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What to do with criticism?

I'll tell you a secret: when I first started painting, I opened an anonymous Instagram account. It was impossible to recognize me. There, in a non- intimidating environment, I began to publish my work. Likes, applause and sympathetic comments strengthened me on my path. Only when I got strong enough did I dare to go out into the world, first to friends, and only later to others.

Introverts, it turns out, are easily influenced by society's reaction. (I continue to share my impressions from the book Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, written by Susan Kane).

The author cites researcher David Dobbs, who developed a theory called "the orchid hypothesis." According to his theory, many children are compared to the dandelion plant, because they are able to thrive in any environment. But others, including the introverts, are more like orchids: they wither easily. On the other hand, under the right conditions they will be able to grow and become strong and spectacular.

External criticism can neuter any creativity in the "Orchids".

If we want to be seen in our workplace we need colleagues to know what we think. We need to make our voices heard. And in the field of art - a significant part of being an artist is the courage to go with your art out to the world.

So, what should we do?

In order to overcome that, it is good for introverts if they neutralize any criticism, both external and internal. For me, painting alone helped neutralize such criticism.

When a person is in his or her optimal state, they can fully immerse themselves in doing, and be in a state of "flow", as psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes it. In such a situation, time passes by without them noticing it and they do not doubt their ability.

The key to flow is engaging in an activity for its own sake, not for the outcome. For me it is this wonderful state of being alone in the studio and just paint. The hours passes by and sometimes only hunger marks how much time has passed.

The beauty in it is that as we go further in the process, we forge ourselves to criticism. In this respect, the creative process is used as a cure.

The author quotes the words of Warren Buffett and says that he testified he feels as if he is lying on his back, the Sistine Chapel above him, and he is painting. He likes it when people tell him how good and beautiful his painting is, but when someone asks why he doesn't use more of the color red instead of blue, he says - "Hello. This is my painting..."

I'm far from Warren Buffett, But that's exactly the feeling 😊


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