Pushover? No, I don't think so

Because you can speak kindly and fairly to yourself doesn't mean you never push back, or enforce boundaries. The world may not know or care about your internal struggles. You certainly don't have to allow in noise masquerading as help. Or worse, negativity.

Some situations are set up for learning. You hire a coach, take a class, or ask a friend for advice. Others are trickier; is the person offering up "feedback" really looking out for your interest, or their own satisfaction?

Here's an easy rule of thumb. Only listen to advice you asked for. Sometimes the ask is implicit, like when you have a mentor relationship set up. Other moments, voices chime in that you didn't really invite. Tune those out. You can always approach a person later and ask. Keep the learning on your terms.

It's fair to let others know that being vulnerable and open to learning doesn't make you an easy target. Rehearse if you have to, but speak up.

Don't hesitate to protect your boundaries. Within them is the safe place from where your best work flows.