After the hard notes
In improv we get notes on our sets after we perform. If we are being smart, this is coming from someone who has no emotional attachment to what we just did. A director, coach, teacher, or trusted individual.
Life is also a series of notes and feedback.
We are always receiving information about how we are doing. We receive it everywhere. Online, in person, from ourselves, random baristas, everywhere!
Getting adept at listening, processing, and then using what works for us, strengthens us, and helps us be a better human helps lead a more fulfilling life.
Sometimes improv and life notes suck. They suck because they are either completely false, shake up our own belief system, or perhaps even highlight what we already know and feel vulnerable about. Just like an improv scene, listen to notes from a trusted individual.
This doesn't mean we should stop listening to others altogether. We just need to learn when to receive and when to filter and let it go. Lean into those uncomfortable moments and find the lesson. Even a note that is completely false has something to learn from (the lesson might be don't let it upset you and let this go!).
This also goes for improv notes. If you had a difficult show and you tried your very best then listen to the notes on what and how you can start making active choices to grow.
If you had a difficult show and the notes were hard to hear because you didn't put your best foot forward, take an honest look at yourself. At some point not giving your all is going to happen. Reflect and promise yourself not to make it a habit. You won't serve yourself or your scene partners and, in fact, you will begin to breed resentment in your team. If it is becoming a habit, take a look at why. It might be time to reevaluate why you do improv and who you do it with.
Improv notes and life notes are very similar. It usually boils down to fear of the unknown, lack of listening, lack of empathy, and ego. Keep going and pushing yourself to grow. You can do this! Take the risks, get the hard note, live a full and rewarding life!