This post was originally published on August 11, 2015. I found it to be something I still struggle with constantly.
Part of creativity is being critical. There, I said it. Part of what we do is to criticize. We criticize our work, our neighbor's work, the commercials on TV, music and movies. Basically, we are prone to criticize anything our eyes decipher as art and creativity.
So what do we do with this ability to criticize?
In some regards, it pays to be critical when it comes to creativity. If we don't judge our works with a harsh perspective, we may not quite push ourselves to be the best we can be. The same holds for leading a team of creatives. One of the first lessons I learned in production work was how to receive criticism (even the non-constructive kind). Being critical allows us to see how we can produce better work.
But what happens when we can't turn the criticism off?
When you think of a movie critic, book critic or food critic; is your first thought of that person a happy one? What do you suppose their natural disposition to be? Kind? Arrogant? Mean? When people think of you as a critic of sorts, how do they perceive you to be?
If we aren't careful, we can allow criticism to become who we are.
Although it is alright to be critical toward our work, we must be vigilant to avoid being critical about everything. I have difficult times sitting through certain movies, because I can't remove my creative filter long enough to enjoy the film! I sit and analyze the story or pick apart camera shots. Sometimes, I leave a movie in a foul mood, only because I couldn't help but criticize it.
I need to put aside my critical nature.
Although it can be our nature, as creatives, to pick things apart; sometimes we just need to let them be. Living a life full of criticism is no life at all. We need to be able to enjoy life to it's fullest, and I don't believe that is possible when having a solely critical nature.
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