I felt completely compelled to talk about this topic! Mainly because I have always hated criticism so much that I was never willing to listen to anybody, and of course, that held me back for a long time oh and cost me a lot of money!
Eventually, I have learnt not only how to effectively take criticism but I have learnt to love it, of course only if it is constructive. So it is important to first understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism.
Constructive criticism comes from a place of good intention, offered up as a way to improve your current situation, although it can still feel insulting. Whereas destructive criticism expresses fault and even disappointment or judgement, this kind of criticism isn't helpful and will always create a negative environment.
We must understand that feedback is important, as long as delivered respectfully, as it is the way that we can learn and grow.
Here are some tips for dealing with criticism.
1. Ask yourself, is this advice coming from a place of good intention? Is the person giving the criticism genuinely interested in you, what you are doing and how you could improve yourself? If they are, then taking on their criticism may help improve your current situation.
2. Am I willing to hear criticism if it helps me? There was a stage in my life that no matter who you were and what your experiences were, I wasn't going to listen to what you had to tell me, I would have preferred to learn it myself. After working out that I couldn't figure it out myself, I made the conscious decision and put in a considerable effort to start to listen and take on board every bit of "advice", and criticism dished out to me. It's almost like a team of people working for me for free! I don't have to take it all on board, but I sure do listen!.
3. Remember... it's just an opinion. Whenever someone offers advice or criticism, be it constructive or destructive, it's just an opinion .. and you know what they say about opinions, right? So if you don't like it, just remember that it is there opinion, it's not fact, or truth, it's their thoughts.
There is a difference between constructive and destructive criticism, but they are usually both hard to stomach. If you can take on board what is said, as long as it has been said without malice, then you will grow as a person.
Remember it's how you react that will tell the story of who you are, and that story will spread far and wide around the music industry, so practice and understand that we need to learn and grow so we can be the best artist that we can be.
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