This post is an ode to a recent 99U speaker and TED talk veteran Brené Brown, Ph.D and her talk about why creatives (and people in general) tend to listen too much to the critics of the world. And most importantly how we tend to let the worst critic of all (ourselves), have a seat all to often in the "critic's arena."
Why paraphrase when Dr. Brown says it best...
"Its about showing up and being seen...If you are going to show up and going to be seen, there is only 1 guarantee, you are going to get your ass kicked!"
and to put it most succinctly...
"if you are not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, then I am not interested in your feedback."
Dr. Brown is likewise adamant that this is not a dismissal of feedback in general but rather who is allowed and the way in which feedback is given.
Check out the full talk and get the full download directly from Dr. Brown herself...
As a final thought, it seems that there are more critics than creators in the world which maybe we feel gives us the license to be critical of those with skills that we don't possess. Perhaps its a rationalization in our brains to make us feel better about our mediocrity or at least jealousy of something we admire (consciously or unconsciously) in others. I think I will remind myself of this next time I am watching the Dallas Cowboys and exclaiming profanities at the screen when Romo should have turned to his left instead of his right. Because quite frankly, I am not in the arena. I didn't put in the time to get there, therefore I didn't earn the right to micro-judge every move he makes. Long shot analogy I am sure, but the scenario applies to every one of us, every day if you really think about it.
Critics don't win when you do something great and they get to bash it. Critics win if you do nothing at all.