If You’re Not For Us – You’re Against Us

Well, that’s not entirely true.

Quite often we go in search of praise and applause down the easiest avenues, the avenues littered with compliments and accolades.

While those paths are great for lifting our spirits, they do little to help us get better. The complimenters mean well and are most certainly genuine in their flattery. However, we can become addicted to the compliments, and begin to accept only the praise that makes us feel good, to the neglect of any criticism that might make us better.

Of the praisers we tell ourselves, “Ah, they get it. They get my art, and they get me.”

And of the critisizers we say, “They just don’t understand. They missed the point. They weren’t ready.”

We all need people in our lives that support us and, no matter what, tell us that we did good.

And I would certainly recommend keeping a filter on who is allowed to tell us of our shortcomings.

Too much praise and we don’t get better. Too much criticism and we begin to give up.

But, there is a balance. There is a hybrid.

As artists, we need trusted people in our lives who are 100% for us…

…and 100% unimpressed by us.

Trusted individuals that fully support our art, smile from the audience, and lead the applause. But then, after the ovations have been seated, the compliments have been gathered, and everyone else has gone home, they pull us aside and help us get better.

These individuals are hard to find, but we need to be open to the search.

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