By its very nature, media composing is a barrage of feedback critiquing your efforts.
Trying to land jobs involves an onslaught of opinions and rejections. And once you have the gig, oh boy, every note you write in every cue you compose is a candidate for criticism, frequently from a slew of sources.
You can’t control how people offer their opinions. Some are graceful and some are just lummoxes.
All you can control is how you take it in and how you react.
Here are some pointers in dealing with criticism:
1. Anticipate it. It is often easier to manage something if you are not caught by it unaware.
2. Focus on WHAT is being said rather than HOW it is stated.
3. Be curious and investigate. . “Oh, when he said ‘I hate that cue’ was he trying to say that it isn’t working for him emotionally? Or perhaps he didn’t like one of the instruments. Let me find out.”
4. Defuse the energy in you own mind. If someone says YOU SUCK, think about what an odd expression that is rather than focusing on the attack.
5. Make a game out of it. One of my favorites is “How Many Times Will I Get Yelled at Today?” I pick a high number and then I am almost disappointed if I don’t meet my quota.
6. Embrace it. There are learning gems within most criticisms. Mine them. “What clues were just laid at my feet regarding improving my cue or fixing one of my flaws?”
7. Man (or Woman) Up. This is a rough and tumble industry you picked. If you chose to be a surfer you shouldn’t emotionally collapse at the pounding of every wave. If you want to dodge criticism, pick a different vocation.
8. Consider the source. Ask WHY is that person saying this? Frequently, criticism speaks more about the person giving it than it does you.
9. Don’t take it too personally. People say stuff. They are just words and ones probably uttered without much thought. Don’t let their words define you.
10. Lighten up. The weight of the Universe does not hang on every critical word. Find your sense of humor. “Wow, I just bellyflopped!” is a much lighter reaction than “It was a disaster. I’m doomed.”
11. Get some perspective. No matter what someone says, the sun keeps rising, the world keeps spinning, and the birds keep chirping.
12. Have easy access to your reset button. Take your lump, scan it for its potential value and move on. As the great poet Elsa once said, “Let it Go!”