Adrian Gilpin: "Unstoppable"I was introduced to the concept of “Minding The Gap” by Adrian Gilpin, author of “Unstoppable: The Pathway to Living an Inspired Life”. My initial training as a coach was with Adrian, through the Institute of Human Development, and he incorporated this concept into the training programme from the work of Deepak Chopra.

The Gap is the space – possibly only a nanosecond – which exists between somebody saying something to you or something happening to you, and your reaction to it.

Mostly we’re unaware there’s a gap. Our response is so swift that we might assume a particular event will always trigger the same reaction, and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, if we can Mind The Gap and expand it – even by a tiny amount – we allow ourselves time to decide how we want to respond.

I’ve had a lot of practice in Minding The Gap over recent weeks, as I’ve received feedback from a number of people about my website and brochures – not all of it positive.

Criticism is hard to take at the best of times, and when you’re doing something creative it can be even harder, because you’re putting heart and soul into your creation.

In the past I might have got into an argument or sulked, if someone had criticised what I was doing. I would have seen it as a personal affront and felt that I was being criticised because I’d “got it wrong”. Those feelings probably date back to my school days…

Now I realise that when someone gives me negative feedback, they’re simply saying that what I’ve done doesn’t fit in with how they see the world.

So I’m able to thank the person for their feedback, to think “Hmmm – that’s interesting”, to evaluate their comments with total calm, and to make a rational decision about whether or not to change what I’ve done.

How do you feel when someone criticises you? Do you see it as a personal attack? What if you were able to Mind The Gap? What difference might it make?

2 thoughts on “Mind the Gap – handling criticism

  1. Interesting post Julia, thank you! Stephen Covey talks about a similar idea in ‘7 Habits’ – how, between the external stimulus and our response, we have the opportunity to make a choice about how we respond. Sometimes easier said than done if our ‘old stuff’ has been triggered though!
    Gina Musa recently posted..Sometimes it’s good to be selfish!My Profile

  2. Julia Barnickle

    Good point, Gina – thanks! As you say, it is a choice how we respond when the “old stuff” is triggered. After all, we learned to have the “old” response, so in theory we can unlearn it and replace it with a new response – but nobody said it’s going to be easy! 🙂

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