Day 6 (bonus) // Unhooking From Praise & Criticism

by | Jan 9, 2023 | The Creative Experiment

OK, I just had to record this video because right after announcing that this channel exists to my audience I had a full-on physical reaction.

In this video, I’m sharing how I deal with the idea of receiving praise, criticism or (worst of all) zero response to sharing something that feels vulnerable with “the public.”

This video is a must-watch for anyone who creates and wants to learn how to separate themselves from the opinions of others to produce work that is true to themselves.

Video Transcript

So this is one of those bonus videos where I’m filming two in one day. But I couldn’t not do this video because I have just released this into the world. I have made my videos public. I have announced on my Instagram, I have emailed my email list. I have told people that this exposure of men is going on.

And yeah, the first of my videos that I filmed is out on the Internet and honestly, like, I feel really weird about it and I can feel myself craving validation. I should because it’s now out there. I can feel this part of me that is desperate to know what people think, is desperate to know how it’s being received.

Do people like it? Do people hate it? Should I take it all down and pretend it never existed? There’s this real kind of reaction in that I’m experiencing to actually pressing publish, to actually making things public and telling people about it. And what I’m choosing to do in this moment is to actually distance myself from any response that is or is not happening.

Because one of the things I truly believe that with creativity and with putting things out into the world and creating things, when we start to attach the validity and the worthiness and the success or failure of that thing to people’s responses to it, it can really mess with those as the person that is doing the creating because it can create all sorts of additional fears and resistances and influences that can undo, totally impact the actual nature of the way we share.

So, for example, say I went online now and saw well on one hand that it’s absolutely blowing up, that it’s doing incredible, everybody’s loving it and getting really good positive feedback. Well, one thing I think this is not very healthy for my ego because I have people pleaser tendencies. I was a very good student and very much exist with this narrative that all grew up with this belief that my livability, my worthiness was attached to the results that I got.

And so by hooking into any potential praise without knowing it, you know, if I do so unintentionally, I mean, I’m feeding this and I’m finding myself having a physical response that is similar to people pleasing dependency, wanting to please others, and then instead of being able to share freely, I will be sharing from the perspective of how can I get more of that as opposed to how can to create authentically and have a real love hate relationship with the word authenticity and authentic.

But I kind of mean it here. But likewise, say there’s a load of negative criticism again that will put me on the defensive, that will make me question myself, which at this point in the process, I’m too fragile to do so. Well, that’s not strictly true. I kind of know I can take it, but again, it would influence what I put out there and influence the whole purpose and take me further away from the reason I’m doing this in the first place, which is ultimately about me sharing what’s in my heart and what’s in my head and what wants to come out from me and through me in the moment.

And then there’s a third outcome where there’s no response. I put it out there and people just aren’t interested and it’s silence and people don’t get it. And again, that’s also terrifying because it will influence and change the way that I want to create. So that’s why right now I’ve hit publish and now I’m stepping back. I’m letting it be out there, I’m letting it exist, and I’m letting the adrenaline release and work its way through my body and allowing myself to come back into a more grounded state before I look at what has happened or look at the response or whatever, put myself into that ground and state so that I can observe the responses, a lack of responses from a place of strength and connectedness as opposed to trying to do it. Whilst I’m on this adrenaline high. So yeah, I had to create this video because I think it’s really important or a really important lesson that I’ve only learned through publicly putting myself out there for the last four and three quarter years or whatever.

It’s something that I’ve learned to do and it’s something I’m actively doing with this format, with this creative expression in the form of these videos. And I’m offering it now to you as the person. Maybe you are maybe not watching this to incorporate into your own creative practice, to not let the fear of the response stop me from doing it and to create distance between the point at which you hit, publish and make something public and the point where you then observe the response.

Give yourself space to ground, to relax, to release that initial adrenaline spike so that you can come to observe the response from a place that is generally more healthier and more able to respond. So, yeah, there you go. I never know how to finish these videos, by the way. Like, I feel like I should have some beautiful submarines, but often I don’t.

And it is what it is.

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