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Dave was stammering. “Lisa, I know I’ve had some problems, but don’t do anything drastic.”

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a tough review? Criticism that could derail your career? In the June series, The F Word, we’re talking about giving and receiving feedback.

Dave was thrilled when he was hired in Ad Sales at Facebook. He told his friends, “How hard can it be? Facebook ads are going to sell themselves!”

His manager, Lisa, was supportive, but his first year on the job was unexpectedly rocky. The second year wasn’t much better. She knew they were in for a tough conversation at his annual review.

Lisa listened patiently as Dave recapped a few big deals. “Dave, I know you’re trying, but you just don’t seem to be getting any traction. Have you considered doing something else? Maybe there’s a better fit.”

“You mean Marketing? No, wait – Business Development.”

“No. Something completely different.”

Dave’s face went blank.

Lisa paused. “Not at Facebook.”

Six months after Dave resigned, Lisa ran into him out at dinner. He waved her over to his table.

“Hey! You look great! I’m happy to see you. How are things going?”

“Fantastic!” Dave said. “I never saw myself working in pharmaceutical sales, but things couldn’t be better. As I look back on taking the Facebook job, I can’t imagine what I was thinking. All those details – where ads would run, when, how long… I’m a big picture guy; I don’t like to spend hours diving into the data.

“I used to think all sales jobs were the same. Whenever something wasn’t working out, I thought it was time to move on.” His voice softened. “To tell you the truth, I’m glad to be away from designing ad campaigns.”

In the book “You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter,” Dr. Joe Dispenza highlights how our long-standing subconscious beliefs like “all jobs are the same” can quietly lead us off track:

“Ninety-five percent of who you are by the time you’re 35 years old is a set of memorized behaviors, skills, emotional reactions, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes that functions like a subconscious automatic computer program.

So 95% of who you are is a subconscious or even an unconscious state of being. And that means your conscious mind’s 5% is working against the 95% of what you’ve memorized subconsciously.”

Take a deep breath if you’re getting a hard message. Before you push back, remember the key Soul Boss principle to amp up the joy and turn down the struggle. Tune in and ask yourself, “Is this message untrue, or am I upset because my habitual beliefs and expectations are being challenged?”

Steven Spielberg recently raved about the power of intuition when he told Harvard graduates, “Your conscious shouts, “Here’s what you should do,” while your intuition whispers, “Here’s what you could do.” Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that.”

This week, courageously listen to your instincts when subtle warnings come your way. That supposedly bad feedback? It may be pointing you in the perfect direction.