When we stand up and say, “This is me. This is what I’ve created”, we receive mixed reactions. Some ignore us, some encourage us and others criticise.
Naturally we assume it is better to be ignored than criticised but this belief is in need of a rethink.
Criticism is a great sign that we are doing things worth talking about. When people choose to speak up it’s because they’re passionate about what’s been said or done. It means they’re emotionally invested.
Being ignored is much more concerning. It means people are apathetic toward what we’re doing or saying. To put it frank, they find us boring or common.
Great craftsman cast the fear of criticism aside and focus on getting products into people’s hands. They understand that in order to be great they must be willing to be not great along the way. They let criticism help shape them.
When those around us clue into the fact that we are experimenting and learning, they want to add their thumb print. It’s natural. People want to feel a part of things on the rise.
Most often this imprint will come in the form of You Should Criticism. You should change the beginning. You should add more character. You should get to the point earlier. “You should…” statements are not outlandishly offensive but we can misinterpret them as an indication that we’re going about things the wrong way, or not doing enough. This is rarely the case.
You Should Critics are merely trying to help us build something with a few of their own bricks. Sure, they want a piece but their ideas bring fresh thinking to the surface regardless of whether we take them on board.
As minister and writer, Norman Vincent Peale, once said “The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism”.