Whether it’s a presentation to a conference room full of senior executives, a speech to a crowd of your peers, a blog article on an important topic, or a book that just went to press – whenever we “put ourselves out there,” we tend to hold our breath and wait for the feedback.
Every time that we create, write or perform for the public eye, we invite critique. Some critique is rewarding and encouraging, but some critique is intimidating and painful. It’s easy to feel vulnerable when anticipating feedback, and sometimes we can’t help but take negative comments personally.
Bestselling author and renowned speaker Seth Godin reminds his readers to keep critique in perspective. It’s impossible to please everyone. There will always be that small percentage of detractors – those people who have to make a snide remark or cutting comment. Seth offers this insight about such naysayers:
“For those people, the message from the creator of the work is clear: ‘It’s not for you.’
Unanimity is impossible unless you are willing to be invisible. We can be unanimous in our lack of feedback for the invisible one.
For everyone else, though, the ability to say, ‘It’s not for you,’ is the foundation for creating something brave and important. You can’t do your best work if you’re always trying to touch the untouchable, or entertain those that refuse to be entertained.”
What a powerful and liberating statement, “It’s not for you.” Your work, your creation, your performance – it’s not for that small percentage of harsh critics. It’s for the people who recognize the true value in what you have to offer and who appreciate it. So forget about that man in the back who didn’t laugh at your jokes, or the person who walked out during your presentation. It’s ok. It’s not for them.
Seth concludes with this acknowledgment and important statement:
“This is easy to say and incredibly difficult to do. You don’t have much choice, though, not if you want your work to matter.”
To read Seth Godin’s full blog post, please click here.