What do ‘Headless chicken’ and ‘Diva’ have to do with Feedback?

IMG_3887I had some super useful feedback from a dear friend of mine about my manuscript. She took time and care to read through the whole thing (80,000+ words) and give constructive feedback in a short space of time.

Two things arise for me:

  • Deep gratitude for her support. I so get her burning desire to see this book out in the world and for it to be the very best it can be.
  • Deflation… because there is more work to do. And of course there is. I was even delaying sending it to her because I knew I needed to do another round of revisions. But even though intellectually I know that all the points she made are valid and she put it across as gently as possible, I am still in a difficult place (and this is a dear friend, right, what’s going to happen when an editor takes a red pen to it?!!!).

As I was reflecting on my reaction, I remembered an exercise I did a few years ago at a workshop. It was designed to explore our sub-personalities. We focused on two. My first one came as no surprise. It was ‘a headless chicken’ one. I ran around in overwhelm holding my head and complaining how much there was to do and how I wasn’t coping. The second one was a shocker. I sat back on a chair and pointed at another participant in the group.

‘You! Get me a cappuccino. Make sure it’s extra hot.’ The man just stared at me in disbelief. Even I couldn’t believe my own ears. I was on a roll though. ‘Oh, and make it snappy! And you,’ I barked at another participant. ‘Move out of my way. You are obscuring my sea view.’

Wow, what the hell? Was my body possessed for a minute or something? The truth is I have that sub-personality. It is not welcome here, and very rarely comes out to play. Yet, this is not who I am. This is just a tiny part of me.

The same goes to my deflated part. It’s the one who runs the story: ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘however hard I work it’s never enough.’ I don’t even believe the story anymore, but it holds that energy.

The suffering happens when we over-identify with those sub-personalities, when we think we are the headless chicken or a part that wants to give up. It’s healthy to acknowledge that they are there and then… remind ourselves that we are a bigger container that holds ‘headless chicken’, ‘diva’, ‘deflated’, ‘the observer’, and many more. If we live from this place of awareness and self-compassion, our responses to life events may become a lot healthier.

4 thoughts on “What do ‘Headless chicken’ and ‘Diva’ have to do with Feedback?

  1. I read this yesterday Gulara and again today – how true this is for me as well re: my book in collaboration with another. The energy is there to deflate or inflate (inflate in a healthy way hopefully!) – and to truly know that we all have those sub-personalities and then we are in danger of over identifying with them. As you say, it’s healthy to acknowledge them – and to be aware also that we are larger than them and can view them with compassion. Thank you so much for this post … very valuable for me and I know it would be for anyone else who reads this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you for your kind words, Susan, they mean so much to me. I am glad this was valuable. It was for me to, to step back far enough to see what really was going on. Sometimes, it easy to get lost in the drama of over-identification. Deep gratitude for your thoughtful response!


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