Productive or Insulting Criticism

As Seth Godin explains clearly in his book Linchpin: “But it’s clear that no matter what sort of creative work you’re doing, no matter how acclaimed or successful you are, the Lizard will seek you out and probably find you. What happens after that is up to you.”

The Lizard he is referring to, is the Lizard brain that tells you to avoid anything that’s scary, unknown, or that will invite criticism. The Lizard brain tells us we’re not perfect.

Nobody is perfect. Nobody has ever been perfect. Walt Disney was told a mouse would never work, Jerry Scienfield was booed off the first stage he walked onto, Steven Spielberg was rejected from University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times… the list goes on.

When we do ship our product, we subject ourselves to boundless criticism. We are bound to hear it, get it, and if we’re smart, we should take note of it, evaluate it, and make the necessary changes to make our product a better product.

Productive criticism helps us identify specific areas to work on, it gives us focus points to research and develop further.

Any other criticism shifts from cultivating the genius inside of us to stifling the genius inside of us.

Interpret it as you wish.

 

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