thoughts on Twitter.