In my line of work, I have learned not to depend too heavily on individual feedback. Rather, I try to rely on my personal satisfaction with a job well done. As a Christian, I know that my validation comes from my Heavenly Father and His pleasure in me. However, it's nice to receive some positive affirmation from people from time to time as well. I have received two such affirmations in the past two days that were unexpected, unsolicited, and healing.
The first was a voice mail message from a fellow musician that I have avoided for years. While I greatly respect his insight, skill, and talent, our personalities do not compliment each other at all. Because of this personality clash, I have avoided working with him for several years and even turned down a position a few years ago in order to not have to report directly to him. While I recognized that there was much I could learn from this individual, I was not willing to subject myself to what I perceived as his unchecked anger and relentless criticism.
You can imagine my surprise when I received a call from this man yesterday morning offering me an opportunity to work with him on an upcoming project. It was a last minute need and he even stated that he was "scrambling to fill the slot." I wondered if that was his way of acknowledging that I could learn it quickly or his way of saying that he had no other option at the moment, but I decided to see the positive in the fact that my name even came to mind. Due to prior plans and commitments, I am not able to participate this time -- to both my relief and my chagrin. It would have been interesting to see if time has changed things and we might be able to work together, but I really did not want to walk into a potentially stressful situation.
The second affirmation was just as unexpected, but so touching. My boss needed to pass some work on to me. When sending the file, he attached a comment thanking me for my work with him over the years. The cynic in me wondered if I was being let go as I read the email; once I tossed that thought aside, I was reminded of how powerful a simple comment can be in someone's day. I received this comment on my way out the door and found myself suddenly energized and ready to work full steam ahead. It was just the energy boost I needed. And the thought that is running through my mind now.......who can I give some affirmation that will give them a little boost to accomplish more than they thought possible?