When you step out to share your art others will put up their own rejections to your boldness. You need to know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. There is good feedback that is for your best interest. But, there is a lot of unnecessary and inaccurate feedback too. Believe it or not, when you share your art in a way that’s true to you another’s reaction might be nothing more than a personal reaction unrelated to you. Unfortunately, there are many people in this category. You are leading by example.
Most of the unnecessary external resistance comes in the form of “what if’s”. But for every bad, there is a good ‘what if’. And you have no real control over those outcomes. The only control you have is to make sure you can play your instrument and do your best. What is the worst that could happen?
It’s important to know the difference between good & bad criticism. In the beginning it will be “who” gives helpful criticism and “who” doesn’t. Later you will be able to decipher between the two by asking the right questions regardless of whose mouth it comes out of. If you think constructive criticism is being brought to you, take it, consider it, and try it. If it’s not, simply forget about it. This is easy to say and harder to do.
For a while, your best measure of whether your art is good is really simple: do I like my own art? I am a very hard critic of myself so this was an appropriate question for me. If it’s not for you, then you need to decide when you should share your art with someone else to see if it impacts them. Be prepared for the inevitable resistance. If you are a perfectionist like me, then at some point you need to decide that it’s ‘perfect enough’ and share it. If it doesn’t resonate, then keep working at it.
When confronting external resistance you need to come to a place where you are ok with someone always being better than you. Even if you do eventually become the best, there is still someone who can take that away. Go ahead and decide that you aren’t in the game to be the best then you will be able to take criticism a lot more easily. You only need to loosen up and go for it knowing that your best efforts are enough. Because you’re not playing the game of a winner and loser, you’re just trying to create music and eventually someone will be a fan of your art. Then you’re starting to make a difference.
My Battle with Resistance
I am not comfortable in front of a crowd, but, you probably wouldn’t know it. I’ve just confronted the challenge enough times that I know I can do it. I hated speaking in front of people as a kid. But, I tried, sometimes because my mom forced me. In a lot of ways, it’s necessary to face your fears to defeat them…or to lose. There is a healing process going on when you do. My fear of speaking was confronted in full force when I decided to major in advertising/PR in college. But, I had been working on it for a while and was ready to tackle a bigger challenge. And, if you’re thinking…college speech is a piece of cake…then you were never in my PR class.
About this Series:
See the first post in the series on Sharing Your Music.