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9 Effective Steps to Deal with Criticism

How to Deal with Criticism?

Criticism is one of the hardest, inevitable “crossroads” for a flowing creative being.

I say crossroad because it can take you either way, for example, pointed criticism, if accurate, will give the creative mind a sense of relief: “Ah, ha! So that’s what was wrong with it.” Useful criticism ultimately leaves us with one more puzzle piece for our work. Useless criticism, on the other hand, leaves us with a feeling of being intimidated, as if we have hit a big wall now hard to pass.

These are some useful way of dealing with ANY form of criticism and making it work for you:

1. Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with

Hear it or read it without elaborating an immediate defense or judgment on the source of the critic.

2. Take notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you

Do any particular reasons come to mind about why this might be?

3. Take notes on what concepts or phrases are useful

Take stock to actually better your work and take it to the next level.

4. Do something very nurturing to yourself

Read an old good review or recall a compliment, post it some where you can see it as you start to approach the work again.

5. Mastery takes practice!

Remember that even if you have made a really a bad job, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Work that springs from creative ideas mature spasmodically and requires ugly-ducklings growth stages.

6. Look at the criticism again

Does it remind you of any criticism from the past? – Particularly shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.

7. Write a letter to the critic

Not to be mailed. This is a personal catalyst process to defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism given.

8. Get back on the horse.

Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.

9. Do it!

Creativity is the only cure for criticism. A small step forward like setting specific goals related to the work and breaking them down to manageable actions is a start, a to do list for the next half of the day or tomorrow, a phone call, etc.

What can you do NOW to recover from the criticism you have received?


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