“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful.” Proverbs 28:1
DEALING WITH CRITICISM is the name of a chapter in Julia Cameron’s book: The Artist’s Way! If you have not read her book yet, I highly suggest it.
Hey you! You want to be an artist! Then you must prepare yourself for critique!
Criticism is your friend. It is! It is sometimes hard to hear it, but if you look at it as a way to relieve you, and not as something that can destroy you- criticism will help you reach higher places! It will.
Now, I don’t want to lie- criticism can feel shaming, especially when it is regarding our art- our creative soul. Therefore, it is important to learn who to receive criticism from. Anyone who is nasty, insensitive and irresponsible with their words should not be on your criticism list. I have seen artists never take the stage or pick up the pen again, because they were so wounded by abusive criticsm. Know your worth and who to share your art with.
Through the years, I have learned to love criticism. As a playwright, having some trusted people in my life to read my plays and tell me what worked for them and what didn’t has been God sent! I need criticism! It helps me grow.
However, I also have experienced hurtful criticsm, even at times when I was not asking for it. Here is my personal opinion: anyone who has something mean spirited to say to you- is really not talking about you- they are dealing with some incompletion in themselves. Or, they’re just ASSHOLES! Sorry, but I had to say it!
HERE ARE MY GUIDELINES ON HOW TO DEAL WITH CRITICISM and LET IT WORK FOR YOU!
1.Determine if the criticism is Constructive or Destructive!
Once you do, you can choose whether to listen or not!
2. React Calmy
Remember, whatever the critique is, it is only an opinion- not the truth. You can choose to take the criticism and make a change in your work, or just accept what was said and move on. You are still in control and reacting calmly to someone’s else’s opinion maintains your professionalism and confidence.
3. Admit your Mistakes
If someone is pointing out a mistake- and you know it is true, just admit it. It’s freeing! You are human, and you are also lucky to have someone to help you see where your mistakes are. Now you can improve your work and get it to be where it must be!
4. Enjoy the Process
If creativity was all fun and games, everyone would be an artist. It is hard and confronting, and only a small few can handle the creative journey. Enjoy the criticism and fall in love with failing. It is when you fail that you learn your most important lessons, and without critique, it is hard sometimes to assess where you are at in the process!
5. Be Kind to Your Critic
I am an acting coach and director. Therefore, it is my job to give feedback and critique my actor’s work. It is hard to give honest criticism, so be nice to your critic. If they want the best for you, they are critiquing you with love! I promise!
“Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.” ~EUGENE DELACROIX