On today’s episode of Creative Space, we’re going to talk about what to do when someone tells you to quit. I got inspired this week after going through this myself.
As artists, it is inevitable that we face criticism. Whether constructive or non-constructive, these comments can impact our creative process, sometimes causing us to question our dreams and passions. But, what if we could turn this adversity into an opportunity for growth? What if we could use criticism as a fuel for our artistic journey rather than letting it extinguish our creative spark?
I delved into my personal encounter with non-constructive criticism and the profound impact it had on me. The sting these words can leave is a testament to our vulnerability as artists. However, rather than allowing it to hinder our creativity, we can chose to view it as a lesson in resilience, and even use it as fuel for our next piece of work.
Link to Adam Sandler Interview with Brad Pitt
Link to story behind Taylor Swift's song, "Mean"
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0:32—Being on the receiving end of non-constructive criticism
2:20—Why criticism hurts sometimes
3:06—What to do when someone tells you to quit
3:13—Remember that your dreams are between you and God
4:04—Consider the source
4:45—Phone a friend
5:09—Adam Sandler being told to quit
5:30—Honor your progress
6:00—Forgive the naysayer
6:15—Remember why you started
6:53—Taylor Swift’s song, “Mean”
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Creative Space, a podcast where we explore, learn and grow in creativity together. I'm your host, jennifer Loge, and today we're going to discuss what to do when someone tells you to quit, and why this episode. Why now? Well, someone told me to quit my dreams last week, or, as he put it exactly, it's time to quit the fantasy. I won't go into detail about the conversation or the person, but those words stung. They literally reverberated throughout my body and if you've had discouraging words spoken over you, you know how much it can hurt. I always thought I had a thick skin, but I guess since starting the podcast, I've become a lot more open and vulnerable in my creativity and as a person, which is a great thing. However, it has made dealing with criticism a lot tougher. It's time to quit the fantasy. I guess what hurts the most about those words is that it's not giving constructive criticism about ways I can improve or how my work can improve. In those cases, I love criticism. It gives me something to work towards as an artist, a way to refine a piece of work. But to criticize the artist for being, for simply being, for just being themselves ouch, that hurts and I'll be totally honest, I went to bed so broken that night. This last year, through the podcast and through other personal growth work I've been doing, I had been slowly rebuilding my creative foundation, my confidence as an artist. And here comes this one naysayer who knocked me down at least for a few hours. For so many years I had been safely on the other side of art the journalist interviewing the artists, the copywriter giving voice to brands, but not expressing my own voice. My own skin as an artist wasn't in the game for so long. Ever since I stopped making music of my own, my voice was buried deeply within me. But when you put your heart on a plate for the world to see, when you dare to get uncomfortably personal, when your skin is actually in the game, that's when the criticism can hurt. And I realize it's okay for the criticism to hurt. It shows you care. At least that's how I'm choosing to see it. But I woke up this next morning with a new sense of purpose and toughness as an artist. I then reflected on how to deal with non-constructive, hurtful criticism like this in the future and I thought it might be helpful to share in case you needed it. So here it goes. What to do when someone tells you to quit? Number one remember that your dreams are between you and God. No one can see the dreams God put in your heart except you, and he put them there for a reason. I heard this quote somewhere and I'm not sure where, but it stuck with me. It goes when God gives you a gift, it's your job to hold the basket. So you're going to put that basket down just because some random person told you to. Holding the basket can be tough, I know, especially as we move through life, and maybe we're not able to pursue what we love full time. But we have to keep holding it. We have to keep holding on to our dreams, keep them alive and beating, even when they seem impossible, even when they don't make sense, because we all have this inner knowing of what it is we should be doing. Number two consider the source. Who is this person who told you to quit? Are they a respected authority in your chosen medium? Are they happy, stable, balanced, thriving? As an example, the person who told me to quit my dreams last week? I realize that the discouraging words they spoke over me were more of a reflection of themselves than of me. They had a dream, they didn't stick with it and now they're bitter. Of course they would tell me to quit. As the saying goes, misery loves company and it's especially true of the dream quitters. Number three phone a friend. I'm not afraid to call in my friends and in this case I reached out to a few of my artist friends who were successful, happy and thriving in music and acting and they spoke encouraging words over me. They shared their own experiences when people told them to quit. It made me feel less alone and it helped my inner artist develop a thicker skin. One friend shared an interview with me between Adam Sandler and Brad Pitt. Adam Sandler's acting teacher from college actually took him out for a beer and told him to quit because he'd never make it as an actor. Quote unquote. I don't know. I'll link to the video in the podcast description. Could you imagine if you had listened? That brings us to number four honor the progress you've made so far. You were already winning because you were actively pursuing your dreams. You're taking steps toward your mountain every day and, depending on where you are in life, those steps may seem insignificant, especially if you have a family or other responsibilities that prevent you from investing 100% of your time, but celebrate the progress you made and the progress you continue to make. Let the joy of the journey fill you. That's success in itself. Number five forgive the naysayer. Don't hold on to the negativity or resentment. Forgive the naysayer in your heart for your own well-being. Hurt people, hurt others. Don't let their negativity cloud your vision or dim your light. Number six remember why you started. This helps me a lot when I need motivation to keep going. In general, when someone tells you to quit your dreams, you may need a little inner motivation to pick yourself up and get going again. What inspired you to start on the current path you're on? Let that spark ignite your passion. Let it fill you inside. Number seven keep going. Even the most successful people have had to deal with naysayers and even after they achieve success, they still get criticism. Just do your thing and have fun. And if you need a pick me up, listen to Taylor Swift's song Mean. I read an American songwriter that it's actually about someone who criticized her. So instead of internalizing it, she wrote a hit song that won two Grammys and it became part of anti-bullying campaigns at schools around the country. So you can even use the criticism to fuel your next piece of work. Anyways, that's all I've got for this episode of Creative Space. I hope you found it helpful as you forge your own creative path. As for me, I'm going to continue working on my voice, working on my songwriting and following my creative muse with a pure heart. I really appreciate you listening. My name is Jennifer Loge. Until next time.