How To Handle Criticism

Critics And Singers

Singers have to deal with criticism.  The sources are from several places or people:  friends, family, acquaintances, audiences, fans, and enemies.  Is that all there is?  No.  Self-criticism is also a source.  Criticism coming from yourself may be the most damaging of all, but that has a deeper root.

If you are critical of others, this is your karma.  You will think that audiences are judging you and having the same harsh thoughts about you that you have about others.  This is self-sabotage in action.  The facts are that you are a better singer than everyone or nearly everyone in an audience.

The percentage of great singers in an audience is very low.  Fortunately, the percentage of haters and critics in an audience is also less than 5%.  If you think it is 95%, do not even step foot on a stage until you have confidence that you belong there.

Today is a great day to start focusing on art and on finding things which you admire.  It’s a first step to your freedom.

Self-criticism is destructive, especially when it is in terms of comparing yourself to others and judging yourself to be inferior in whatever way you can find.

Normally there is a nebulosity and myopia involved in your self-criticism.

Generalizations are part and parcel of criticism.  It is not focused or explicit, normally.  When it is focused, the critical becomes analytical, just as if the famous Letter Man of Sesame Street days intervened.  Not seeing the full and entire picture is much how the myopic view things.  Work on your objectivity to see the big picture.  Back off.  Back up.  Look with fresh eyes.  Listen with fresh ears.

Get Off The Fence

You cannot be both a critic and an artist at the same time.  You will kill yourself off as an artist until the day comes that you come down on the artist side of the fence.   When you hit the ground on that side, you will be seeking to express yourself, instead of seeking to impress others.

The great news is that you will finally impress others because there is only one unique you.  It is your authentic and genuine artistic self.  This is what people admire.  This is what audiences seek.  This is what you admire in other great artists, whether consciously or subconsciously.  Get off the fence.

Handling Criticism

When you are criticized, the first thing to do is to not agree.  Don’t agree, but also don’t disagree.  What?  Yes.  Consider the source and the education, experience, and knowledge of the source.  If you don’t know what those are, acknowledge the criticism by saying, “I understand your viewpoint.”  Then, drop it.

Criticism is a wild bear in your living room.  You can stay.  You can escape.  You can kill it.  You cannot ignore it forever.  Usually there will be little or no validity to criticism.  You should already have set your own standards and have your own plan in place as to how big your reach will be in the music world.  Are you fully on your own team?  If you aren’t, it’s time to stop being a spectator and get into the game.

You do not know the intention behind criticism.  The majority of the time, it is not innocuous.  It’s not so important to identify the intention as it is to instantly decide if it is useful or not.  If you have your artist’s integrity intact, you are already working on your art and most suggestions made will either align or be in conflict.  Be true to yourself.