It’s inevitable. You will have at least one critic in your life.
It could be that jerk in the art section of a newspaper, or that troll on Twitter, or perhaps it’s the crazy cousin twice removed.
Prepare for it. If you want to try to add value to the world through writing, singing, creating, selling, or ____-ing you will be criticized.
I was driving to a doctor’s appointment and the broadcaster came on the classical radio station (yes, I listen to classical music in my car) and told a story about some Russian dude. This guy had image problems. He had issues with love and artistic worth. But this man, believe me, he was brilliant. He composed a violin concerto with such beauty and grace that you can still hear certain themes explored in the piece in current movie scores.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s brilliant violin concerto was not well received though. The critic called it long and pretentious. Ouch!
The critic thought the violin was beaten black and blue, instead of it being played in the right manner. He also went on to say that it “brought us face to face with the revolting thought that music can exist which stinks to the ear.” Apparently the critic never lived long enough to hear Justin Bieber.
But truth be told, everybody can be an artist. If you don’t believe that, go read Seth Godin and let him convince you that you can be an artist in your work. And all artists will be critiqued. In those moments of despair though, keep producing your art. Your art could be incredibly important to other people.
However, with that being said, make sure to reflect on whether the critique is valid and make a course correction. When you hear criticism, ask yourself first if it is true (maybe you do sing out of tune!). Better to learn that you are not the next Michael Buble before you get in front of Simon Cowell.
If the art is important to you like Tchaikovsky’s music, then keep going though. Critics will always arise when you’re doing something of worth. Keep plugging along and add beauty to this world, whether it is in a product, song, or friendship.
How do you handle critics?