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Criticism and self-criticism

I chose for this post a delicate topic and apparently not so important, but which has the potential to change our trajectory significantly.


One of the most difficult things for a musician is to deal with criticism. Depending on how it reaches us, it can be a great impulse or determine an impact of high destructive power.


Self-criticism works in the same way. Depending on how we direct the analytical look to our own work, we can grow or stumble. This is because we often use for our self-criticism resources "donated" by "influential third parties", which can distance us from ourselves, sometimes in a perennial way.


When someone approaches wanting to give a suggestion, it is implied that this person at least has reservations about our work. Feeling that we do not fully convince our listeners can generate a certain discomfort or even shake our self-confidence. To avoid the negative impact of a criticism it is important to ask ourselves some questions:


Who is criticizing us?

  • Are them musicians?

  • What kind of musician are they?

  • Are them mature listeners?

  • Are them an unprepared listeners?

  • Are them colleagues?

  • Are them college room mates ?


What reason led this people to issue a criticism?

  • The willingness to help?

  • The attempt to destabilize us

  • The non-understanding of our musical discourse?

  • Want to self-assert themself?

  • The envy?


Why do some criticisms affect us?

  • Aren't we structured enough?

  • Do we want to please everyone?

  • Don't we know how to deal with the setback?


Maturity taught me not to take these things so seriously because most of the time, this someone who came to "help us", does not gather enough predicates to understand or consequently suggest something. It's like watching a game of the Brazilian national team and criticizing the coach's choices. Let's be serious, very few people really understand what happens on the field, in the locker rooms, in the boards of the teams, in the sponsorship contracts, etc.


The person who criticizes us may just be a charismatic ignorant. It is up to us to evaluate who criticizes us and whether or not to listen to their words.


It is always good to remember that even professional critics or commentators may be committed to their own interests, which may go well beyond what we would like to believe. Critics need to be noticed and because of this, many choose to create controversies, a strategy, by the way, very effective.


Self-criticism is a slightly more complex factor.

It starts from us to ourselves, and comes loaded with principles that in some cases have been instilled in us by third parties (friends, teachers, family, etc.).

This type of influence is not a very clear factor and they are often stored in the basement of our subconscious. That's where the danger lives.


I know musicians who, because of a very pronounced demand, end up locking their own talent. I know others, however, who for lack of minimal critical sense, expose themselves to ridicule. Believe me, these two characters exist and are more common than we imagine.


And how do we escape this trap?

First of all, understand who you are and where you want to go. Prepare for this journey consistently. Get inspired by your idols and learn from them.

At a later moment, when you have the mastery of the musical vocabulary you intend to use, venture along the paths that make sense to you, try different alternatives, look at the world as a universe to be explored and above all, always use common sense.

Remember that we and our idols are human beings and therefore have the same tools to build roads. The one who goes further is the one who works the most.


As we can see, this is an important topic, full of dark alleys and secret tunnels. We need to develop the ability to deal with the issue in a direct and practical way. I use a very effective rule that consists of "never" listening to those who are worse than me.


Do not allow your insecurity to free the portals of your mind to "Trojan Horses".


To talk, even parrot talks.

Doing is another stuff.

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