Artists, athletes, teachers, geologist, those people who refill the soap at self-service car washes: all benefit immensely from criticism.
Growth, everyone who strives for this needs criticism no matter the objective, goal. A single perspective will overlook faults, improvement areas, especially when it is ourselves who are the ones judging the performance – everyone is biased when it comes to themselves.
This is an old concept, accepted as being a critical part of improving, but it bothers me to hear people say they only want “constructive criticism”. Yes, no one likes to hear they will never ever be good at what they love to do, but you cannot ask to be judged, or, make your passion project public, and expect others to pull punches. True, it’s not always helpful to be verbally slammed without specific examples why you’re the worst wannabe writer breathing – or is there?
My viewpoint is, even the vague condemnations: “god awful”, “my eyes are bleeding”, “I’m now dumber for having read what you’ve written” – actually thought that one was funny, can be useful.
First of all, the judged, need to accept the fact not everyone will like what you’re putting out there. Some just want to hate. Fuck it. Let them. This should not diminish your aspirations. You could twist those comments in your mind to motivate you – you know, do it to spite them. OR, you can take a step back, push aside your ego, and consider the possibility you do in fact suck a big one. But again, fuck it.
Absolutely EVERYTHING can be achieved through this simple equation: time + effort = success. Now your definition of success is individual, just define it. And when I say everything is achievable, I mean everything.
If your 48, want to become an astronaut, you will be hard pressed to find a space agency willing to fund your training. But, if you really want to go into outer space at 48, master economics, become wealthy, and start your own private commercial space program. Easy.
Getting back on target, criticism, unconstructive criticism, can be helpful. Resist the urge to caveat your work with “constructive criticism only” before others experience it.
Hearing “you suck” may end up being the most meaningful feedback you receive.