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How To Cope With Criticism

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Creatives are vulnerable to the effects of criticism when it comes to their work. They not only put time and energy into creating their work, but also a huge part of themselves and soul goes into it. With appropriate training creatives can eventually develop enough distance between themselves and their work to buffer against criticism. Yet one isn’t always successful in preventing one of those little arrows of criticism to penetrate. Here are a few tips on how to cope with criticism.

  1. Determine the Validity.

    Everyone has an opinion. One person’s feedback may differ from the next. Remind yourself that criticism is subjective. Take into account who’s giving the feedback, their knowledge, experience and unique perspective. It’s important to filter through feedback, deciphering what is helpful and what isn’t.

  2. Be Open to Improvement.

    Even if it hurts, being honest enough with yourself to take a hard look at where you can improve is a step towards bettering yourself as an artist. Stay open minded to hearing constructive criticism and at the same time remind yourself of the areas in which you already do well.

  3. Use it to Motivate You.

    Criticism can feel discouraging and even make you feel frustrated or angry. Taking that energy and transforming it into motivation can be more productive then allowing it to knock you down.

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  5. It’s Not Personal.

    It’s challenging not to take criticism personal, but staying objective around your work can be your saving grace. Remember the feedback is directed at how to improve the artwork not towards you as a person.

  6. Don’t Generalize.

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because you received some negative criticism doesn’t mean you are a bad creative in general. Don’t let negative criticism make you forget the good points. Develop resilience by reminding yourself of past successes and other great aspects of your art that you’re proud of.

This is a cross-post from The Art of Mind.

Lisa A Riley, MA, LMFT is a Creativity Coach and has spent more than nine years working with creative individuals such as artists, actors, designers, musicians, writers, and actors. She “helps to empower clients to take steps towards enhancing their creativity and move closer to becoming the artist they envisioned themselves to be”. See her multiple ‘Products for Your Creative Success’ on her site The Art of Mind.

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