Opening up to outside review of one’s work, including college essays, can create a wincing-eyes-jaw-clenching-fidgeting reaction to the surely unfounded criticism anticipated to be unleashed. While the ultimate reward of such perspective can be a sharper argument and greater understanding, the human tendency to prevent humiliation can get the best of us. (Incidentally, as humans we tend to confuse humility with humiliation.)
The review experience over time (sometimes LOTS of times) can open us to new ideas and improvements in quality unforeseen by our individual view (which by nature is limited). But, what fun is that? You mean, I may embrace more of what life offers and learn more, yet, I may also diminish my personal credit? The review process is fraught with these trade-offs. Yet, since as the author (or creator) of a work, we each hold the ultimate veto power over incorporating any feedback or not, which can be a revealing process to us about our values and principles. The trick is to be open no matter the outcomes to outside reviews.
Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, is a University of California and Harvard trained educator and Partner at Creative Marbles Consultancy. You can contact Jill at email@example.com or, read her short biography.
Photo Credit: Art Baird, Creative Marbles Consultancy 2012