Step 3: Accept criticism as beneficial

The next step to becoming more creative requires you to acknowledge your anger toward yourself and others.  ‘What anger?’ you ask.  It’s there, buried deep down where it has been stuffed for many years; unacknowledged, repressed, called things like ‘silly’ and ‘pointless’, but it’s there.  Allow it to surface, then acknowledge and embrace it when it does.  Anger is meant to be acted upon, not to be acted out.

It is common, and OK, to feel angry with yourself for any number of reasons that may have contributed to feelings of powerlessness: realizing how long you have put your own dreams on hold to nurture the dreams of others; becoming more aware of the critical voice of judgement in your mind, and exactly who it belongs to (or where it came from); and accepting that being Self-loving and creative does not make you a selfish person.  These can be hard pills to swallow and should be ingested carefully, one pill at a time.

Criticisms are often dished in an unhealthy manner and are therefore received with a bad taste in our mouth.  It doesn’t have to be that way though!  If you can find yourself accepting criticism – however salty or bitter it may taste – and taking whatever good you can from it, then you will be more likely to continue your Creative Journey.

The following are specifically chosen tools for dealing with criticisms about your Creative Journey towards Self-rediscovery.  Write them down, post them where you can see them, and remember them:
– Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.
– Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.
– Jot down notes on what concepts or phrases seem useful.
– Do something very nurturing for yourself – for example, recall a compliment or praise for work you’ve done.
– Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art (or, insert specialty here), it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work.
– Look at the criticism again.  Does it remind you of any criticism from your past – particularly shaming childhood criticism?  Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.
– Write a letter to the critic – not to be sent, most probably.  Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism.
– Get back on the horse.  Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.
– Do it.  Creativity is the only cure for criticism.

Good Luck!

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