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Linda Dessau : Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

By Linda Dessau

Ouch! Whether it's feedback we've asked for, an unsolicited remark called out from the audience or a simple "no" result of an audition or submission process, criticism and rejection are a huge part of our lives as creative artists.

Sometimes we're so fearful of being criticized or rejected that we keep our creativity bottled up and don't let it out. This article features 10 tools for dealing with criticism and rejection.

Other times we constantly adapt what we create, focusing only on the "market" and what they seem to be liking or disliking this week. Then we end up feeling like we're not truly expressing our creative impulses.

10 Tools for Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

1. Be Open.

You may be hoping for a specific reaction or response to your work, or a specific result of an audition, gallery submission, performance or contest entry. If you've done your best and you're rejected or criticized, you might feel that you've "failed", and it's probably hard to see anything positive about the situation. Try to be open to the possibility that this "failure" is actually leading you to something else, usually better than what you thought you wanted. As I read once in Cheryl Richardson's newsletter, "Any rejection is God's protection."

2. Be Consistent.

Keep going, doing the little things every day that keep you creative and that keep you connected to other artists and to your customers. The dramatic moments and big wins and losses will come and go. Have a steady routine you can keep coming back to, and this will help to place any criticism or rejection into perspective. Today is a new day, another day you get to be an artist.

3. Be Focused.

Keep your end goal in mind, and always be mindful of why you're doing what you're doing. That will help you focus on the big picture and not get tripped up by each bump in the road along the way.

4. Be Resilient.

Remember that your sense of self-worth comes from inside of you. When you're able to be confident in yourself regardless of the feedback you get from external sources, you're able to bounce back much more easily from any negative feedback that you may get.

5. Be Positive.

Focus your attention on the positive and you'll attract more of it. This is the premise of the "law of attraction", and I've certainly seen it work in my own life. Hear the positive feedback you receive and replay it over in your mind whenever you need to.

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